Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Creating New and Better Habits for the New Year

Recently, Mike Bellafiore at SMB Capital has been emphasizing the idea of positive habit formation with his traders.  It's a great focus for the new year:  developing the patterns of thought and behavior that help us achieve our goals.  Here's an excellent video from James Clear, based on his new book, Atomic Habits.  An important point made by the video is that we can transform our experience of ourselves one small behavior at a time, as we internalize whatever it is that we do.  Of course, that can also work in reverse:  when we fall into bad habits, we can internalize the sense of being lazy, unproductive, undisciplined, etc.

Here's an interesting video from Tony Robbins that connects changes in our behavior to changes in our emotional and physical states.  The implication is that we don't have to repeat the common pattern of making new year's resolutions, only to see them fall by the wayside.  We can use our emotional and physical states to trigger the right behaviors and we can change our behaviors to form new and powerful habit patterns.

In the book that I am currently writing, I describe how the great spiritual traditions of the world provide us with powerful tools for changing our states and accessing our strengths.  This has important implications for traders:  the great trades come from the soul, not the ego.  In developing ourselves spiritually, we can find greater success in the material world.  This is because we move beyond ego-based motivations and reactions and more consistently access who we truly are.  

In short, we will not transform our trading by staring at screens, hanging on each tick of profit or loss.  We will not transform our trading by pushing, pushing, pushing to get bigger, bigger, bigger in our trades.  Nor will we transform our trading by focusing on every move that we don't monetize.

Spirituality, too, can become a habit.  Lots of good things can happen when our best practices and greatest strengths become our consistent processes.

Further Reading: