Ever laid down to sleep at night and been overwhelmed by the noise in your head, the rush of thoughts, feelings and ideas coming at you so fast with so much intensity that you are incapable of processing them all in a way that allows you to drift off into a peaceful sleep?
Ever gotten into a trade and found yourself in the exact same place?
Buddha described this state that we can often find ourselves in as our human mind being filled with drunken monkeys all carrying on, jumping around, swinging from branch to branch, screeching, screaming and throwing things. I love this description because it gives such an accurate visual for what's going on in our minds (and bodies) that we can connect to and relate to. When we can connect to it, then we can embrace it and direct our focus on really getting to know all of those monkeys. They are our single greatest tool that when embraced and understood, can be used to lead us to our greatest success.
Why are they jumping around and yelling and screaming and throwing stuff at us? Have you ever been in the presence of a child that has something they are excited to share with you and is trying to get your attention? The more you ignore them, the more persistent they become until they finally find your tipping point where you can no longer ignore them. Our inner monkeys are just like that, they are seeking our attention. They feel they have something important to share with us and it is so important that they will do whatever they can to get our attention. they will not back down until they believe we have heard them, and that we understand what they are trying to tell us.
Buddha taught his students how to use meditation in order to tame the drunken monkeys. He stated that it is useless to fight with them or to try to banish them from your mind. He offered that instead of resisting them, each day spend some time in quiet meditation calming your mind and over time taming the monkeys.
Now I do practice meditation every day and I would recommend to everyone that you consider including meditation in your daily self-mastery practices but I have found a more effective method for living in harmony with my mental monkeys.
I don't want them to be tamed and complacent because I have learned they are not here to just distract me and cause me less sleep, they have a purpose and that is to bring awareness to an aspect of myself that I need to embrace in order to move to my next level of success. Many of them are triggered by some sort of perceived danger, which triggers a fear response and nothing sets mental monkeys off faster than a fear response. There are other triggers besides fear and getting to know all of them has helped me immensely in both my day trading and my life in general. I now direct my focus on really getting to know them, understanding them and listening to them for the sole intent of understanding what it is that they are trying to tell me because when listened to, each of them has provides me messages that help me move to higher levels of success.
In further posts we'll explore some of the different mental monkeys that come out to play and that can create havoc in our trading if we don't listen to what they are trying to tell us. Drop me a comment below, let me know what monkeys you've gotten to know and what they've taught you about your trading.
by Cindy Ryland - Trader | Mentor | Coach