Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Although “attitude” is not mentioned in the titles of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, happiness is what Habit #1 is all about.
Steven Covey claims, “You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.” Habit #1 says: Be Proactive. This habit is all about taking responsibility for your life. The reader is encouraged to recognize when he or she is reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control. He states that the problems, challenges, and opportunities we face fall into two areas–Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence. Those that we can do nothing about fall into the Circle of Concern. Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. Gaining an awareness of the areas where we expend our energies is a giant step in becoming proactive. How does this apply to trading?
Let’s look at these two categories of problems, challenges and opportunities as we consider influences of our trading attitude.
I’ll divide a few issues that we face into broad categories for your consideration. Then, let’s determine whether they fall into our Circle of Concern or our Circle of Influence.
We at OptionsAnimal believe that education is the way to trading success. We offer a top-of-the-line education for trading options on equities in the open market. The curriculum is a robust journey from market and options basics through tools used to analyze conditions and set up actions triggers and ends with a creative challenge to mix and match the gems learned in the basics to structure any strategy that is most likely supported by the current market environment, whatever that environment is. There’s a lot to learn in this field. Which category do you think it falls into? Certainly, we have control over our willingness to spend our energy in the educational process, so it’s in the Circle of Influence.
2. World Economies
The US financial market came within a whisper of collapsing in 2008. Recovery has been slow, painful, and downright scary. Several European countries are on the verge of bankruptcy. The large industrialized countries are in disagreement about currency manipulation that affects imports and exports worldwide. Banks aren’t lending. Neighbors are losing their houses. Anger and frustration is being vocalized more than ever.
Is this in our Circle of Influence or Circle of Concern? I’d say that each of us has control over whether our voices join those who are loudly expressing their anger and frustration, but beyond that, our control of these circumstances is extremely limited.
We may believe that we have no control over our emotions; that they emerge when a trigger strikes a chord within us. However, remember the quote from Steven Covey above. We CHOOSE how we react to events or circumstances. “How do you drop a hot coal that lands in your hand? You just let it go.” First is to recognize that the emotion doesn’t serve any good. Then you must consciously let it go. Our emotional control is definitely in our Circle of Influence. It’s up to each of us to apply techniques that are effective in controlling those emotions that are damaging to us.
Time is going to pass. No matter what we do, we cannot stop the advance of time. Having no control over time, it is in our Circle of Concern. However, how we use our time is definitely in our Circle of Influence. If you’re willing to look at what you do with the time that you have, you can set priorities on your daily and weekly activities to express your most important life values.
Within the limits of time and space given me here, I’ll leave you with the thought that your attitude is very important to your trading success. What do you do each day to protect your attitude? (I call this the Psychological Bank Account that each of us has.) Do you actively apply your time to creating happiness, success, and fulfillment? Or do you spend your time dealing within the Circle of Concern, over which you have little or no control?
Today is a GIFT, that’s why we call it the PRESENT. Make it the best day it can possibly be!
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