Prologue: A Day in the Life of a Successful Trader

It's 5:50 a.m. on a typical weekday. Before everyone else in his family has woken up—in fact, before most of the population of the city are awake—Charles Thompson is already out of his pajamas and has his coffee brewing. For the past 15 years, Charles's habit has been to start his day before dawn. He believes that starting his daily race before everyone else does will give him a winning edge.

By 6:10 a.m., Charles begins his meditation sitting in his study. Admittedly, he has to fight the drowsiness, but he does it anyway. He added this habit to his morning routine less than half a year ago, and he is improving day-by-day. The meditation practice is more than a mind training that clears his mind, but also a discipline of focus and determination. These are important to both his life and his work. So he shows up on his meditation mat every single morning.

Twenty minutes later, as he stands up from his meditation mat, he does a brief stretching exercise. He feels his blood rushing to every cell in his body, and is fully refreshed and awake. He puts on his training shoes and gets out of his house for a 30-minute jog in the neighborhood park. If it rains or snows, Charles will opt for running on the treadmill in his home gym, but he prefers running in the park, for the jolt of fresh and frosty morning air.

Back home over breakfast after a hot shower, Charles launches the newsfeed application on his iPad to read about the major events ...

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