Dorn: Trading Secrets and Serendipity

Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment. ..Morihei Ueshiba

Our individual journeys take us into unexpected situations where we encounter a wide variety of people—some quite like ourselves and others very different.

We cannot anticipate these meetings, but we can make the most of them when they take place.

When we are open-minded in our assessment of the individuals whose lives briefly touch our own, we are more apt to stumble upon unexpected gems of wisdom that open us to new worlds of possibility.

Every person we meet can affect us profoundly, just as every situation in which we find ourselves in can teach us something new. We do not judge, just as we do not wish to be judged. We are in a space of unconditional positive regard—open heart, open mind—ready and willing to receive without bias. We are grateful for every lesson because it moves us forward on the path to enlightenment.

In everything there is a lesson. Everything!

Image: Janice Dorn, M.D., Ph.D.

This is the essence of serendipity: Chance favors the prepared mind.

The same applies to trading.

Every moment in the markets is unique.

Every trade is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to gain wisdom and to embrace acceptance.

To fully appreciate this, it is essential to acknowledge that each trade is capable of expanding our personal horizons. Because we are dealing with probabilities in a complex adaptive system, we never know when the truth will be revealed. But—we certainly do know it when we see it.

If we are able to approach each trade with non-attachment to outcome, then each trade becomes our teacher. In this way, we do not judge ourselves, rather we learn from everything we do. This is how we grow—both as traders and as human beings.

Just as every person is special and has something to teach us, so does every trade. By making an effort to adopt a positive attitude toward others at all times, we ensure that our emotions do not blind us to wisdom that may be lurking in difficult or distressing situations. We are then open and receptive to knowledge that comes to us in the form of examples, advice, and direct teaching.

As with trades, brief human encounters have the potential to enrich our lives in a very concrete way. The wisdom we gain is proportional to the attention we pay. It is our responsibility as traders to maintain a state of awareness that allows us to recognize when we are in the presence of knowledge that will change us significantly. When we open our minds and hearts to the potential for unexpected enlightenment, we make a habit of turning strangers into friends, of seeing failed trades as our best teachers and ensuring that we are never without a magnificent fountain of enlightenment that will enrich and nourish us.

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment…Lao Tzu


Dr. Janice Dorn is the only Ph.D. (Brain Anatomist) and M.D. (Board-Certified Psychiatrist and Addiction Psychiatrist) in the world who actively trades, writes commentary on the financial markets and manages a subscription-based website. Dr. Dorn has been trading the gold futures markets full time since 1993. She has written over 1000 articles on trader and investor psychology, and mentored over 600 traders and investors.She writes on all aspects of trading psychology and provides a real-time trading service on her website: TheTradingDoctor.com.