Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Restore, Refresh, and Renew

Soon after I wrote my previous post beating myself up for the botched AAPL trade, I found another one of Dan Fitzpatrick's latest freebie articles. This particular article talks about the attitude towards trading. I feel as if it is, in an uncanny way, speaking directly to the trading problems that I was experiencing today.

You are what you eat. Steve Pavlina's theory of Intention-Manifestation. Good things come to those who help others. DanF says you become what you think about. What is the common thread?

Attitude is the common thread. Attitude is everything. You can't control what life throws at you, but you can control your response to it. I've almost forgotten this age old piece of sage advice, and DanF is basically suggesting the same thing when he says that after every trade, you can EITHER dwell on the negatives and internalize them (which I think is what I started to do earlier today), OR you you can focus on the things that you did right and internalize that.

I think what he's also trying to say is that cycle of dwelling on mistakes needs to be broken, because not only is it unhealthy, but it eventually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is somewhat similar to a negative Intention-Manifestation. At the risk of sound philosophical here, my thought is that if the whole notion of a self-fulfilling prophecy is even plausible to you, then that alone lends credibility to Pavlina's theory of Intention-Manifestation. The key to breaking the self-fulfilling prophecy of failure is the attitude.

I think I know what I need to do - practice following all of my trading rules, not just when it's convenient to do so, or when I feel like it. That is probably the first habit I need to practice on, following all my rules exactly when I do NOT want to do so. Instead of visualizing the perfect, and profitable trade, I will visualize myself following all my rules. Yeah, it probably sounds a bit silly, but I feel that it makes sense for me.

On a slightly related side note, does anyone ever wonder why it is so easy to wait for an unprofitable trade to break even, and yet it is so hard to wait for a well-behaved, low risk setup ? I don't know the answer myself, but I'm willing to bet that the answer has something to do with self-discipline. In order to tackle the challenge of cultivating self-discipline, I think I will need to do something that is seemingly unrelated, like training myself to bike to work more often, or training to run 10km.

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