What makes many investors miserable is that they anchor on the highest value their portfolio ever reached, and measure everything against that. "I'm down 25% from my high!" That's anchoring. Where are your assets compared to three years ago? That's a more reasonable way to look at them. Anchoring on your all-time high suggests you believe the market should always go higher -- should, in effect, be perfect. But nothing is perfect. Not life, not happiness, not your birthday -- not even Star Wars 7 . So why would the stock market be perfect? It never will be. It will always be sloppy. It will give slowly and take quickly. You should always assume a 20% haircut to your assets is around the corner, yet always remember that over long periods, the stock market rewards investors like nothing else can.
So it's the long term that matters. It's the long term that allows you to grow and compound your savings. To get to the long term, you need to invest in a sustainable fashion in the short term. Don't over-leverage yourself. Don't borrow money to buy stocks. Don't write more options than your cash can handle.
Nobody likes to see their portfolio decline, but everybody knows that's inevitable with the stock market on a regular basis. So be prepared with a portfolio that can withstand declines. That's how you win in the long term. Granted, in the short term, sometimes there's little to celebrate. The Nasdaq index is down 15% since January; many stocks have lost twice that; and many options (being leverage) are down triple that or more! Realize, though, that you're not investing in "losers." You have not chosen poorly. It's just that the entire market is losing right now. Again, it does this on a regular basis. You need to be able to get through it each time. Ideally, you are investing in businesses that will increase their long-term value as they pass through any volatile times.