Trading is a Form of Personal Freedom
Think about the last time you were in a park or a forest or out on the water somewhere.
Close your eyes and see the expanse. The ability to move on a path or off it. An open expanse of water begging you to wander and explore. The limits of your exploration are confined to your imagination, stamina and resources of water, food and time.
That is freedom.
Trading is like these moments. Moments of pure agency where you can do as you please. Where you can test your limits and expand your capacity. Moments where you can feel flow and a sense of being alive. The possibilities before you abound.
With a 24/7 global market, the only limit is your imagination.
Outward vs inward
A steady paycheck every week or two is a nice secure gig. It’s comfortable. You get some certainty. You show up each day at a certain time, deliver the goods and go home. You gain valuable experience. You work with interesting people. You get to understand how a corporate environment works.
You can be sick or absent a certain number of days. You are expected to perform in a certain way to please someone else and get a bonus. Your wage is provided to you based on a metric that you have little or no input into. You are expected to jump through hoops for promotions.
But there may be something missing…
Maybe you don’t care too much about extra money or titles, even though these incentives are important to other employees and corporate environments. You may desire meaning and a purpose instead.
As an employee, you are free to do what you wish after hours. It is during these hours that you can express your truest self. Work on the things that matter to you. And the one place where you can do that is trading in the 24-hour crypto market.
Freedom is a paradox of ideas
Now the idea about trading is that it’s stressful – it requires risk-taking, and you can make a lot of money. All true.
The other idea is that you get to be the boss. You decide when to work or if you want to work. You have the freedom to determine your own schedule because after all, you’re the boss. But this isn’t entirely true.
You can work when you want, but your trades will be based on unfolding opportunities. To recognize and seize these opportunities will require you to engage in ongoing study of market conditions, dynamics and evolution.
If you have active trading positions on, you are thinking about them all the time. Especially in a 24-hour global marketplace. When you are deep in the trading game, you eat, breath and dream the market you trade.
You never really leave it behind.
Being your own boss isn’t really the freedom you think it is because you are still considering a subservient relationship with authority. The independent trader is neither an employee nor an employer. Their real freedom comes from having pure agency.
The freedom of pure agency comes from owning your activities in every way.
Be an owner
When you sit down at your computer or pull out your phone to make a trade, every aspect of that interaction belongs to you.
Whether you did pre-trade preparation, is your decision.
- > Did you go over your charts?
> Did you make a detailed trading plan?
> Are you prepared mentally and physically for the session ahead?
> Are you clear of emotional distractions?
Every step in this process, how you do it, why you do it, and how you use it, is yours.
No employer telling you what to do. There is no HR department monitoring your attendance. No supervisor is evaluating your work. There are only distractions that you choose to bring into your trading process.
Will you let that anonymous internet troll change your mind? Will you accept the opinion of that guru that always has the same message no matter the situation? Will you let some mediocre report dictate your decision, or will you let the market show you the validity of your trading idea?
After all, the only opinion that matters is yours until you put the trade on. Whether you listen to the market’s opinion once your trade is on, is also up to you.
Own your internal dialogue
Now, as you enter your trade, the next step is following your plan, assuming you have one. As the trade unfolds, you will be faced with your own internal dialogue. Should I sell it? Buy more? I don’t know…! You alone can embrace this dialogue and quiet it by following your plan.
Whether you keep the trade on, close it or add to it – all of these belong to you.
When you eventually close the trade, the information you receive from that trade is based on your perception and evaluation. You cannot claim the wins as genius and the losses as manipulation if you are free and have pure agency.
The losses are information for you to benefit from, and the gains for you to savour and learn from. What did you do well? What did you benefit from that you didn’t expect? Is that repeatable or an aberration? Your trades are simply information about the evolution of a process and ideas.
When you have real freedom, you no longer rely on someone else telling you what you can make and when you will receive it. You are no longer required to do something in a specific way according to the employee manual.
Your entire trading experience becomes a customized personal performance activity. The expression of your authentic self.
Freedom is doing what suits you
If you are comfortable being a scalper, trading in and out all day, then do that because it suits you. It doesn’t matter what the guy on TV or the politician thinks about short term trading.
Prefer to explore longer holding periods like a swing trader? Execute and manage your trades consistent with this methodology if it works for you. It doesn’t matter what that anonymous troll says on Twitter or Reddit.
Don’t have an idea of what to do in the market? Prefer not to have a position for the time being? Do it. You don’t have to have a position on, no matter what the various evangelists on the interwebs say you should do. Tomorrow is a new day, and your next trading idea may reveal itself then.
Trading as exploration and actualization
Having agency as a trader is like walking in the forest free to do as you please. It’s like being on the open water surrounded by possibilities. You have the ultimate freedom to stay on the beaten path or wander beyond it. You can explore things that interest you. Move as you please. Your only limitation is imagination and execution.
All those luxury goods that are sold to you as an expression of freedom will get old and look dated eventually. The other guy will have the newer, faster more up to date car next year. Someone will have more square feet in a better neighbourhood with many unused rooms and better landscaping. Your exotic vacations will only be on the social media thread for a few days before someone else tops you.
However, the agency, the freedom derived from owning your trading process and results, is an experience that can never be taken from you.
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