It seems my post title’s need work since I may as well call this one ‘blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ but let’s go with it anyway… I’ve long stopped being concerned about turning this blog into a ‘thing’ since I write here to help clarify my own thoughts rather than add more noise to the signal.
As an aside I went through ‘wordpress’ list of ‘blogs I follow and ended up deleting 60% of the entriest since most people who were active 1-2 years ago seem to have stopped writing.
My own post frequency has died on it’s arse since I’m focusing on doing rather than writing about stuff and then NOT doing anything. It seems every time I come back to WordPress they’ve also changed the UI… shows you how big these gaps are becoming.
However I felt beholden to recommend the following book (not a trading book) and make an additional observation since it might help someone out there. Off we go…
Struggling with placing trades
So here’s the thing… I’m sure I’ve written about this whole topic before. I have a few persistent behaviors I get into when looking at placing trades. Some or all of these may occur: –
- I look for confirmation of my idea by other traders
- Manage to talk myself out of placing the trade at all
- Get scared off by the big red/green candle and don’t do anything
Issue number 1 is simple to fix. Don’t canvas other people’s opinions or spend too much time worrying about everyone else. Since it really has to come down to me in the end the opinions or others are essentially meaningless.
Issue numbers 2 and 3 are allied to that basic human emotion of fear. That part of your brain which has been programmed since time immemorial to stop you taking risks. Since science-fiction like reprogramming options aren’t available it means the only option is to re-frame the conscious decision making process around the circumstances of placing the trade.
So on to the serendipitous solution where I ran smack into The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. Which can be summarised as follows…
The one thing you must do is, by definition, outside of your comfort zone. Avoiding or hoping for the perfect circumstances before proceeding is foolish and delusional. The obstacle lies in the path which must be taken since victory doesn’t come from fleeing from the battlefield.
The book describes how seeking comfort or ‘ease’ is actually robbing us of our capacity to evolve and experience new things. Taking on the experiences that scare us knowing that these are the exact things we must become familiar with is immensely powerful psychologically. I’ll prove this point with my own experiences later on.
Struggling with change in general
I am not happy with certain aspects of my life. There are characteristics, habits and behaviors I have which I don’t actually like very much.
- I eat chocolate when I’m stressed at work and don’t sleep for long enough
- I don’t eat particularly healthily anyway which compromises my time in the gym
- I waste a lot of time consuming media (films/games) instead of creating (I love to write) or spending time learning new skills
- The list goes on…
- and more…
While this intersects with some of the ‘avoidance’ behavior of my lizard brain not wanting to expose itself to change/risk/the unknown I heard something the other day which literally scared the crap out of me.
There is no future version of yourself. The person you are now is the person you will be in the future.
I had recently spent some time getting my head around the fact that if I actually did want to have a different life then the person I’d have to be would have to be significantly different… and then… nothing happened. Once I heard this phrase the reason became very clear.
I hadn’t been making the effort to change my habits in the present because some ‘amazing future version of me’ would have it all nailed down and it would happen ‘in the future’. In the meantime what I had was an amazing way of excusing myself for my lack of effort, focus and will-power.
All of my less than optimal habits associated with how I use my time, pursuing my goals around trading, diet and fitness have been deferred to this amazing future me.
The ‘future version of me’ will never ever appear unless I focus on changing the only version of me that actually exists. The person I am now – in this moment
So I am in the process of continually reminding myself the ‘future me’ (who I have dearly loved and cherished for many years) has to die. I’ve never been one for reminiscing about the past – as anyone who has encountered my shocking memory will know – but I’ve previously held on very tightly to ‘someday’.
It appears this is not a profitable belief so it’s going to get crushed.
Ah yes, taking on experiences that ‘scare’ us
There’s a lot more behind this which I’ll go through in another post but by accepting the obstacle as part of the path I’ve actually had these results +22 | +2 | -2 | +0 | +24
I know 5 trades don’t make a track record (at all) but these are the ones I’ve taken within this new mental framework. Way less mental pressure and actual emotional distance from the whole experience. I might even say ‘fun’ 😀
Thanks for reading