Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Importance of Your Trading Environment: Lessons From Aries

Well, our youngest rescue cat, Aries, has been with us for a year and has a new lesson to offer.  The last lesson from the black tabby was a thought experiment:  Suppose a movie was being made of your life.  Would you want to watch it?  The answer to that question tells us a lot about the path we're on.

Aries was in an apartment for the earliest part of his life, but didn't fare well.  He ran around, knocked things over, chewed through furniture and power cords, and otherwise created havoc.  We didn't want to see him placed in a rescue shelter if that could be avoided, so we took him in.

It was a total change of environment for Aries.  He now had three girl cats to play with and a house with four floors and more cat toys than we can count.  He still ran around and played actively, but no longer destroyed anything.  In one setting, he was disruptive and destructive; in an enriched setting, he has become a loving family member and a great companion.  (As I write this, he's sitting at my feet, listening to our favorite music).

Our environments can facilitate our needs or thwart them.  Our environments can either bring out the best in us or frustrate us.  Sometimes we focus on changing ourselves when the reality is that we need an interpersonal, work, and physical environment that helps us be the best possible versions of ourselves.  We spend far too little time on optimizing our environments at home and work.

Recently, there was an insightful Twitter stream on the topic of loneliness and trading.  The reality for many traders--myself included--is that trading can be fulfilling as an activity, but completely barren socially.  For others, the trading environment can be barren intellectually, leaving us dead from the neck up.  How many traders are like Aries, acting out of frustration, not because they lack self-control, but because they are in the wrong settings?  Might it be possible that a different, more enriched setting could bring out the best in you as a trader?

That's a great vision for 2020.

Further Reading: