I thought I would reflect on an entertaining Super Bowl for a minute…
I was indifferent to who won the game, though I was probably leaning towards wanting to see San Francisco win. Well, they lost. I found it to be entertaining to watch. But I had an epiphany watching the end of that game. Here is my best explanation:
Why do people (players, coaches, fans, etc, etc.) wrap themselves up so tightly in the win and the loss, like that is the last football game that will ever be played? I used to be that way! It would bum me out! The TV camera panned to a 49ers player sitting on the bench while confetti for another team rained down on him. He was the picture of dejection and defeat while any one of the Baltimore players were the picture of excitement and completion.
Here is my thought though, we are so conditioned as a society to love the winners and hate the losers. To feel excited and euphoric when something perceived as good happens and then sullen and disappointed when something bad happens.
Life is worse when we lose… right?
Mastery says to live life in a goalless pursuit.
To keep it short, if those guys are playing that game only for the purpose of winning, or being a super star, or to make a stupid amount of money, or to win a Super Bowl, then the loser of that game is going to feel like the world is going to come to an end. Play the game because it is worth playing. Winning and losing are just a natural part of any pursuit, embrace them, don’t be dictated by them.
In trading, the problem with this pervasive attitude is a simple question for me: If I make the best trade of my life today, or I make the 4th quarter Super Bowl catch to win the game and I am the hero, what happens tomorrow? How do I react to a string of 4 losing trades after that one instance of heroics? How would I react to a string of four losing seasons after that?
My entire goal in trading is to get off of that roller coaster. Do I want to be a superstar? No. Do I want to make that trade or that play? No.
I want to master my craft. Win or lose tomorrow, I want to wake up knowing that I am pursuing mastery in something I deem important.