Control Desire, Trade With Awareness


Simpler Trading Team

May 06th 2020  .  4 min read

From John Carter, Founder of Simpler Trading

(This article is an excerpt from a piece written by John Carter and is being presented over several weeks. Watch for John’s insightful takeaways on Wednesdays.)

It’s easy to enter the competition of impressing others.

In life people do this by getting the fast car, a bigger house, elite credentials, a visit to the plastic surgeon, or pursuing a famous person to get a selfie. Joe Exotic did this by sneaking a tiger cub into his hotel room to attract women. (Pandemic isolation led John to watch “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” It is a docuseries about the eccentric life of tiger breeder and zookeeper Joe Exotic. John’s reflections are relayed here.)

Traders act similarly by adding more monitors than they need, upgrading to the latest computer platform, trading above their skill set, or buying expensive stocks in a big-time tech company just to say they own the brand.

An unrelenting need to compete with others is the thief of happiness.  If you get a companion, or car, or business partner only for showing them off, life will teach you how shallow you are.

Joe Exotic turned into a character living out a role, longing for continual validation. What he thought important, everyone else viewed as a joke. Where were his supporters when he went to trial, then to prison?

Actions taken for self validation and ego boosts will come back to bite you. While competing to impress others is easy, what’s hard is stepping out of the race to pause and think about ourselves. What makes us happy?

Unrestrained indulgence is not the path to happiness. It follows what I learned in a recent trip to India:  “When our intellect has no hold on desires, the mind indulges them all. Each fulfilled desire leads to further indulgence. Such indulgences lead to addictions.”

In Joe Exotic, I saw a mind run amok. A constant chasing of more, more, more. Chasing the happiness that was always out of reach. And I saw the end result of that behavior… life behind bars.

The energy of desire, if not contained, leads to ruin. Desire, if left unchecked, turns into a manic energy source. 

Desire is always there, always present, always running your life. It’s never extinguished. It lives on and transfers to the getting of the next external thing. You get the car, then once the joy from that dissipates, the energy pushes you to get the next new thing. The latest model. A new color.

Desire is a pang of constant hunger. Like throwing logs on a burning fire, the unchecked mind rushing to the next desire is insatiable. It only stops when forced to stop — when you go broke, go to prison, or die.

Or… when you become aware and learn how to manage it.

It’s OK to want things. But think it through.

Are you making the decision, or is the manic energy pulling you along the path of destruction?

The external world doesn’t produce lasting happiness, it is a reflection of our inner self.

Learn to trade with awareness and discipline of the mind. Your inner self may thank you.

We Saw: people ready to head out as economies open — 

  • Oil’s five-day uptick tumbling back
  • Fears of even worse unemployment
  • Mixed results across indexes

We’re Watching: … markets still chopping along —

  • Key stocks for bullish potential
  • Holding for bearish shifts
  • Waiting for opportunistic setups

Does it make sense to “see” price moves before they happen? Learn about catching “pops and drops” in a volatile market.