Before we explain how mindfulness fits in a trader’s world, it’s important to clarify what is mindfulness for those who are not familiar with this notion. In our modern lives, we are always on the move, often experiencing hectic days that leave us drained and exhausted. Things have to happen fast, as if 24 hours of a day are not enough and there is always an end to be reached, a task to be completed. Not only our bodies never cease doing things, but also our mind keeps producing one thought after another; a chaotic mental factory that works on its own without a visible boss.
But there are plenty of times that I do nothing! You may think. Is that so? Are there times when you really do nothing? Not talking? Not watching TV? Not lying down on the sofa reading? And most importantly, not thinking? “Yes of course, there plenty of times that I think nothing”. Sometimes in therapy, I ask clients to tell me what their thoughts are and they may say “I m not thinking of anything at the moment”. Then I invite them to take a minute to themselves and see if they can keep a blank mind. Many report thoughts after, even insignificant e.g. about the painting on the wall, but others still insist that they “cannot think of anything”. So, I say, that’s the thought you are having; “I cannot think of anything” is a thought. Actually, every word that comes out of our mouth was previously a thought our mind produced.
It is the here and now, your current experience at this very moment. Where you sit? What are you holding? What thoughts are crossing your mind? What do you feel in your body? Are you maybe thirsty or hungry? What sensation do get as the soles of your feet touch the floor?What emotions are present?
The act of being aware, noticing, observing and not getting distracted by other things.
We pay attention deliberately and this is our sole purpose: to pay attention.
When you start paying attention to your present experience, your mind will attempt to judge you.
“What’s the point of all this?”
“What a ridiculous thought”
“I am so negative”
These are judgements. They stem from non-understanding and get on the way of being totally immersed in the present. Do not judge, just observe.