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Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Socrates: “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.”

Ovid: “Envy, the meanest of vices, creeps on the ground like a serpent.”

Seneca: “The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause.”

Aristotle: “Envy is pain at the good fortune of others.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Hatred is active, and envy passive dislike; there is but one step from envy to hate.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “The one who envies, does not really know what he wants.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “Our envy of others devours us most of all.”

These quotes reflect various perspectives on the nature and impact of envy, from ancient philosophers to modern thinkers.

In the trading world, I don’t think the evils of envy get discussed enough. And in today’s globally connected social media world, it’s a bigger problem than ever.

I suffer from envy.

There, I said it.

I suffer with it in my trading, in my career, and in my personal life.

I want the big winning trade that @AnonymousBigShot just earned. I want the 25-year track record that Great Sharpe Ratio, LLC earned on their fund. I want the fully funded 401k on track to secure my retirement. I want the rewards that come with taking business risks. I want the house the neighbor down the street owns. I want to go on the vacations my friends go on. I want all of it. And I want it now.

As you might imagine, this can potentially wreak havoc on my long-term trading performance. I’m certain it has. Likely it happens to you as well.

Some are better at dealing with it than others. I have my periods where I’m able to successfully shut it out and live my best life. But sadly, I also have moments where I’m overcome by it and it breaks me.

One thing that helps get me back on track is to be reminded of two things:

EVERYONE has challenges. They are very likely different challenges than mine, but they are no less significant. Thanks to social media and media in general, I only see the glossy, carefully curated version of everyone’s best life. The truth is, we all do our best to keep the dirt hidden.

It. Just. Doesn’t. Matter. Whatever perceived awesomeness someone else has that I want should be celebrated. And that should be the end of it. Putting that kind of positive energy out into the world comes back. To me. To everyone.

As it pertains to trading, we have to play our own game no matter what. Sure, we can gather ideas from others. But at the end of the day, we have to take ownership of whatever we do in the markets.

I read a quote today on the excellent Farnam Street blog that inspired this riff. Shane Parrish wrote: “A lot of mistakes come from copying people playing a different game than you.” Spot on, brother.

Again, we just see the highlights of everyone else’s successes. We rarely see or even learn about the struggles that went into creating the successes we should be celebrating in others.

And more importantly, the success earned by others is often a byproduct of a completely different road they are traveling. They are playing an entirely different game than you or I. And that’s ok.

Yes, we all engage in the markets to “make money.” That’s one of the reasons we’re here. But few of us share all the same whys. We all have different needs, motivations, desires, goals, and stakeholders.

If you find yourself comparing your trading results to others, as I often do, and it’s bringing you down, just know that you’re not alone. From the highest performers at the top of the food chain, down to the newest newbie, we all do it to some degree.

Trading is hard enough. Let’s try not to beat ourselves up by looking at other’s successes with jealousy. Let’s celebrate them instead – and let them inspire us to our own great journeys.

Sean McLaughlin | Chief Options Strategist, All Star Charts

The post ENVY appeared first on All Star Charts.

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