Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Deepest Motivation Fueling Trading Success

Consider the above quote.

Note that it is *not* saying that the future belongs to those who believe in their dreams.  Rather, the future belongs to those who tap into the beauty of their dreams.

When something is beautiful, we are inspired by it; we're raised to a new level of awareness and feeling.  I recall seeing breathtaking icescapes on a boat trip through the Alaskan glacier region; I think of marveling at the beauty of my child as a baby; I love immersing myself in the beauty of music.  Beauty is transformative, taking the normal and making it extraordinary.

Dreams without beauty are tasks.  They lose their power to motivate.  Think of procrastinators:  they may very well have dreams, but there is no beauty.  Adding something to a to-do list is the surest sign that the activity lacks beauty.  No one needs a calendar reminder to ogle their baby, gaze at an icescape, or enjoy a finely crafted work of music.  

A great way to kill the soul is to start the day with chores--the knocking of items off a to-do list.  When we start a day without beauty, we live the day without inspiration.  And then we wonder why we don't generate brilliant ideas or see beneath the surface of market activity.  Perception and reasoning become rote when we no longer tap into the beauty of our dreams.

A wise rabbi pointed out to me that observant Jews recite a prayer called the Shema twice daily: in the morning and evening.  But the prayer is no mere recitation; it is meant to be a deeply felt emotional connection to the divine.  In order to achieve that deeply felt state, there are warm-up prayers, as it were, that evoke inspirational imagery.  The deep appreciation of beauty cannot be turned on and off like a light switch.  It needs to be cultivated, evoked.

So it is in many faiths.  We fast before a major religious event; we hear music and sing at a wedding ceremony.  We evoke beauty, because that is what connects us to the power of our deepest beliefs and aspirations.

We often will start a day with physical exercise, recognizing that energizing the body can help energize our day.  Rarely, however, will we perform emotional exercise and cultivate the states in which we have greatest drive and resilience.  It's great to set goals and organize our day.  Unless we connect to the beauty of our dreams, however, we'll be like cars operating on half its engine cylinders.  There's a world of difference between setting goals in a journal and immersing ourselves in the beauty of our dreams.

Further Reading:  Achieving Our Trading Dreams