Marcus Aurelius said, “The attention you give to things is proportionate to their value.” Therefore, your lifestyle is what you choose it to be, as it is simply the summary of the actions you value enough to repeatedly perform over time.
The most noticeable perk of exclusively day trading options for a living, is that each “workday” lasts only 1-2 hours. This leaves us traders with a surplus of time, with which we design our lifestyle however we choose: some surf, some roller blade, some dedicate valuable time with their kids, or learn a new skill, volunteer, or arrange a nice surprise for their spouse (you can never go wrong with a “just because” present). The Day Trader Genius (DTG) Lifestyle is flexible enough that you, the trader, personalize your attention to fit your values.
Personally, I work to improve myself in every facet – sweating the small stuff to be an excellent husband, fortifying my DTG coaching lesson plans and articulation, practicing Cornerstone trades, learning new languages for our next trip, working on the house, and maintaining relationships. Of paramount importance, however, is the special portion of my day dedicated to fitness. I encourage everyone to stay physically active and mentally engaged, because there are several ways in which it boosts trading performance and quality of life.
- Quality of Life & Confidence: The human cardiovascular, endocrine, nervous, musculoskeletal, and digestive systems all perform optimally with regular exercise. Do you think your overall quality of life would be better or worse with all your organ systems functioning at a high level? Sarcasm and rhetoric aside, the important takeaway is that exercise releases endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine, which improve mood, boost self-opinion, and beget confidence. These benefits will enhance your quality of life, deliver restful sleep, and enable an even-keeled, productive mindset toward trading (i.e. taming greed, uncertainty, and the other nasty habits).
- Health & Trading Availability: When you are in good shape, your immune system is among those systems functioning at peak effectiveness. This reduces your likelihood of getting sick. If you are well, you are available to trade. Don’t overthink it, just remember that the most important ability is availability – and exercise to stave off sickness. Note: If you happen to catch the unavoidable virus, DO NOT TRADE in this impaired state, and doubly so if you are taking medications!
- Cognitive Sharpness: Challenging exercise is an opportunity for you to let your mammalian brain (a.k.a. the Dog brain, that nemesis to effective trading) run wild. After I have completed a CrossFit WOD (Workout of the Day), long hike in the Rockies, or challenging lap swim, my irrational Dog brain is too tired to interfere with replay practice or live trading. My cool and rational “Cog” (Cognitive) brain takes the wheel. Focus improves, as all the previously deafening “noise” subsides. Quantitative and qualitative metrics show that I am undoubtedly a superior trader, coach, communicator and husband when my dog brain is out of the way.
- Intellectual & Neural Expansion: Don’t forget to use your available time to exercise your mind. Expand your understanding of the market and develop trading tactics by watching (and periodically re-watching) our complementary Coaches Tips and Genius Trades on the DTG website and in the DTG program’s “Videos” menu. Read books on philosophy or your religion of choice to instill meaning and virtue in your life. Learn a stimulating skill like juggling, teach your dog new tricks, or even dabble in video gaming – any endeavor which enhances your reactiveness and patience toward what’s occurring around you, as you would the market.
- Pre-Trade Ritual: This is the critical juncture where the rubber meets the road. Every advanced day trader in our community has a pre-trade routine to get them ready for the live market, and all combine aspects of physical and mental warm-ups. As a member, you are qualified to enroll in the Cornerstone Coaching Course, where we will personally guide you through the most effective pre-trade ritual. This knowledge is irreplaceable. Suffice it to say that the combination of physical and mental fortification comes together in a quick, repeatable, effective package.
Bottom line: You don’t have to start out as an amazing athlete or a gifted philosopher. Just do something and keep it simple. Strap on your sneakers and run as far as you can down your street until you can’t run any more – you just improved. Read a book on personal growth and mindset – you just improved. Tomorrow, challenge yourself in a different way. Pretty soon it becomes a habit that you enjoy, especially if you grab a friend or join a group workout. You are planting the seeds of your new lifestyle, so find the activities that promote the most growth. Repeat those activities, and you will begin to see positive outcomes!
Finally, keep a journal or look for ways to track your results and feel some self-appreciation for your effort! For example, you can also measure your intellectual progress by creating a special shelf for all of the enlightening books you’ve read, or download a fitness tracking app, etc.
Remember: Yesterday’s exertion creates last night’s good sleep; top that with today’s pre-trade ritual and you are uniquely prepared to follow your trading rules.