I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are ready for a special holiday season and an amazing new year. Thanksgiving, as we all know, is a time of the year where we all reflect on what we are thankful for and the really important things in life: love and family. It is a time where most reflect on how fortunate we all really are. Now, think about that very moment when you were sitting at the dinner table and everyone was going around the room telling your family what they are thankful for. Think about how you felt… Now, imagine if you could feel like this all the time, for the rest of your life…
Perhaps you don’t live in the USA and you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or the holiday season wherever you live in the world. What I have found in my many years of travel, meeting people from so many different cultures is that people in general are really not all that different. People from any walk of life simply want to love and be loved, be happy and laugh, and feel safe and secure. If you have achieved this, congrats and I hope you’re thankful for it every day. If not, let’s see what we can do to get there…
It is time to revisit a piece I wrote a while back, “The Cycle of IT.” I have been in the trading and trading education world for many years. This has allowed me to watch traders grow and students try to achieve goals at different levels and reach different levels of success… and failure. I have often wondered and speculated on the difference between those who achieve success and those who fail. For me, the answer lies in the proper definition of success when it comes to trading, or any endeavor for that matter.
Let me explain a scenario that I have experienced so many times with individuals going through trading education. There was a gentleman back in 1999 whom I met at a trading seminar. He walked up to me before it started and introduced himself. He had been reading my daily trading advisory letters and was very excited to meet the face behind the letter and take the seminar that I was giving. He explained that he had a family and that trading was going to be “IT” for him. He wanted to make lots of money from trading and do it for a career. After the seminar, he thanked me and could not wait to get home and get started on his quest for “IT”. A couple weeks after the seminar, he sent me an email and said he was doing well but he said, “Sam, if I could only take all my stop losses according to plan, I would really make IT.” Time went by and I contacted him months later and asked him if he made “IT?” He said yes. I said, “How is IT?” He said “IT” was good. He then said that if he adjusted his rules a bit and added a moving average for a trail stop, he could hold on for larger gains and really make “IT”! More than a year went by before I heard from him again and when I did, I asked him the same question, did you make “IT”? He said he did. I asked him how “IT” was and he said “IT was good.” He also added that his marriage was falling apart and he did not know where things were going in his personal life. He also added that he only needed to make a little more money from trading than he did from his day job to quit the day job. This would finally be “IT,” this would save his marriage, his family…
Let me let you in on something I realized long ago. “IT” is never “IT”. The “IT” cycle will have you chasing an illusion of happiness your whole life in many forms if you let it. If you are looking for “IT,” the real “IT” only exists in a much grander vision. This grander vision will meet all your needs and become “IT” for you. I want to invite you into a simple reality that most consistently profitable market speculators share. They are not looking for trading to be “IT” for them. They have a much grander vision. The best traders I know spend very little time trading and spend less time talking about trading. They make plenty of money trading and they use that money to feed the grander vision.
One person I know who has done very well in trading bought 3 vacation homes on a lake all next to each other. He has a family with many kids and invites families who would not be able to afford to do this to stay at these vacation homes in the summers. His life is all about his family; that has always been his grander vision. Because of this, he is not looking to change or improve his trading strategy, he does fine. In fact, he never talks about his strategy; he would never waste the time as he is too busy with his grander vision. I know his strategy and let me tell you, I see many people come out of the Online Trading Academy classes with better strategies that don’t make money because they are always looking to improve the strategy so they can really make “IT”. People who keep changing their trading strategy and keep taking more and more seminars and read more and more books never make it in trading. They are always looking for the artificial “IT,” not the real one. From what I see, the successful people at Online Trading Academy take the classes and XLT’s and then go and run the strategy we teach them. They don’t rush off to take more and more seminars and courses. The group that has taken every trading course around the world and has read every trading book written is typically not the group that makes money trading; this is the group that typically pays those who have a grander vision than money.
In trading, the best outcome each day is more money in your account. If you keep striving for more money, you will never be happy because you will never have all of the world’s money. How many times do men and women get into relationships because they think that partner is “IT” for them? They are counting on that partner to make them happy and fill all their needs and voids. These relationships always fail because the other partner will never meet these expectations. So much pressure is put on that partner to be “IT” for that person. Trading is not all that different. The pressure people put on themselves with unrealistic expectations is simply setting you up for failure.
I will never forget a flight I was on to Dubai, watching a Disney documentary called “Oceans”. It is a fascinating documentary about the world’s oceans and the life within them. While there are many documentaries about the oceans, trust me, you have never seen one like this before. Disney did a great job. There is a scene in the movie that shows a family of three walruses, two parents and their offspring. It was just the three of them playing together in a massive body of ocean water. Then, everything began to slow down, the playing stopped and the three came together and just held each other with the young one softly nestled between the parents. They were all floating in their world, just holding each other. At that moment, my world paused as well. It was such a moment of love and family. I realized that all they had their whole life was each other and the natural surroundings they shared which basically consisted of ice and water. They looked so happy and at peace. It was at that moment that I asked myself, who has the better life, them or I? After all, I was the one sitting in a metal tube breathing a mixture of jet fuel and oxygen on my way to a city famous for its metal buildings and artificial this and that. First class on an international flight all of a sudden meant nothing to me. I was the one away from my family and the things in life that are most important to me. I was actually envious of the walrus family and what they had at that moment. They didn’t care about a good or bad economy, taxes, or some economic report. They were not interested in the next iPhone, iPad, iTouch, iPod or the full iLife that so many people are lining up for. Their mood was not shaped by the next up or down tick in the S&P. Money, markets, metal and plastic have absolutely no impact on them at all. Can you imagine a world where your happiness is completely detached from these things? Their world had not been poisoned by the artificial Cycle of “IT”.
Next week, just in time for New Year’s, I will share my Grander Vision with you all and complete our discussion on the Cycle of “IT”.
Have a great day and holiday season.
Sam Seiden – firstname.lastname@example.org