I am a believer that every experience in life, both good and bad, is there to teach us a lesson on our personal journey to become Whole.
It was Tuesday around lunchtime and my daughter and I were in a taxi on our way to JFK to fly to LA where we planned to spend the night recovering in an airport hotel before flying back home to Sydney the following night. Our flight to LA was leaving at 6:10pm. We arrived at JFK at 3pm giving us more than 3hrs before our domestic flight, ample time?
Upon arriving at JFK it dawned on me that I had left Gabriella and my passports in the hotel safe. We had just spent more than an hour and a half in the taxi navigating horrendous traffic. I knew immediately I was in big trouble.
Without much thinking I said to Gabriella you hang around at the airport I am going to try and get back to the hotel and pick the passports up and make it back in time. At this time my brain was not working properly as my executive functions were in crisis mode.
I got into a taxi and said mate you need to break records get me to my hotel and back here ASAP. I want to pause my story here and draw some immediate parallels to trading.
When trading you need a checklist. This is what pilots do before every flight. Its not because they don’t remember things its because its vitally important to cover the basics methodically and without exception before embarking on a journey, just in case. I am scolding myself because before every flight I too should have my own formal checklist. Next….
From the moment I realised I had left our passports I went into narrow thinking mode. I have visited New York 20 times and every single time I have caught a taxi to my hotel. On realisation of my mistake I spotted in the airport a sign “air train”. I wasn’t even aware that this was an option. I felt I needed to make a split second decision and went with the taxi option. I didn’t take a deep breath and consider a quick google search on which would have been the quicker option. Instead I went with the taxi option and spent the trip to the hotel with my eyes closed and deep breathing.
It turns out that the air train option would have been slightly quicker, not by much, but quicker assuming I didn’t take any wrong turns. What lesson could I take from my split second decision.
I had 3hrs +- to play with, I didn’t need to make a split second decision. I should have taken a deep breathe and considered my options over the next 5 minutes. Investing in those 5 minutes could have been the difference between making or missing my flight. The same applies to our trading. We often think when the market is moving quickly that we have to make an instinctual decision without applying some thought to the decision. These knee jerk reactions are often detrimental to our trading.
So I guess you are wondering if I made the flight or not? Let me put it like this we landed up flying 4hrs later at a considerable additional expense. ?