Saturday, February 20, 2016

How Twitter is Corrupting Your Mindset and Limiting Your Potential in Life!

Crazy title right, considering you're probably reading this on Twitter. What I should have really said is "How Social Media is Corrupting your Mindset and Limiting your Potential in Life!". Well, let’s see if I can keep you interested as to why I'm saying this.

I was going through Twitter a couple weeks ago and someone tweeted "Rule of #trading: If it seems easy, you are doing it wrong." These are the kind of comments that slowly corrupt your mindset. The worst part is it was someone who I respected. What in the world does this actually mean? I asked the person to clarify, and they didn’t respond, I responded with an unfollow. It literally makes zero sense to me. People talk about how hard trading is way too often, and I don't know if it’s to make themselves feel better about struggling, or some other strange reason. I have never seen an interview where Michael Jordan points out the obvious of how hard it was to be the best player in the world. Yes, of course trading isn't easy, but here is the catch 22, nothing is! It takes a tremendous amount of work and persistence to become great at anything.  It’s amazing how important the law of repetition is. Whatever you repeat to your mind it will start to believe, as your mind doesn't know the difference between reality and imagination.

Twitter/social media develops ego/narcissism whether you like it or not. It’s a natural emotion that everyone has in them. If you can control it, then you will likely succeed to a greater level than the ones that continue to allow it to control them. Trading is about controlling your emotions and taking ego out of the picture. Everything you do in life reflects on the results you will get out of trading. You can be the most humble person in real life but post bullshit on Twitter that is egotistic. This will not help you and actually will funnel into your trading subconsciously.  

I will say it again as I think it’s very important. Everything you do in life will fall back on to you and your trading as that's what this is about. If you’re super emotional in life do you really think that you will be a stone in trading? It’s really as simple as that. Next time you look at that dessert, chocolate bar, whatever it is you crave and you can’t say ‘no’ , what does that say about your discipline? You know it’s not good for you and you don't need it. The same way you don't need to hold onto a loser or add to a one. You know that it is bad for you too but if you aren't disciplined in life it will funnel back into your subconscious mind and unfortunately disrupt your trading. I'm not saying this to help you change your diet. You can eat whatever you want, but rather I am attempting to prove a point as to how the two relate. Work on discipline in life and it will greatly transpire into your trading.

Wasting your time and everyone else's posting sarcastic memes so you can attempt to make yourself feel smarter, possibly fit in more, whatever silly reason it might be, it does not result in you becoming a better person nor a better trader which is the overall goal. If you’re bored pick up a real hobby: go to your local supermarket, grab some yarn and a needle, and start knitting. At least it will result in a skill. These folks that feel the need to call people idiots on Twitter for buying something up or bashing someone is extremely small minded and they don't realize it’s actually hurting them more than anything.

Ray Dalio, Warren Buffet, Paul Tudor Jones. Some of the very best in the world. Do they do this? No, because they know they don't need to occupy their mind with such garbage. They have better things to do and that's why they're some of the best in the world. I always ask myself 'What would these guys think/do" before I do something so silly as such.

These folks are either after gaining followers to help them sleep at night or looking for the response from others to laugh and agree so they feel funny and smart. As I hope you know the more you tweet the more follows you will gain, its simple math. If you see me pop up on your feed more, there is a better chance of you following me. I use Twitter strictly for business as I take trading very seriously. You have to wonder what the true quality of their real life is when they need self-gratification from random strangers on the Internet. They don't realize it but there is a small part of them that is insecure about something. So they use this outlet such as Twitter to avoid the reality of whatever that might be. It’s like an overweight person buying a size up rather than fixing the current problem that their jeans no longer fit. People want instant gratification and the “easy way out,” instead of addressing the problem head on and fixing it.

Next you hear the "live a little" line from someone, these are the same folks that are out complaining about results.

I could go on and on about the folks that post alerts then later tweet, "Crushed it!" I personally don't get it. What does "crushed" really mean? You just completed your best trade? Your process was great? You were pushed out of your comfort zone in a good way? Then executed with great preparation? Or did you only tweet so folks thought you were good at trading and you enjoy a ego boost every now and then. It really is confusing.

