The reason I called this my personal paradise was because to me, this day represented how I want to live the rest of my life. In general I'm not a big fan of being enclosed in tight spaces and I'm also not a big fan of being locked in to a work schedule every day. I look at myself as a leader and although I am able to take criticism I hate not to be given a choice. Having this free time was something that I haven't been accustomed to since 10th grade. In high school I always was involved in an extracurricular activity both on the weekdays and weekends. In college I was a varsity athlete which took up a good chunk of my day between practice, films and rehab. Not to mention the jobs I had as well to earn spending money. And after college I went straight to grad school while working from basically 7:30am to 8:00 at night everyday doing everything from volunteering at the YMCA for school credit, to working in the school district with children with behavioral health conditions, to coaching track in the afternoon, and get this...working as a janitor cleaning banks and daycares at night. All at the same time trying to complete online classes for a graduate degree that I really wasn't interest in.
Those examples weren't given to receive pity or anything like that. there are millions of people that continue to do this on a daily basis. I'm simply stating that I feel that I never really got the chance to enjoy life. Rather, I'd always rush through it going from task to task instead of taking it in. That's why having a day like the other day was so special to me. I was in no rush, had no worries, and was able to do things that enjoyed. This gave me a taste of how I want the rest of my life to be and I'm even more motivated then before to make that happen.
It has been my goal now for about 10yrs to be a millionaire by the time I hit 30. Why 30 you ask? Well because I have some pretty adventurous things I want to try out, and the way it looks, my body may not hold up much past that age. As each year goes by and I see myself getting no closer (financially) to that goal, I become even more focused. With 4 yrs and 5 months until that date, I now make sure that each move I make is properly calculated to push me in the right direction. I want to make sure everything I do has me on the right path to reach my goal. I WILL be worth a million dollars by the age of 30 I am confident in that. Not because I have a lottery ticket that I know will win. Not because I have calculated a master craps and blackjack strategy, although I am still trying to work on one lol. Simply because I HATE TO LOSE at things I can control. I can't really explain it but I just don't like it and I actually fear the feeling of being a loser. Therefore I use that fear to motivate me to success.
Tuesday was a great day for me. No I didn't win the lottery, nor did I receive some wonderful news, rather I got a glimpse at how the rest of my life could be if I continue to run my business the right way.
6:30am: I woke up a few minutes before my alarm as usual, loaded up my computer and grabbed an apple to get some early morning energy. I then read over my business plan and went through the rest of my morning routine.
(I've found that having a routine can be a key to success no matter what you do in life. Not only does in install good habits, it also reinforces a lifestyle or the change in your lifestyle that you're trying to make. For example, if you're somebody that wants to lose weight or become fit, you just can't tell yourself I'm going to go to run or go to the gym at "some point" during the day because nine times out of ten you'll keep procrastinating. However if you make it a routine thing to go to the gym at the same time every day, or at least a scheduled time, you're more likely to go through with it.)
7:00am: By this time my trading day had already begun and I had noticed that there were a few potential set-ups but nothing at the time. Therefore I took the time to look up some motivation quotes so that I could pick the quote of the day.
(I've noticed that reading through multiple positive quotes every morning really helps to put my mind in a good place.)
12:00pm: At this point my trading day was over (except for the swing trades) and although it wasn't a spectacular day trading (1 win, 1 loss, 1 pending) I knew it wasn't a bad day so that's a plus in this profession. Because the kitchen was being redone, I decided to treat myself to lunch so I headed out to Five guys for a delicious burger.
(Seeing how I have become very frugal ever since being laid off, going out to eat has become a big deal for me. Not only does it give me a chance to try something out of the ordinary, but it allows me to feel like I'm treating myself for a job well done. Since I'm my own boss, I don't get to receive a lot of positive reinforcement from others, so little things like rewarding myself for doing well help to keep my moral up.)
1:00pm: After stuffing my face I decided to head to the driving range and hit a few golf balls. Golf is relaxing to me because I feel like it's just me and the course. This is my version of meditation especially if I'm hitting them well.
