The Story of Vikrant
This is a true story of Vikrant, an Indian friend of mine. Name is ofcourse changed to protect his privacy. A lot of his story is common throughout the cryptosphere and possibly reminiscent of some stories people had from the dot com bubble days.
A father of one, tech guy into software who always chose to do the right thing in life. Right according to what was taught to him by his parents and his education.
Always studied hard and managed to get himself a decent job in Hewlett Packard. Working hard for what he made, living in a big city like Delhi his salary was just enough for him to meet rent and pay the EMI’s for his Honda Civic that he so proudly bought considering he had just been promoted to a decent job.
Vikrant had a small bit of savings which really wasn’t enough to do anything with, but he dreamt of always doing his own thing one day.
Intro to Crypto
He knew I was a full time trader and sometime in Sept 2017 when we met, he asked me some details about how it is I made money and the talk of cryptocurrencies sprung up.
Upon showing him some charts of a few altcoins and where Bitcoin was, Vikrant had a eureka moment and was convinced this was his way out from his mundane existence.
I of course warned him of the perils of trading crypto and recalled a few stories of people with ruined lives and blown up accounts.
Convincing me that he would not invest anything that he wasn’t prepared to lose we resumed the evening with light hearted banter and more trivial issues that affected the world.
Bull Run Gains and The Cycle of Greed
As I don’t travel to Delhi much that was the last time we spoke until he called me in Jan 2018. Absolutely euphoric, Vikrant told me how the day after our conversation he had put in a couple of thousand dollars into Bitcoin, and then started doing research into all other kinds of crypto.
Convinced this was the future, every-time there was a big price drop he had started putting in more until he had exhausted his entire savings into his crypto account. By Dec 2017 he was holding about 25 different coins.
He was calling me to thank me for getting him into crypto and telling me he’s become a bit of an expert and that he had also convinced his friends and family to invest and even more people were calling him everyday to do so.
He had shared stories about his 10x gains in just 3 months with them. Also the most dreaded thing he told me was he had taken a loan from the bank, gone all in and spoke about how the next move will help him retire.
The Hard Way Down
You know this won’t end well, but it might so read on. I vehemently explained to him that the market had topped out and that was the time to exit. He scoffed at my thoughts and gave me a few reasons why that wasn’t possible.
After speaking with his wife who seemed clueless about the predicament and also as euphoric as Vikrant I knew this won’t end well. I tried my best several times ofcourse to no avail. The bubble popped. I tried to get in touch with him again and this time to no avail.
Next I heard from Vikrant was in Sept 2018.
He had already broken his marriage, left his job and left Delhi. He was living in this hill town called manali with some friends and learning margin trading.
He apologized to me telling me he was wrong to not listen to me. Still very determined to make everything back he was quite hopeful about his future saying everything will bounce back and he’ll get back to a good life.
Nov 2018 and another phone call, he was left with only 3% of the capital that he had in Jan during the euphoria. Barely making rent he was basically living in other people’s houses, being a good guy his friends didn’t mind helping out. I told him about LTC and the halving.
Seeing one last glimmer of hope he went all in LTC on 3x leverage at the bottom of the market. I think he sold everything at about a 4x gain in May so that meant he had made 1/3rd of his entire capital back on the LTC trade.
Having decide he’s a real good trader now he began to leverage trade using that capital and would you know it he lost it all again on the BTC drop.
The Last Hope
Now with only a fraction of what he had in May, by August Vikrant had been truly humbled by the markets. Not only was his ego bruised he was in extreme depression with no hope for a future or any kind of life of happiness. He had no money, no family, no job and no hope.
Vikrant came to meet me in August and truly poured his heart out and told me about his predicament. What i’d like to share is that now though even though Vikrant isn’t infinitely richer than when he met me, he is quite a bit less depressed and has found new hope in this new way to think that i’m going to share with you. The damage to his Financial and mental state of being was very grave but he is on his path to recovery.
