As I join the rest of you in mourning the tragic events recently at Virginia Tech, I can’t help but think about how this could have been avoided.
Obviously, the perpetrator of this heinous crime, Cho Seung-Hui, was a very disturbed young man. One of his notes reveals a glimpse into his mindset. He wrote “You caused me to do this.”
It is obvious from such a note that he was totally ignorant of the two most powerful principles of personal development:
- You are the captain of your destiny.
- You always have options.
Forget about reading dozens self-improvement books or going to high priced seminars. Always remember these two principles and act accordingly. You will be astounded at the positive changes in your life.
You Are Always In Control
What do I mean by “You are the captain of your destiny”? That you are always in control. That may seem a bit of an exaggeration since many times things happen to us which we can not control. But the most powerful way we “are in control” is in how we interpret and give meaning to experiences, rather than shaping or creating specific experiences in the first place.
In fact, what happens to you is almost irrelevant compared to how you yourself give meaning to it! The same experience can be interpreted differently by two people and go on to motivate completely different paths of action and destiny.
As you practice this principle, you become conscious of how you interpret life experiences; how you speak to yourself and how you give meaning to every day things. If someone passes you by and smiles, how do you interpret that? do you think, creep! or do you think, friendly guy. If someone leaves a comment on your blog saying that your contest is just a way to “spam”, do you get angry and lash out? or do you thank them for their point of view?
Options Are Empowering
The second principle is that in any given situation in life you always have more than one option. Always. If you can’t see more than one path, it isn’t that it doesn’t exist, it is probably because you are under stress and your creative response has been narrowed like a camera’s aperture.
Once you realize that you always have options, you feel empowered. You understand that in any situation you can act in any of several different ways. You can take you pick of several different reactions and decisions. You are never “forced” into doing something or feeling powerless. It is always your choice. The corollary, of course, is that from options comes a responsability for the choices we make (which takes us back to principle #1).
How Does This Relate to Trading?
Be conscious of how you give meaning to events related to your trading. Do you blame the market maker or specialist? do you refuse to take responsability when something goes wrong? how about interpreting a stressful event (blow-up, missed opportunity, running your stop loss, etc.) as a way to reflect on your current trading plan and improve it? or do you wallow in misery and think “I suck!”
Do you often think that you have to go buy? or have to be in the market? Says who? You always have choices. And they are so many! From what markets to trade, to which time frame to trade to which style to trade, etc. Step back and realize that you are making choices whether you realize it or not. Do you perhaps have a blind spot somewhere? are there choices which you are not even acknowledging?
Believe it or not, this is the type of material that top trading coaches like Dr. Ari Kiev cover. If you are interested in these topics, I encourage you to explore the field of “radical constructivism”, and to watch this video of Tony Robbins at last year’s TED conference.
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