Finding a Balance
Are you having trouble finding a balance between your trading and the rest of your life? Since you took up trading, do you seem to be possessed by it? Trading can be all-consuming. You don't seem to have time for your family, or any recreational activities. Is it always going to be that way? Have you gotten into something in which you are now trapped?
What I'm describing is what happens to many people when they first get involved with the markets. Learning to trade can be an all-consuming effort. In fact, it is so all-encompassing, that even if you are failing, you keep on trying to make it work because you have so much time and money invested in it that you simply can't let go. So you continue putting time and money into the effort until you are financially or emotionally exhausted—sometimes both.
Life demands a balance between emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual energy forces. If one part of a trader's life is overly focused on money, his family life loses its balance and falls. The ability to have and maintain long-term loving relationships defines a true winner perhaps better than any other characteristic. When material values replace emotional and spiritual values, the meaning of money needs to be examined. Why does a trader want money? It is a "means value," not an "ends value." Either the trader takes responsibility and creates his life's balance, or life and its participants do it for him.
A few years ago, we heard from a trader in Germany who was living in his car. The car, laptop, and the clothes on his back was about all he had left. He lost his home, his wife, and his children due to being obsessed with trading. But in spite of all his losses, he was still consumed with trying to win in the markets. This example, along with others, shows what can happen when you lose your balance.