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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just say "om"

update: after reading the post below, you can read my most recent post on "the meditaitonSHIFT course" here.

I am excited to see that most of you have an open mind and want to hear about meditating. There are three things I credit my "success" in life to:

1.) Hard work, practice, and study. Whether it is looking at 100s of stock charts every week (even after almost two decades of trading), or applying those principles to your chosen profession, your relationships, your passions, et cetera.
2.) Positive thinking - in my pre-trading life, I didn't achieve "success" until I grasped the power of positive thinking. I learned to write down my goals, review them daily, and visualize myself achieving them constantly. I learned to interrupt negative thinking and replace it with positive thinking. When I began trading, I initially forgot the success I had in the past, and how I achieved it. Luckily, I returned to it quickly and it made all the difference*.
3.) Meditating.

Meditating means different things to different people. You can find 100s of different ways to meditate, and 100s of different definitions of what meditating is or is not. To me, the objective of meditating is simple - it allows me to see the craziness that goes on in my mind, and once I am aware of that craziness it helps me focus. It also greatly enables the process of positive thinking (see #2 above) and is proven to have a plethora of health benefits, more of which seem to be discovered every month.

Back to what it means to me - there is a term, "monkey mind", that goes back 1000s of years. Basically your mind is always going - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most of the time we walk around in a zombie-like state and don't even realize that our mind is churning away, thinking crazy thoughts, running through crazy scenarios, bouncing from branch to branch like a rabid monkey. The initial goal of meditating (to me) is simply to become aware of all this activity, to observe it in action like you are an un-attached third party. Once you do learn to observe it, you will never be the same. You will be amazed - and scared - of what is going on, and how little control you have. That is the point where you move to the next step, learning to focus. You don't "force" yourself to quit thinking or anything like that (a lot of people will tell you meditating is about suppressing your thoughts...that is just not true) - you simply learn to observe what is going on, and when you get good at observing (becoming aware), then by default you will start to gain control over the craziness.

I don't claim to be an expert on meditating. And I am certainly not an expert on trying to explain it. But I will tell you that - without a doubt - it will change your life. And if you combine it with hard work and positive thinking, you will be practically unstoppable. You may find that hard to believe. It is a bit like trading - simple, yet hard. Thinking positive is simple. Meditating is simple. At the same time, they are also hard. And frustrating. You have to stick with them, be consistent, and practice daily to see the benefits. But the benefits will come, and they are life-changing.

How do you start meditating? I have read dozens of books on meditating. I took personal instruction back in the late 90s. There are a myriad of methods - becoming aware of your breathing, focusing on a fixed point or object, repeating a mantra, counting. None are wrong, you just have to find what is right for you. I started to meditate a dozen times over the past twenty years, but my most successful attempt only lasted a few months. I finally "broke through" several years back, and now I can't remember the last time I missed a day. Most days, I meditate two or three times. But every day I meditate at least once.

Do a Google search and you will find a lot of resources. If you don't mind spending a few dollars, I highly recommend MEDITATIONSHIFT - this is the method I use now, and I think it is the easiest to stick with and make work consistently. No matter what you choose, though, just do something. I would venture to say that developing the habit of meditating and positive thinking is the most important thing you can do to be successful in life, whatever the definition of success is to you.

Read my most recent post on "the meditaitonSHIFT" course here.

*I have written a lot about positive thinking over the years - check out these tags for more: thetadprinciple, mental.

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12 comments:

Attitude Trader said...

X-cellent! ;)

Thanks X.

-AT

Trader-X said...

Thank you kind sir. I liked your focus post the other day.

Grove Under said...

Trader-X:
Thanks, great advice.

Totally agree how meditation is different for everyone. For me, working out, taking a walk, listening to certain music, or eating an In-N-Out burger (too bad I no longer live nearby, sigh) helps to calm and focus the mind.

Times of Your Life said...

hahahaha excellent excellent...
great information...

all are very helpful

Tomross58 said...

Well done traderX and also the post by Attitude Trader on his blog was excellent reading.
I had practiced meditation yrs ago and stopped only to start recently. I have read many times to keep emotions out of trading and I just dont know how that is possible, but since starting to meditate again and focus on one thing I can allow the emotions to appear but not control me. My thoughts will control my actions and not allow my emotions to control my actions. I am not there yet but one step at a time.
Great job.

Tom

Attitude Trader said...

@Tom

Thanks!

@Trader-X

I'm glad you liked it. However, I appreciate that rather than giving us specific instructions on "how to," you've given us some insight into what it means to you, and the way these things have affected your life/trading.

I've edited my post to include a link to this one.

-AT

Kate said...

Very insightful. Thanks for the ideas!

Anonymous said...

http://www.forgottenbooks.org/info/9781440057199

A great book. Also, what i use in the morning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EINZRjt304A&feature=related

Harrison said...

Great post X. I am going to take another stab at meditating. I am a big fan of The Tad Principle, and I will check out Meditationshift.

Victor said...

Hey X, just curious, how long does your average meditation session last.

Thanks!

Victor said...

Hey X, just curious, how long does your average meditation session last.

Thanks!

Eric said...

have u studied the kuji kiri?