(I feel that meditation or any form of self reflection is good because it gives you a chance to have a one on one talk with the person that means the most to you...Yourself. Solo activities or listening to music, even reading work well for me.)
2:00pm: After leaving the driving range I dropped my the gym for a little bit and lifted some weights. I'm currently in training to run a marathon so I can't lift really heavy like I used to, but it still feels good to get the muscles sore a little bit.
(It may seem odd, but the better you feel about yourself physically, the better you are mentally. Whenever I feel out of shape I tend to be less happy and it really affects me in a negative way. However, whenever I finish working out, I feel proud and really good. Sort of like when you give your car a really good wash and wax.)
Now I bet you're asking, what does this have to do with finding you personal paradise? Well listen up.
To Be Continued.....
(Part Two Coming Soon)
As children we learn immediately once entering the world, every experience is a lesson that has the potential to be embedded in our brain forever. As we age we obtain more knowledge from school, work, relationships, hardships, accomplishments etc. With that being said our brains have a capacity, which only can store a certain amount of knowledge/information. I have a lot of different experiences and knowledge however some of the information I retained over the years has escaped me due to my limited brain capacity. Everyday there is information flowing in and out of our brain/mind and it sometimes can be over whelming for people.
I say that to say this “everything is not for everybody”. We need to be aware of what we allow to enter and exit our minds. Not all information is good information, for example, say growing up you were told things like “you will never make it”, “you are a low life”, “you are a failure”. At some point you may start to believe those things, not because you think they are true but because you let those ideas occupy space in your mind and you retain that information, negative ideas need to be removed for your mind set.
On the flip side we need to make sure we hold on to positive information that has entered our minds. Remember our minds can only hold so much information so make sure the information stored will build you up and not tear you down. Ideas like “I am beautiful”, “I am a winner”, “I am successful”, and “I have victory” is the information we need to fill our minds with. There is too much negativity in this world but there is also a lot of positivity as well, it depends on what information you are storing.
Here is an analogy, your cell phone holds 100 contacts and you just met a great person and you received their contact but the only way you can save that information is to delete one contact to create space. It’s the same thing with ideas, information, experiences etc.
I challenge you critically evaluate what you expose yourself to on a regular basis TV, radio, Internet, people, attitudes etc. The purpose is to get you to start thinking about the information you are allowing to enter and exit your mind.
The image you have of yourself in your mind is your physical image to the world, when you change the way you think about yourself you will change the way you look to the world and how the world looks to you.
The "Ah Ha experience" was a term that I learned while I was learning to become a professional trader. Have you ever had a moment where out of the blue you just get it? Well it's that moment where you finally understand and say "ah" to yourself which is the "ah ha experience". this experience can come in many ways. It could be an actor or actress, finally understanding the character they are to portray in a play or movie. It could be a golfer finally making that last adjustment to their stroke so that the ball doesn't shank all of the time. (By the way I'm still waiting for my golf ah ha moment). Or it could be an boss or employee that finally understands the right words needed to motivate their colleagues. There can be an "Ah Ha experience" in any aspect of life. And when it occurs, the feeling is similar to finally finding an answer to a question that has been bothering you for a while.
Neo in the Matrix is a great example of this experience. In the first movie he was a novice and pretty much had no idea what was going on around him. He was taught many skills and was told that he could do this and could do that, but he struggled to realize his full potential. After failing over and over again he finally had his "ah ha experience" where everything clicked and he was able to defeat his foes. However, Neo didn't stop there. Having that experience gave him a confidence that he never had before. And now that he believed in himself fully, he was able to take his skills to the next level and really master his craft. To make a long story short, eventually he got to the point where he was able to accomplish his goals blindfolded (literally).
