Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One of the Best Life Lessons I've Learned

Back in the day, I was a graduate student in psychology at the University of Kansas, and I got it into my head that I wanted to experience the other side of the business. So I looked around for a therapist who would be willing to see me for the modest fees I could afford to pay.

Liz was a Jungian analyst, which meant that dream interpretation formed a large part of our work together.

In one notable dream, I was riding in a huge roller-coaster. To my right, there was a lever, which had 10 settings for one's "coefficient of experience".

I couldn't decide on the setting for the lever; the roller-coaster was pretty steep and intimidating. I wound up choosing an 8, but was none too comfortable with the setting.

Liz's comment on the dream stood out for me:

Sometimes anxiety points to our growth.

We're all most comfortable with what lies within our comfort zones, of course. Once we leave the comfort zone, we experience anxiety and uncertainty. But we cannot grow if we forever stay in comfort. We need a high enough coefficient of experience to ensure that we'll be anxious...always stretching ourselves a bit farther than comes easily or naturally.

So often traders look to me to reduce their anxiety.

But sometimes the best strategy is to follow your anxiety and take that ride beyond the comfort zone.