This is one the many things that can be holding back your trading results.
What is it?
It is when you venture from the realm of analyzing information flow for your own trading, towards trying to save the world.
Let me explain.
There are aspiring traders trying to learn how to trade and about Global Macro, and they start reading the headlines and news about the European negotiations with Greece, etc. They are doing a good thing – which is plugging themselves into the information flow. However, you can take it too far.
How do you know when you take it too far?
When you stop focusing on what is the trading impact to your portfolio from what is happening in Europe, and venture into the realm of analyzing why Greece or another periphery country got into trouble. Where you try to find solutions to another country’s problem, etc.
It is sort of like trying to figure out and save someone who you know has bad habits. You can analyze them, figure out why they do what they do, and even come up with some pretty epic and masterful solutions. But they don’t want to implement them. They are just interested in doing their own thing.
It is the same thing here – just on a larger country scale.
You can go figure out why a country in Europe got into trouble. You can go empathize with them. You can go try to figure out what is the best debt solution structure for them.
Yes… and then what is going to happen? Is someone in a position of power in Europe or the periphery countries going to listen to your ideas and implement them?
This is a mistake I made long ago, and I have to remind myself from time to time to make sure I don’t make it again.
The reason I am writing this is because quite recently someone asked me about: what I think of the new Greek government, what I think of Merkel, what I think of financial plight of the periphery countries, what I think of austerity, etc. These are all questions, where, even if I could somehow come up with the perfect answer, it won’t matter much to myself or the world.
All of these meaningless questions. Who cares? The only thing I care about is if there is macro and financial market impact, and if so, how to make money off of it. If the situation is too complicated, then I only bet a little or not at all.
As Ray Dalio said:
“Sometimes, when I know that I don’t know which way the coin is going to flip, I try to position myself so that it won’t have an impact on me either way. In other words, I don’t make an inadvertent bet. I try to limit my bets to the limited number of things I am confident in.”
Which is why you want to make sure you ask the right questions – that can help make you money. Not the wrong questions, where, even if you got the perfect answer to, you aren’t going to make anything and it is not going to enrich your life in any way. Not in more health. Not in more wealth. Not in more happiness.
As Robert Ringer said in his wonderful book: Getting What You Want:
“If you wish to make a serious contribution to world peace and prosperity, I suggest you use your time and energy to improve the one person over which you not only have meaningful control, but have the moral authority to control: you.”
Therefore, convince yourself, that one of the best and greatest ways to strengthen the world, is by strengthening yourself. To make yourself physically fit, mentally agile and flexible and principle and truth based. To make yourself financially abundant, by mastering the powerful, highly relevant and practical trading strategies of the old and new market wizards.
Doing that, will give you much more power and influence, than trying to ruminate about what to make of and how to solve another person’s or another country’s problems.
So stop trying to save the world. Stop trying to carry the weight of the country or the world on your shoulders. Especially when you have not “made it” yet, and don’t have the Big Money. The early years are needed for you to improve your skill, grow, establish powerful habits and systems, etc. If you worry about the world’s troubles, that may not even affect you if you are living in a developed country, then you are needlessly holding yourself back. That is self sabotage of the most powerful degree.
It is called individual freedom and achievement for a reason. Not country achievement or group achievement.
If you do happen to focus too much on trying to save the world, at the expense of your own ambition, then 5 or 10 years may go by, and nothing much may have happened in your life.
If you want a simple action step – just take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle to form two columns. These two columns exercise are some my favorite that I have used for years. It presents clear choices and vision.
On the left column you put all your worries and fantasies you have about saving the world.
On the right column, you put all the things you can do to strengthen YOURSELF and your family. So you can be a more valuable and stronger person in the world – financially, mentally, physically, etc.
Fill them up with five or ten or as many as you would like, and then proceed to play out the scenarios in your mind of what would your life look like if you were to follow each column. That should help give you clarity.
Why do some people put themselves through the pain and frustration of trying to save the world? Who knows? It can be the mysteries of life.
One reason, is that people have not developed their own ambition and vision for their life. They have not designed their life. And they are so frightened about focusing on themselves. They don’t want to expose their own weaknesses and inefficiencies. That is also why people gossip. As Eric Hoffer said in the book The True Believer:
“A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”
Another reason is that many young people may have thought at one time or another that they can save the world. These messianic fantasies. Even George Soros said he had them!
“If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me into trouble.”
He realized that he had to curb them, and focus on his own ambition and achievement and financial abundance. He eventually did philanthropy. But he did not start until he had made tens of millions of dollars.
A long time ago – I used to be what you could call an “armchair economist.” Someone who sat in a chair and read about what was going on in the world and make my predictions of what should happen in the world and what each country should do and what policies they should pursue, and share and debate such thoughts with other people. I still know people who do this. They read Bloomberg.com and BusinessInsider.com and think they know how to trade and forecast global economies. The thought that perhaps they should study it more and develop mastery may never cross their mind.
I eventually realized it was all a giant waste of time. I had to change my philosophy and beliefs and life and the markets.
Thankfully, I made the switch to focusing on global macro trading and taking that road less traveled by. And it has made all the difference.
Stick around, for I will share many more stories with you. One of them about a trading dream I had in my sleep that I was actually able to write down before I forgot it. And many more.
Note: If you are looking for the powerful trading strategies that can transform your trading, then click here.