The days between Christmas and the impending new year seem like days in limbo. The current year is withering away by the hour too quickly to amount to anything, whilst the new year is still somewhat of an intangible mirage. Whilst these days might be occupied by the tail end of left overs and frenzied shopping, they seem made for contemplation.
Whilst I might be advocating the idea of idle contemplation, I have to say I fail abysmally at this. My fingers must always be continually typing, my eyes reading something written on a page, my ears continually listening. Even now, the clock has swept past midnight, and my brain is whirring in and out of Twitter, like a child trying to avert sleep. Indeed, Twitter is perhaps the most indefatigable enemy of deep contemplation, a persistent stream of consciousness interlaced between your own thoughts. Contemplation by definition, is the absence of all these things I mention, simply the time to think, unhindered by distractions and pauses. It takes effort to think and to think only. Imagine.
Invariably, thoughts spring forth concerning the year that has passed, and plans form for the year which follows. It is of course somewhat of an artificial edifice, the turn of the year. Indeed, there are other forms of year. The tax year in the UK starts in April, whilst in Japan, April also has a symbolic meaning as the beginning of a year. Whether or not it is an artificial creation, the ending of one year into the next, nevertheless provides an ideal way to break up the various phases of our life.
So what should the next year hold, given I have advocated that this is an ideal time to ask this question? Ignoring markets for once and thinking more abstractly, what will you do next year? These two questions are subtly different. What will happen, influences what we do and how we are impacted by events. We cannot control everything in our path, but it is our choice, which path we lead.
We can sit idly by, allowing events to subsume us or we can do act in a decisive manner. A trader sitting in the market, with positions which are at odds with the price action can berate the market for being wrong. That trader might well end up being right, but at that moment in time the market is right. Moaning is of course simpler than taking a step back and understanding events.
Let this be the time for contemplation for the following year and a time to reflect on the past year. A mistake is the worst sort of mistake, if we are intent on repeating it. Whether or not next year proves to be your year, a modicum of contemplation might just help. I have no idea what 2015 will bring. However, that won't stop me from doing that one thing humans do best, thinking. So whilst the fireworks shower the skies, the year advances by one, the sound of Auld Lang Syne whispers to me, I'll be contemplating for what lies ahead, whatever it might be. Imagine.
Like my writing? Have a look at my book Trading Thalesians - What the ancient world can teach us about trading today is out in late October on Palgrave Macmillan. You can order the book on Amazon. Drop me a message if you're interesting in me writing something for you!