Nope —- it’s not a typo… I didn’t mean to write: Grateful. Although, that is something you will find me writing A LOT about! Today I want to focus on gracefulness.
Grace comes not only from exuding self-assured confidence but also from allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. But is it possible to be vulnerable if one is confident you may ask. I think so…
Pro Athletes have it. I’m not much of a sports fan (uh oh —- I’m sure I just lost a few of you ; ) but I know it when I see it. Physically, it’s obvious. When you see that perfect layup on the court that looks more like a 90 lb. ballerina gliding through the air than a 250 lb player making a slam dunk. I mention this because trading can be comparable to sport. There are many mental exercises that go into that perfect physical layup on the court and as a trader, I’m sure you can appreciate all of the mental work that goes into executing a trade. And with that, I will take the time to once again thank Michael and Adam for all of the strategy (mental) they put into providing us with the layup (physical).
When you’re trading, are you dialed into CNBC (mostly noise), or have you perhaps considered a more mindful choice. I like to listen to classical music. Full Disclosure, however, I too am guilty of having CNBC on more than I like to admit! But back to my ideal, classical music and a man I find exemplifies my case for grace.
TUNE OUT THE NOISE
As you read the following, know I am thinking of us, as traders, and how each of us can incorporate these qualities. A “graceful” trader never (well, mostly never) lets their ego rule their trade. We study, we practice, and we execute. When our trade cooperates we may feel confident and when it doesn’t we may feel vulnerable. But the important thing is that we are comfortable being on both sides.
Back to Itzhak… His thousands of hours on top of hours of practice give him the confidence that is so clearly recognizable as you listen to him speak but you will also notice you don’t see his ego on display. He has somewhat of a self-depreciating humor about him. He lets us see him for who he is, weaknesses and all. This is grace.
How do I think he has become so comfortable with all of himself?
I believe it all comes down to him having a quiet mind. A mind that is always judging but when it does, he recognizes these thoughts for what they are, just thoughts, and lets them pass.
To do this ourselves we need to understand that those negative thoughts come from a place of ego. When this happens we do things to silent the noise rather than just work through it, as in acknowledge and release and get back to reality. Sometimes (a lot of time), the best thing is to do nothing. I don’t know about you but whenever I trade with my ego, it rarely goes well. I tell myself I’m smarter than the market and the market always has a way of humbling me.
The ways I have learned to quiet my mind is through running but then that needs to be built upon. So I began doing morning meditations (simply 15 minutes a day). That practice took me to a whole new level. Last but not least, my writing has given me the tool to release my thoughts and truly understand where they’re coming from and why. It really does come down to the “why” as in all things life. Most of the time my why will carry the day. I will share my “why” in later posts.
These are just my ways of dealing with my noisy ego. How you may come to learn to quiet your mind could take a completely different path. There is no one right way.
The bottom line is this: I recommend that you find a few ways that bring you to a state of grace …and with that I will give you a barometer to use as a measure of whether or not you are operating from a state of grace as a trader. This was a post on twitter that Michael has tweeted a time or two and that always grabs my attention:
“If people can tell by looking at you whether you are having a good or bad day in the markets, your positions are too big.” ~ Richard L. Weissman, Author of “TRADE like a CASINO”
~ Go with Grace ~