If you are like most people, you need to world to be a certain way in order for you to be satisfied.
You get upset when the person in front of you drives too slow when your friend does not answer his message even though he read it, when the waiter in the restaurant does not smile or when your spouse isn’t understanding enough. This is how most people go through life and their happiness depends on outside circumstances and how others behave.
If your level of happiness depends on things that are not in your control, you become the playball and the victim. You can try as hard as you want, but you cannot control everything that is happening around you at all times.
Such a perspective on life will not only make you unhappy, but you will feel frustrated and helpless. Because everything that seems to matter to you, you have no influence over.
In order to live a truly happy life, you must be in the driver seat. Your happiness must depend on things you can control. It all starts by making a mental shift towards realizing the aspects of your daily life you actually have control over.
Don’t complain about the weather, just wear the right clothes and appreciate the beauty of the water falling out of the sky. Stop with the road rage, traffic won’t move faster; turn on a nice podcast and make use of the time. Annoyed by your lively kid? Be happy that you have a healthy kid with energy. Upset that the in-flight WIFI is too slow? Appreciate the fact that you can travel through space in an iron box and get to any place in the world you want.
You get the idea. Of course, life won’t be blissful and amazing at all times, but YOU have the power to interpret it in a positive way. Reality is a pretty subjective thing. You can expose 100 people to the exact same thing and everyone will have a different interpretation and feel differently about it.
What do you control in trading?
This also holds true in trading. You can choose to focus on things like the latest FED announcement, worry about HFT traders manipulating the market, brokers hunting stops or the next black swan event that might be just around the corner. Of course, this will not only drive you crazy because of all the uncertainty, but it will also make you feel like a victim because you have no control over those things.
Instead, think of all the things that are under your control. You are the one that controls when to trade and when you stay out. You determine your position size and how much you are willing to risk. You are responsible for how much time you put in and, therefore, how prepared you are.
You see, those things are all much more important than the ones that you cannot control. Once you realize that you are the one in the driver seat, you can trade with confidence and make better trading decisions.