Earlier this week, I was geeking out with a friend and discussing what movie had the biggest impact on us as children. For me, it was easy – “Star Wars,” of course. There is no doubt the special effects, lightsabers and good versus evil storyline was engaging. But it was only later in life that I realized a relatively minor piece of the storyline had a lasting impact on me. I’m talking about The Force. Evidently, I’m not the only one. In 2001, “Jedi” became the fourth most popular religion in the United Kingdom.
I saw the original Star Wars when I was ten years old, and it changed my life. We all have faith in something; usually a mixture of some personal beliefs with modern science. It was only later when I became a religious studies major in college that I realized the force referred to a common theme found in all world religions… The oneness or force that connects all things in life. That idea shows up as a “universal concept” in all the major world religions ranging from Christianity to Judaism, to Buddhism, and even Islam. The ability to see how apparently disparate parts are interdependent and interconnected has served me well in both my personal and professional life.
Here are some life lessons I learned from the Star Wars movies that also applies to becoming a Jedi Day Trader:
When Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn is fighting Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, a transparent door closes, dividing them. Darth Maul paces back and forth ready to continue their battle while Qui-Gon quietly sits and rests, seemingly doing nothing.
Often in day trading, we feel like we have to be like Darth Maul. Searching, finding a “move,” being anxious, stressed, waiting for doors to open. But, for a Jedi Day Trader, it is better just to rest and be calm and not move when you don’t have to. “Become like water my friend.”
Obi-Wan lives a simple life in exile for 40 years when he’s on Tatooine. Yoda, a Jedi Master, lives in a simple swamp hut after he loses his battle with the Emperor. They were still capable of laughing, of living, of staying healthy and were able to train the next generation. They didn’t need anything to keep them entertained. I believe most of us enter into day trading motivated by the money. But in my opinion, money is a byproduct of success. A Jedi Day Trader knows that a truly abundant life is one with a strong family, good friends, and a healthy body.
Being a good, compassionate person is a quality we develop over years and thousands of hours of practice. Most people I meet are good to others, but hard on themselves. In the pursuit of becoming a Jedi Day Trader, you can be your worst critic. It takes practice to be the person who is a source of self-compassion and honesty.
In all of the movies, I never saw an out of shape Jedi. Although there seems to be a profound spiritual component to being a Jedi, clearly there is a physical aspect as well. They are jumping out of spaceships, fighting with light sabers, and they can probably run a four-minute mile. Heck, even Yoda at the age of 800 is jumping all over the place.
Health is more important than sickness. A healthy body keeps illness at bay. If you let trading wear you down, it will start to impact your ability to effectively evaluate market activity and act accordingly. A bad trade always hurts. It’s how you deal with the pain of loss that keeps you in the game. Exercise and eating correctly are not an option. It is a requirement for any Jedi Day Trader. Being in mental and physical shape will enable peak performance.
Once Anakin Skywalker starts hanging out with Darth Sidious, he becomes a villain. Here are some things that are hard in life: being honest with yourself, being kind to others, and trying to add value to your community. These things take time and energy. When you interact with people who steal your energy or promote negativity, then fighting the good fight becomes even harder. For example, there are a few “popular” trading forums on the Net. It’s been my experience that most of these sites are frequented by angry, cynical people with an ax to grind.
When a wise man hears of the Way, he immediately begins to live it.
When an average man hears of the Way, he believes some of it and doubts the rest.
When a foolish man hears of the Way, he laughs out loud at the very idea.
If it were not for that laugh, it would not be the Way.
– Tao Te Ching
This point of view is one of the differences between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in the original Star Wars. Luke is willing to believe. You will come across a lot of traders who evangelize their one true way. They are so attached to their point of view they feel compelled to aggressively defend it. When you find yourself hearing, “This IS the only way,” be ready to open your mind and always question the source. A Jedi Day Trader knows there is no magical answer. There are only techniques to learn in the pursuit of honing your tradecraft.
Luke has to watch Obi-Wan die. Han has to be captured by bounty hunters. Anakin has to be recruited as a little kid. Qui-Gon has to die. Yoda has to go into exile. Bad things happen. But if you follow steps one through six, bad things occur in cycles. Good things also. Trust yourself, continually practice and maintain a strong body and mind. Be a Jedi Day Trader… CLICK HERE to Use the Force!
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