This is where my story comes in. One month from now will be the anniversary of when I first signed up for Jason Stapleton's Forex trading course. While I was in the course I was able to ask a lot of questions and receive answers instantaneously. However, once I graduated in September 2010 I was out on my own. Don't get me wrong I still had support from Jason just an email or phone call away. But as a person that was going on to be a professional trader, I didn't feel as if it was right to contact him with every question I had. I felt that I had to take my own bumps and bruises to succeed instead of having my hand held. with that being said I spent the first six months of professional trading searching for an answer to a question that I wasn't even sure of. However, I feel as if I have recently had my "ah ha experience." Just as in Neo's case, I was taught everything I need to know in order to be successful and I definitely have the passion and desire to succeed. It was simply a matter of time (call it experience in the market I guess) before it all clicked. Now I follow the same pairs, look at the same charts, analyze the same patterns, but it all seems to be easy now. Just as in the 3rd Matrix Neo was able to fight and fly with little effort, I feel as if my trading is taking the same steps. Of course, I've only recently had this experience and I feel as if I need to trade well for a full year instead of a few months before I can really call myself a successful trader. But hey it's a start and my desire to get better continues to increase with every trade I make, win lose or draw.
I have been blessed with opportunity to have a career, which I have a great passion for. I am in a great place mentally, professionally, physically and spiritually however, my personal life has not been as successful since my transition 2 years ago. This leads me to share my story about finding your niche.
I remember past experiences when I went through struggles such as working a job I strongly disliked, being enrolled in a college class that I did not want to be in or having to obey my parent’s rules which went against my personal preference haha! In all of the situations I listed I have 2 options, I could both complain and become rebellious or I can find my “niche” and make the best out of the situation at hand.
A niche is a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person. As I stated before I am excelling mentally, professionally, physically and spiritually however I am struggling in my personal life. Balance is key in order to create harmony and peace within, therefore I am not balanced because my personal life is lacking. This has really impacted my life over the last 2 years, at times I have become angered, frustrated and sadden by my inability to create the perfect balance in my life. Finally, I learned getting upset will not change my personal life but will enforce the feeling even more causing a wave of negative energy. Instead I have found my niche, which has helped me become successful in my personal life. I enjoy being in relationships and creating relationships, therefore being a mentor and providing a service for students one must be engaged in multiple relationships with people of all walks of life. These relationships have temporarily filled the void that once was vacant.
There is a little bit of good in everything and always something positive in every negative. With that said despite your condition find your “niche” the place where you fit in or is appropriate for you. Once this is accomplished one will find joy and/or positive energy in whatever it is they do no matter their current status.
Since I have applied this theory to my life I have been able to cope with my personal life and am currently in a more peaceful place than I had been in the past 2 years.
Find what makes you happy and “get in where you fit in”
On May 6, 2011 I graduated from college with my M.Ed. However, prior to graduation I had already received my official degree in the summer of 2010, therefore technically I did not have to go to commencement.
There were a few factors which played a role in why I did go to commencement and they are as followed: Family/friends, the experience, and closure. I really wanted my family and friends to have the vision of me walking across the stage and receiving my award of accomplishment. I believe this experience is something they will remember for the rest of their lives. Second, I wanted to create my own personal experience and graduate with a Masters Degree from the same school I received my undergraduate degree and reunite with past classmates and faculty/staff. Finally, I wanted to end this chapter in my life and move forward so I wanted “closure”.
Closure is great feeling if achieved; to know a task one has set is completed is pivotal in order to progress. Having no closure could leave too many questions/doubts with no answers and have you wondering “what if”…
Since I have closure from graduate school and receiving my M.Ed. I can move forward onto setting and accomplishing new goals I set for myself.
Don’t leave any business, work, relationship etc unfinished you do not want to live in doubt. Complete all task set forth with the same drive and energy you started them, trust me you will feel “complete”
This piece was inspired by an experience I had with a student while interviewing for a position in the department. During the interview the interviewee ask me “What did you have to do in order to get to where you are because I want to be like you”. I remained professional and answered his question in the best way I could.
Intent is ones purpose and impact is ones influence on an outcome. In my profession my intent is to provide a service for students (purpose) my impact is creating a healthy life style for students as well foster an inclusive environment (influence).
