Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Radical Renewal: A New Book on the Spirituality of Trading

I am finishing the editing of my new book, Radical Renewal, and will be publishing it in the next few days.  Below is a bit of a preview.

First off, the book is being written in blog format, which means that each chapter will be a blog post and readers can click from one chapter to another to read the book.  Because it's written in this format, there will be many links included in the text, allowing readers to pursue topics of interest.  The online/blog format of the book will also enable readers to ask questions and make comments, and it will make it easy for me to respond and update the text periodically.  Perhaps best of all, the format allows anyone with an online connection anywhere in the world to download the book free of charge.

It's a way of giving back to a trading community that has given me so much.

The main ideas behind the book are:

1)  The major problems we encounter in trading are not just psychological.  Rather, they are problems that occur when our egos interfere with our information processing and decision-making.  It is precisely because trading is such a profit/loss, materialistic pursuit that it grabs our fear, greed, and needs for validation and status and makes it difficult to simply listen to and follow markets with an open mind.

2)  There are many spiritual traditions around the world, including the great religions and belief systems of the East and West, that provide tools and understandings for getting past our egos and grounding ourselves in larger realities.  The chatter that makes up our self-talk *is* our ego.  Spirituality is all about cleaning out the clutter in our heads and accessing our souls.  If there is one key idea to the book it's that great trading comes from the soul, not the ego.

3)  When we develop ourselves spiritually, we connect with what we find meaningful in life.  We ground ourselves in our strengths:  our activities give us energy rather than deplete us.  This renewal can be part of an ongoing lifestyle that impacts all areas of life, including our trading, our work, and our relationships.  When we spend more time "in the zone" of our flow states, we are best able to detect and act upon patterns in markets.  When we are ego-consumed, there is no flow.  We end up trading what we want to see or what we're afraid of seeing, not what is actually happening.

4)  There are three major paths of spiritual development across the world's traditions that can renew our lives and our trading:  the path of radical joy; the path of radical peace; and the path of radical repentance.  When we connect with others in communities that affirm spiritual values, we internalize those paths.  Much of our access to the soul comes from how we treat our bodies and how we interact with others.

The big message is that how we trade ultimately reflects how we live.  We cannot trade in disciplined ways if we live undisciplined lives.  We cannot have minds open to markets if we're filled with our internal chatter.  It's not enough to write journal entries and perform exercises for a few minutes when we go on tilt.

Trading well flows from living well.