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The Trader’s Guide To Happiness

The Trader’s Guide To Happiness

For most of us, our ultimate goal is happiness.

That is why we trade.

We want more time and money so that we can manufacture happiness for ourselves and the people we care about.

But this quest for happiness can be a never-ending one, especially if we look at happiness as something that will come once we achieve certain goals.

You see, happiness is always there; it’s always accessible to you, no matter who you are and where you currently stand in life.

The problem is that most of the time you don’t see it because you haven’t trained yourself enough to see it. On the other hand, you’ve trained yourself plenty enough to seek it in an idealized future that you hold in your mind.

There’s nothing wrong with having a dream, a vision, a goal… But when these become obsessions, they poison the mind making it live in perpetual dissatisfaction as time keeps unfolding. Because the future never pans out exactly as we envision it.

Here’s another problem we face in our search for happiness: we are conditioned to want bigger houses, trendier clothes, faster cars – as if these are essential to a happy and fulfilled life. Hence, we obsess about money because we want to be able to afford all these things – plus more.

Let me tell you something in case you don’t know: Money can buy happiness; it can buy you the types of experiences and things that can make you and your loved ones happy. However, happiness that emanates from this is “Dukkha.”

“Dukkha” is a Pali word that is often translated as suffering. But a more accurate translation would be ultimately unsatisfying.

When you think about it, it makes sense that conditional happiness is “ultimately unsatisfying” because everything is ever-changing and impermanent. There is no constant but change itself. And when your happiness is contingent upon material possessions, money, people, even ideas and beliefs, things that are in their nature changing and impermanent, what you experience in your quest for happiness is ultimately unsatisfactoriness.

The sad thing is that it takes some people decades before they realize this all-too-important truth of life. Some even never realize it and they end up dying miserable regardless of how much wealth they have accumulated; regardless of how many experiences they were able to buy themselves. Because these things could never give them lasting satisfaction.

The first and most important way to find happiness is to cease worrying about things that are beyond your control.

There is a deeper (and more durable) form happiness that can be available to you, provided that you know where and how to look for it. I bear witness to that form of happiness and I would like to share with you in 6 steps what I have learned…

1. Stop worrying

Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher, is known for having said that anxiety is a fundamental obstacle to happiness. And it makes sense: No matter how rich or famous you are, you won’t be happy if you’re anxious about not being rich or famous enough. No matter how good your health is, you won’t be happy if you’re anxious about getting sick.

Action step

You get the point, above everything else, the first and most important way to find happiness is to cease worrying about things that are beyond your control. If you need a little help with that, check out the Trading Psychology Mastery Course.

2. Cultivate good relationships

This is one of our most basic human needs. Building good, supportive, and loving relationships will make you much more likely to be happy. Take time, today, to spend time with your loved ones on this special Thanksgiving occasion. Tell them what they mean to you, listen to them, and develop your relationship with them.

Action step

Talk to a complete stranger, be accessible, approachable, kind, and see where it leads you. It is something I am still working on, being the introvert that I am, but I’m getting so many positive results out of it.

3. Pour love into whatever you are

When you are love incarnated, nothing bad can ever happen to you! You will disarm potential conflicts with people. You will attract people and opportunities in your life. As a trader, you’ll learn to see the good in every situation – even the most painful ones. I assure you, when you investigate, even the worst case scenarios contain something good.

Action step

Make positive thinking a habit. Optimism and self-esteem are inherent to people who lead happy lives.

4. Pour love into whatever you do

In some respect, this can also be described as “flow.” This is a popular concept —it’s the state we enter when we are completely focused on a particular task. We are so immersed in the act that we lose track of time.

At that very particular moment, time flies, money holds absolutely no value, and neither does the need to be right. Fears of losing, failure, uncertainty – they all fade away.

The more you can reproduce this state of total immersion, the happier you’ll be.

Action step

Decide if you are really passionate about trading because if you are, it will engage you. With enough experience, you will be more prone to find yourself in that flow state.

5. Expand your mind

The purpose of life is to adapt and evolve. We, humans, do it by acquiring knowledge and experiences. By learning more about the nature of our dissatisfactions, we are better armed to transcend them. Always keep a mind open like the sky and flexible like a rubber band.

Action step

Read! But not just trading books. The most useful books I’ve read on my journey to becoming a consistently profitable trader were not about trading or financial markets. The most helpful books were about human psychology, science, and philosophy.

And the results went further than market success. They have helped me maximize my experiences and, as a result, significantly improved the quality of my life.

6. Spirituality is an important ingredient

Spirituality is often associated with religions, but it doesn’t have to be. For instance, my father is Hindu, my mother Christian. I started practicing meditation in a Buddhist context, yet I don’t ascribe to any worldly religion.

Still, I consider myself a spiritual person. For me, closing my eyes and being fully aware of my breath; laying on the grass and contemplating the blue sky; being in awe in view of nature’s magnificence – this is my spiritual practice.

Action step

Look for ways to express your spirituality whatever your beliefs are – whether you believe in a God (or Gods), or not at all. There is a strong connection between happiness and spiritual wisdom, and it is more direct than most people suppose.

Bonus step: Help others find happiness

Helping others reach their goals makes us happy. This blog is my own personal attempt at that. If you are successful and you don’t give back, what kind of life is that?

 

Thanks for reading! You’ve been given the not-so-secret steps to a more durable and fulfilling kind of happiness.  Do yourself a favor and implement them. You’ll see the difference.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Yvan

I’ve been trading for a living since 2006.

By merging mindfulness (an in-depth study of the mind and its tendencies in the present moment), a good trading process, and an efficient business practice, I went from being a losing trader to a consistently profitable one.
Through my work here at Trading Composure, I aim at helping you do the same.

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