Stock markets are in the news everyday and they make an excellent place for spiritual learning Whenever you think or talk about it or invest in the stock market, you would not normally look at the spiritual perspective Stock markets are about buying and selling, profit and loss, bulls and bears and anticipation While people enter the stock market primarily with the intention of making money, there is a spiritual side to trading, and someone who is receptive can learn a lot of lessons about life here.
As in life, the only certainty in stock markets is uncertainty and unpredictability Every morning, although we have a broad idea of how our day is likely to be, we cannot predict with surety about events that might happen or not happen during the day Similarly, every stock trader and broker knows that the behaviour of the markets cannot be predicted with centum confidence While the general trends might be predicted or anticipated, what eventually happens when the markets open and trading begins, is known only minute by minute.
This is true of our lives too, where life flows moment to moment; we can only live in the present Life – which is enmeshed in duality, with its ups and downs, victories and losses The same is true of stock markets, where investors move from happiness to sorrow and from ecstasy to dejection, with cyclical regularity As in life, with stocks too, no one is a permanent winner or loser Change is the only constant Stock markets and life are about being in the present moment, making continuous assessments of the current situation, and then taking whatever course of action seems right to us, at that instant.
And these actions might bring about results which are acceptable or unacceptable One must have the maturity to accept both the good and the bad with equanimity. Life is all about putting in our best efforts and then surrendering to a higher authority or power This letting go is often required in investing too where, after having made a decision, one should not continuously be thinking about it Having done our job, we must let go and let existence take over, and give us whatever returns or rewards Learn to accept that which you cannot change.
At the same time, one cannot afford to be callous or careless, as these qualities always lead to trouble. Life and the stock markets are ruled by two emotions – greed and fear Depending on mindsets of individuals, some might veer more towards greed, while many might act predominantly from fear What is needed is a healthy balance of desire and caution; else we either get too greedy or are too scared Extreme greed and extreme fear lead more to losses than profits and are major causes of misery and unhappiness.
This guest column has been contributed by Pudugram Vaidyanathan.