It makes you think maybe I should post an alert that’s late which doesn’t help anyone, and 30 minutes later congratulate myself about it. Will this really help me develop as a person and a trader though? The whole idea of psychological growth is to act as if nothing is new when you achieve it, as if you expect it. If one is to get so excited over such a small milestone this will block them from achieving a bigger one as you have fooled the mind into believing this was important and this is a peak accomplishment.

I don't post anymore because I don't want to portray a fake image. I'm working on my self development and that is all that matters to me currently. There are literally 5-6 guys at most that I look up to on Twitter. Too many of these Twitter traders give off an image that they are rich and successful. Many that folks look up to don’t even trade anymore or are in fact struggling just like anyone else. Their social media presence is much higher then the reality behind it. 

It’s like the popular kids in high school; you want to be in that group, it seems like they get all the girls, do all the "cool" things then you graduate and 4 years later and realize that none of that matters anymore. It’s the same thing as this community feeling on Twitter. Of course everyone’s goals are different and this community feeling might be your peak and you wish to grow nothing more than the traders on Twitter. If this is so then I don't want to waste anymore of your time, and I will stop you right here.

I can maybe understand it in the honeymoon phase. It happened to me too; you make a couple bucks, you want to feel like you're apart of something bigger, so you post a few things on Twitter which result in some nice comments. The same way you tell people you just got married. But 2-3 years in do you still tell people that?  If you do then well you beat me in making a point.

This is a question that bounces around way too much and I'm going to settle this once and for all; "How much money is enough money for Trading?" The answer is there is no answer. You need as much money as you are willing to work for. The less you start with the harder you are going to have to work, as your margin for error is incredibly small with a smaller account. If you start with $100,000 and your buddy starts with $1,000,000, you are going to have to work 10x as hard if not more to succeed. No one really wants to hear the truth behind this one. They want that easy number that will make them feel secure. The reality is that your workload is going to being insane with a smaller account. Many struggle with this only because their work ethic is not as strong as the ones that make it through. Not only harder but smarter. Think outside the box. Network with others. Punch in hours no one else is willing to. Trading is no different than anything else you do in life. You have to make a lifestyle change to accomplish any big goal. Everything is second to whatever that goal is.

It doesn’t matter if you have bills and families to pay for: we all do. If you really want something bad enough you will make it happen. Is it a coincidence that all these stories you hear about great athletes or successful people come from poverty or tough childhoods? They didn't want that for their family when they grew up so they put their all into their goals and achieved it. When it’s your #1 priority, there are no limits. As Tony Robbins says, It only takes a second to change, you just have to commit to it. That's really the bigger problem here as to why trading is preached to be 'so hard' is because most of the folks on Twitter that you see have the work ethic of a seal. They want all these handouts. If someone is a great news follow find ways on how you can develop that area yourself. Be proactive.

Many think to themselves, “I'd love to trade one day, make it full-time.” Hold up. Is this your TRUE passion and goal in life? If so, your goals need to be bigger as you can do this tomorrow. With a simple decision to do so. Build a plan and dive at it. Believe in yourself and most importantly remind yourself that nothing is impossible. There should be no excuses. Just do it. Whatever you believe you can achieve. Mindset is so key I can not stress it enough.

Here's an interview on Tiger Woods. You can watch the whole interview if you want but I started it at the goal setting psychology part. He is a great person to study as he changed the face of golf. His mental game trumped everyone else’s.

I will leave you with this:

In December, I was fortunate enough to have a dinner with one of the founders of a great brokerage firm along with one of the most respected traders on Twitter. It was a great evening. I gave them this pitch on how I was going to look to branch out in 2016, and maybe get into real estate to broaden my income. They were skeptical, and thankfully so. I didn't realize I was corrupting my own mindset by doing so. They asked, “Why not just get even better at trading?” At first I thought, “Well I’ve seen many folks use real estate to gain income and become very successful.” But days later on the plane ride home a light bulb went off. What if these guys are actually right? I was wasting energy on small growth and subconsciously telling myself I didn't fully believe in my trading. That is why I'm saying let this blog digest. As that dinner might have saved me a very successful career in trading, thankfully I took the time to reflect on their thoughts.

I sincerely hope many can see a different light after reading this. I know it will be just another read for many but the few folks that embrace it, embody it and do make a change, I promise you, benefits will arise. 

If this post even helps one person I will be happy.



P.S. Your life is built through the decisions you make, everyone has the right to do whatever they choose I am simply just trying to shine a light on a different angle.