In this case I did not realize my impact on him/her until they expressed how they were feeling. At that point I realized he/she has been watching my every move in an attempt to indentify with me in hope to reach my current status over time. My intent was to conduct an interview (purpose) the impact was the student had been using me as a role model (influence)
In my 2 years in my profession I never would have thought I would have such a great impact on the students I come in direct contact with. However, that is the problem with intent vs impact, too many times WE do not realize OUR impact on people.
People must realize they impact others everyday from the time you say hello to the time you say good-bye you are creating an impact and in some cases a life changing impact.
With that being said, as educators, mentors, coaches we need to be sure our intent is well defined and thought out and our impact is a positive one! A positive intent + A positive outcome = A positive experience which in turn is a continuous energy and has the potential to spread to others.
I believe when one finds their passion in life he/she will embrace the influence they have on others.
We've all heard the saying "knowledge is power." What's not said is whether that power is positive or negative. Although having a certain level of knowledge is needed to survive in this world, sometimes knowing too much can have a negative effect on a person. As a professional trader, an athletic coach, and the son of a mother with a Ph.D. in psychology I have a lot of firsthand experience with the issue of over-thinking.
As a professional trader, I used to think that I needed to know every single detail about the markets I trade. When I first started I told myself that I had to be up on every fundamental report and every technical indicator. The problem was, the more that I knew, the more that the different signals or stories began to clash with each other. As a result I missed a lot of trades because instead of looking at what was right in front of my face, I over-analyzed it to the point where I had a reason against entering every trade I was suppose to enter. As a result I would miss opportunity after opportunity, only to look back in hindsight and realize that my first judgment call would have been highly profitable.
As an athletic coach I see some of my athletes make the same mistake on the day of competition. I often preach to them that the point of practice is to train our bodies to the point that when meet comes we don't have to think and can just do. Most people don't understand this, but thinking causes hesitation and in a sport like Track & Field especially a brief hesitation can mean the difference between winning and losing. The key is to train yourself enough to the point where you have confidence in you abilities. Then when it's time to take action, trust your training and go with the flow.
I can go on and on with many examples of over thinking, but I'd rather give you the chance to relate it to your personal life. So if you have a story about a time you thought too much and it ended up hurting you at the end, please share as our viewers would love to see that we all go through similar experiences.
I rarely write a post this late at night but something just popped in my head so I figured I'd get it out before I go to bed. "Flip of the coin (Surviving Bad & Living Good)" came into my head as I was thinking about my trading results for the day. Last week was very good to be in the market so I extra excited about getting back at it today. With that being said, I ended up the day without a single winner. However, as a surprise to myself, as I recorded my daily statement I did not get frustrated, concerned, or upset. I actually told myself that tomorrow would be a better day and I would try and get after it again. Although this particular example was about trading I think that it also relates to life in general.
In life we all have some good days and some bad days and no matter how much we try there is no way we can avoid the bad ones. Since that is the case, why stress out over them and drag them along. We should accept them for what they are and simply move on. Instead of saying something like "Darn it another bad day, it seems like nothing is going right in my life". We should try and change that negative energy into thoughts like "well, everyday can't be the best, but now that I've gotten this bad one out the way I know tomorrow will be good". It's sort of like the rule of probabilities. No matter how many times you flip a coin, there is always a 50/50 chance of you landing on heads. With that being said the more it lands on tails, simply means that the chance of it landing on heads next is increasing.
Every day you have a 50/50 chance of either having a good day or a bad day. So if you have a bad day today, forget about it and look forward to having a good one tomorrow. An important lesson I learned while training to be an investor was "Cut your losses short, and let your winners ride". Consider your losses to be your bad days, and your winners to be your good ones. That's how you become profitable in the long-run.
Today while driving, I realized that I was doing 55 in a 45. I began to slow down only to feel that I was chugging slowly along. I then thought to myself, ‘Why am I in such a rush? I’m only going to lunch!’ We are often in such a rush to go NO WHERE that we often forget to appreciate the signs that life has to offer.