Today I want to try and “translate for you”, an interesting post which I read a few days ago on the web, making it more relevant to the Trading theme.
It is an article written by Joel Gascoigne (Founder of Buffer, an application designed for Twitter which is making a splash in the US) and which is entitled “6 things I do to be constantly happy.”
The article once again emphasises the basic concept on which we work here at SurfingThePips.com – happiness makes money and not the other way around.
As you read from the first lines of the article, the author seems to be in complete agreement with us: One of the most important things I’ve learned (…) is that I perform the best when I’m happy. It really does change everything. If I’m happy then I’m more productive when hacking code, I’m better at answering support, and I find it easier to stay focused.
Let us now look at these 6 things in detail:
1) Wake up early.
And here the topic becomes interesting. Surely there are people who claim to be more productive at night, because of the silence and, as a dear gentleman I met at a monastery in Borgogna was saying “In the night, I always go out for a walk in order to think because at that time there are less people around who think, the air is devoid of negative waves”.
This is true. It is also true, however, that the night, as my wise friend was saying, is perfect for activities nearer to the world of poetry, reflection, dreams (even daydreams). It has been proved that primordial populations, accustomed to waking up at sunrise and going to bed at sunset, once in contact with the West and the electric light began to suffer from the typical ills of our society – anxiety, depression, stress, etc…
Living in sync with the sun will always bring benefits to human beings. Except for certain artists, I agree with our blogger, waking up early helps us to be happy, undoubtedly.
But how do we reconcile this advice with our favourite activity, trading in Forex?
Well, this depends chiefly on where we are geographically spread around the globe. In my opinion the most fortunate ones are the Europeans and the Asians. Why? Because, as some of you already know, my favourite session for trading is the London session, which starts around 8:00 a.m. GMT. In Europe, if we wake up at dawn, we will have plenty of time to prepare for operations, if we are in Asia we could even have another normal work activity during the day and devote ourselves to trading in the late afternoon.
If instead we are in the United States it is rather complicated. I always recommend to strictly avoid ruining your sleep by waking up at night in order to trade the London session and to become experts of the one in NY instead, which is much more difficult but equally profitable if you learn to manage it.
2) Do physical exercise
Even here I totally agree. I personally practice a series of physical exercises which I distribute throughout the day. In the morning just before breakfast, in mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I’m not a fan of very strenuous sport. I like the middle way. I do not like effort, ever. As compared to running I prefer something that looks more like a brisk walk or swimming. I prefer yoga to bodybuilding, Tai Chi to karate.
Over the years I have built a roadmap as per which if I have to do very intense activity I do it in the morning before trading, and for every two hours spent before the computer screen I have to dedicate at least 15 minutes to quick exercises of Kundalini Yoga (a perfect discipline to unload stress) and in the evening when I stop work I spend time doing stretching exercises and Pranayama yoga which is more oriented towards breathing.
There are no words to describe the improvement in mental well-being that you will be able to achieve through regular physical exercise. All done without exaggeration. Even this should not become an addiction, do what it takes, what is strictly necessary without substituting sport for our life. We are traders, let’s not forget that.
3) Knowing how to disconnect
Well, regarding this point, we could write a lot about our Forex System. In fact we are almost always “disconnected” because we look at the market once every half hour. Furthermore, our operations have specific times. We trade only during the Prime Time of the Forex market, when the major trading is concentrated, that is, from 9 am (C.E.T) to 16:30. Then … goodbye monitor.
We let our trade for the next 4 hours be handled automatically by our Autosurf EA and until the next day I do not want to hear about trading. If you want to ruin your life continue being stuck to the monitor, you will lose precious years and your health. If you want to sleep badly go to bed immediately after switching off Metatrader.
If you want to have a horrible family life, leave your PC on with the Forex while your wife or your children return home. Please, do not forget to separate well the moments of your day. When we are OFF, we are OFF, there is no set-up that can keep us, at a certain time, we stop trading. This is also because outside Prime Time the Forex and even other markets move very little, and remember, you can make a lot of money when the market goes up, and when it goes down, but not when it is standing still.
4) Help others
Once again I couldn’t agree more with our blogger friend. I am a concrete example of how helping others brings much happiness. And we know very well what brings much happiness. I started sharing my strategy and after a few months I was managing wealth which I never imagined I could handle.
Or rather, to be honest, yes I did imagine it, but I never thought I would manage it so quickly. This happened because I helped others. I taught others what I had learned, I did not follow those who say that if you learn something you have to keep it a secret, instead, I followed those who teach that the more you give the more you receive, or, in other words, what you do not give you will never receive.
5) Learn new things
Even here there would be a lot to write. Here I would like to make a brief note. As you know the Secret Patterns are an important part of our strategy. I discovered these patterns by reading the price like a book. Going back in time, letting myself be hypnotized by the curves in the Metatrader chart, by the sudden changes in direction, abandoning myself completely, without judgment, making sure that it was my intuition to guide me.
I did this every weekend and I still do it today. You never stop learning. He who stops is lost. There are no patterns that work forever. They work for months, sometimes for years, but later they stop making money. Only those who study the market, and are eager to learn, win in the long term. So yes, always put aside a part of the week, however small, to do what I call our “Research & Development.”
6) Try to have more “success options”
What do “success options” mean? It means that even if at the end of the day your account is negative, and you have lost a few pips, you may have done good to your body, you are leaner and more agile. Or maybe you realize that now in the evening you have become a better person, your wife or your children look at you with less resentful eyes. Or maybe someone who you once taught a trick, invited you to a fantastic weekend at his villa by the sea, completely free of cost. There is everything to gain, even when you lose.
This is the secret, if you understand it.
Davide Franceschini | Chief Trader