Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Is Your Trading Authentic?

My subway ride to the hedge fund where I'm working today was an interesting one.  I was standing on the platform waiting for the next train.  I was thinking about something I had read on the train ride from Connecticut to the city.  The gist of what I read was that, in biblical times, people worshiped by sacrificing animals.  Today our worship can take a different form:  by sacrificing our animal needs and desires and using them for spiritual growth and development.  Thus, for instance, I can work as a trading coach to accumulate money and material things, or I can work to become a meaningful part of people's and use the money earned to better my family and the world.  It's not that we fight against our animal nature; it's that we tame it, elevate it, and direct it wisely.  We can eat for gluttony or we can eat for health.

So that's what I was thinking about standing on the subway platform.  A young woman walked in front of me listening to music on headphones and bopping about.  She then turned around, walked in front of me again, and kept grooving to the music.  By the third time she did this, I felt a little distracted, a little annoyed.

The train stopped, we got on, and Ms. Headphones continued to bop on the train.  I was going to sit down, but I noticed a man lying down on the seat.  He was noticeably dirty and smelled bad.  My impression was that he was a homeless person.  I stood nearby but chose to not sit next to the man.

Ms. Headphones, still dancing to her music and smiling, took off the shawl she was wearing and wrapped it around the man.  She then offered him a piece of gum.  He looked up bleary eyed, took the shawl off of himself, wadded it up, and used it as a pillow.  She looked at me, we both smiled, and she continued her dance.

So I'm reading and thinking about using the animal/material world to achieve a higher purpose, but this young woman was actually living the lesson.  Out of her happiness--her dance--she freely gave of herself, oblivious to the man's appearance and smell. 

Authenticity is about living our truths, not just talking them or studying them.

How authentic is your trading?

If someone watched you trade, would they know what your plans were for the day?  Would they know what you were working on?  

There is talking the talk and there is walking the walk.  If we are not authentic in our trading--actually acting on our beliefs and understandings--all our plans and journal entries are empty.  There is a profound message in the young woman's actions:  we find our authenticity when we live our joy and we find joy when we are who we are meant to be.

Further Reading: