Everyone comes to a point in their life where they look back and examine some of the roads they've chosen. As always, some decisions will be good, and others not so good.
I've always aimed to achieve for unquestioned success in all my endeavors. As much as I focus on looking ahead when it comes to Wall Street - things like earnings, industry direction, etc. - it's always humbling to remember the mistakes I've made along the way. I don't harp on those mistakes, rather, I examine the steps I've taken to keep them from happening again.
When I traded for a living, I would spend a ton of after-market time evaluating what I was buying or selling and why I made the moves I did. Did the catalyst or timing of the transaction make sense? Were there better options I could have targeted that could have reaped a better return?
The aim of this exercise wasn't to second guess myself. Instead, I sought to refine my thought process. In trading, flexibility was always the key. I'd go through periods in the markets when bad earnings results could tank a stock more than expected, to other times when the stocks would bounce higher on seemingly bad results. I quickly learned the meaning of a stock being "overbought" or "oversold."
Evaluating your thought process is also useful when considering your career, personal life, or how you came to settle down in a certain place. Think about what made you happy at the time, and what really mattered to you. Some people don't mind a long commute, for example, because they unwind during a long train ride. Others want to get home as soon as possible, and will pay a premium to have the luxury of living close to work.
In the end, we are always tweaking - whether it's the investments we own, the particular job or business we want to have, the places we want to live, etc. Regardless of age, you don't want to have one thing hang over you in life: regret! Some of us need little tweaking to find our optimal happiness, where others may take a bit longer. But that's life, so enjoy the process. Ask anyone who's older and they'll tell you it goes by fast!
I hope everyone is enjoying this Thanksgiving holiday! Be well and I'll see you tomorrow!
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