Why i shared Vikrant’s story is because I know crypto is full of such stories, and after such a strong bear market it is full of people who are full of self doubt and low on self esteem. I know that many are just living in the past and basically living a life of hindsight.
The Dissection of truly what’s happening in Vikrant’s Brain
We need to talk about some terminology and concepts to actually understand what was going on in Vikrant’s brain to understand what the process could be to get out of it.
Firstly the constant distress from revenge trading and constantly losing had him in a state of extreme and permanent stress…
When we are in a state of stress, from a circumstance that threatens us in some way the sympathetic nervous system turns on where the body releases a large amount of energy in response to the stressor.
(Think caveman in distress from being hunted). The pupils dilate so we can see better, the heart rate and respiratory rate increases so we can run, fight or hide, more glucose is released into the bloodstream to make more energy available to the cells.
Adrenaline rushes into the muscles providing that extra rush of energy to make the escape. The blood circulation moves away from our rational forebrain and is instead relayed to our hind brain so we have less capacity to think creatively and instead rely on our instinct to react instantly.
Historically this state of stress was only to last for a small period of time and once we had escaped all the brain and body functions would resume to normalcy. Unfortunately for us, the complex creatures that we have become, we are now able to re-create the past in our experiences through our memory and relive the same emotions through our thoughts.
For Vikrant all the thoughts of hindsight and what may have been, constantly made him relive all the mistakes of his past continuously throwing himself to the same state of stress that released this entire flush of chemicals into his body taking him into survival mode again and again.
The constant repetition of thoughts creates what is called the hardening of the brain.
The memory of an event brands itself neurologically in the brain and the same set of neurons start to fire together at the instance of the appearance of the thought,creating this strong cycle of constantly shifting into survival mode by reliving the past.
Not only does this make it almost impossible to get out of this situation, it also begins to create a lot of physical problems as the body is no longer able to heal itself and is constantly being drained of all its energy after repeatedly being in survival mode.
My suggestion to him and what is making him better
If you read the How to Eliminate Fear and Greed From Trading I spoke about at the beginning of this story I talk about the fish in the water. That a fish cannot know what water is until it gets out of it.
So my suggestion to Vikrant was that he had to get out of his negative spiral to actually be able to heal it.
It’s a bit of an oxymoron but I was suggesting to just get out of it even for very small moments through the day.
The way for him to do this through meditation. I have spoken about peak experiences in How to Eliminate Fear and Greed From Trading as well.
They are basically a way to fire all the neurons in your mind so that one is able to repair, break, or recreate neural connections.
The constant repetition of thoughts that do not serve us and lead us to suffer and trigger our survival mode, need to be rewired so we can break out of those thought spirals and create new habits.
Mediation is the simplest and most accessible way to create this peak experience.
Infact, the state of the peak experience is so powerful it can not only help you heal yourself but also help you manifest the future that you dream of.
I say infact because I have used it to do so for my own life.
We program our body and brain to manifest a predictable future or live in a familiar past, but the only true way to create the energy necessary to manifest a future which seems far fetched is by surrendering the memory of oneself to allow something greater to take it’s place.
It is something that science is now able to prove, but for me it is something that is imbibed in the ancient yogic culture to which I belong.
The ancient history of India and many other ancient cultures is littered with beings possessing supernatural powers performing superhuman feats.
It is through being absolutely adept at creating peak experiences and molding their mind and reality as they pleased, were they able to do this.
Though this is not our goal here, we’re merely looking for a way to manifest our thoughts and dreams and healing our mind and bodies.
The Present Moment
There is an invisible field of energy and information that exists beyond the three dimensional realm of space and time.
Once you have taken your attention off your body, the people you know, they places you go to, and even of time, you will let go off your identity that has been formed by living as a body in this space and time and you will truly gain access to this field of energy.
That is truly where the peak experience lies and where the creative power of manifestation resides.
To have constant access to that space is truy the most powerful tool you can attain to manifest success in your life, or to change the conditions of your present into something you desire more.
Remember that you can’t change your future without changing your habits.
Most people are so attached to their habits all they like to do is dream.
