A while ago, I wrote a blog post about research showing how living a purposeful life is the key to happiness and life satisfaction. This applies to our trading as well. If we are intentional about our development as traders, we are more likely to succeed *and* are more likely to be accomplished in our efforts. My article for Forbes several years ago summarized the research on the amazing psychological benefits of living purposefully. It is when our lives are inspired by the why that we are more likely to succeed in the search for the how.
As the John Maxwell quote above indicates, having a real and meaningful purpose is a vital part of what gives our lives significance. The ego may be looking for more hits, but what feeds the soul is the opportunity to make a “contribution” by doing something “noble.”. This is why spirituality is vital to trading careers, and why many of our trading psychology challenges occur when we put our ego's needs ahead of what enables us to succeed.
For many traders, the concept of trading spirituality is contradictory. Trading is about making money; Spirituality is not like that. But any activity can be pursued in a more or less spirit-filled way. When we have an overarching life mission that improves us and our world, any activity can become a path full of meaning. We overreact to gains and losses – and overtrade – when trading is simply about profit/loss. When we approach trading as a path to self-improvement, when we work in teams where everyone improves others, suddenly we become part of “something noble and purposeful.”
So let's step back and ask ourselves some questions. Self-evaluation may be uncomfortable, but staying locked in our comfort zones makes absolutely no difference:
What is your path to greatness? How can your development as a trader move you forward on this path? If you don't do something meaningful and purposeful every day, how can you hope to live a purposeful life? What purposeful and purposeful thing are you doing with your trading today? We are more likely to engage in activities that embody our strengths and interests. How satisfying and rewarding will day trading be for you regardless of the eventual profits and losses?
Great business, like all great things we do, comes from the soul. Perhaps the best thing for your trading psychology is to move away from profits and losses and develop your trading spirituality. The key to mastering trading psychology is to always capitalize on what is more important to you than trading profits and losses.