You need to have goals that have a deadline. You need a plan to meet that deadline. You need consistent action to follow that plan. Without this your goals are just dreams.
Unless you attack them with action, that’s all they will remain. A figment of your imagination.
It takes a very strong will and breaking many many habits that can lead one towards this experience but if you truly desire it you will strive for it.
It is the scarcest skill and also the most valuable. The ancients protected this information with their lives as there was so much power that came to those that possessed it.
As a trader it will help you in so many different ways. Relieve stress. Gain objectivity. Remain calm. There’s nothing but positives in taking up a meditative practice.
The only hard bit is the beginning. Everything else falls into place once you start to enjoy it and make it a part of your routine.
Today in the world of information it is all public-ally available though a lot of times not organized coherently.
I will attempt to organize it, and present it to you in a practical and usable manner.
The first step
Before we even start to attempt to meditate first we need to prepare our mind so that we are better equipped to deal with what we need to do.
What we need to build first is our concentration.
Concentration is the ability to stay focused on one thing.
In today’s world of overexposure to information I notice that people are very distracted and seldom have the attention span to hold a conversation forget about sitting still.
Having single pointed focus which can be sustained over a period of time is the key factor in building a good meditation practice.
What I will recommend here will be the undiluted practice as practiced by the ancient yogis. Note that this practice requires one to have extreme dedication and care.
Trataka – Still Gazing ( The key to building laser pointed focus and supreme concentration)
It is important to note that the recommended practices should be done at the same times everyday and recommended to be done in the same spot as well.
This not only helps to instill discipline in us but it also creates a powerful energy field in that spot which magnifies every-time you are doing the same.
This is the reason Yogi’s used to sit in a cave for long periods of meditation, sometimes months and years.
And their energy can be felt years after they leave those caves or spaces where they did their practice.
Also the practice needs to be completely unbroken, each practice will have do’s and don’t which need to be followed strictly.
A discipline in what is recommended will give you great results and remember if you cheat you will only be cheating yourself.
Without further ado let us learn the art of building our concentration.
Trataka, is an ancient practice used by the yogi’s to initiate their students in the art of concentration.
The method of fixing your gaze on an object is called Trataka.
To do trataka one requires a secluded room and a candle( A candle is highly recommended as it has the best effect but any other object can be used).
Also a table will be useful and helpful. You need to sit in a comfortable position, either a chair or cross legged. Cross legged or Sukhasana is recommended.
- Assume the posture of sukhasana – sit cross legged. If you have difficulty in doing that then sit straight on a chair.
- Light a candle at a distance of about 3 feet(1 Meter) in front of you. Keep any other object if you cannot light a candle.
- Ensure that the candle or object you will be focusing on is at your eye level.
- Watch it without blinking for a minimum of seven minutes. You can gradually increase the duration.
- During the actual practice, try to be aware of your wandering thoughts and gently bring your mind back to the object.
This practice needs to be done for 40 days without any break in the middle.
Once or twice a day is up to you. Twice is recommended.
According to the yogic texts one needs a lot of discipline to do this correctly.
If you skip a day in the middle you have to start from day zero again.
There are 4 crucial elements to this practice.
- Still Body
- Still Gaze
- No Blinking
- Avoid Thought Flow
Out of this a still body and a still gaze are the most important.
If you move even slightly or your gaze shifts then you need to reset your clock and start again.
If you are unable to control your eyelids and blink it is okay, just be mindful and carry on.
Your ability to not blink will increase as you practice everyday. It is really important to not blink, tears will start to roll down your eyes but you should allow them to and not move.
Each time your mind starts to think about something bring it back to focus on the flame.
Remember that all of this requires patience and resolve.
If done carefully we can really build a big edge not only in trading but in every sphere in life.
This is the first step into the beautiful door of meditation. If you are able to enjoy this, there is an amazing and very engaging world waiting for you.
Cheers to your first step to building a very unique edge, turning you into an emotion-free trading machine and giving you that first push towards manifesting your dreams.
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