My “Focus Meditation” Exercise - Psychology and Money Management | futures io social day trading
futures io futures trading


My “Focus Meditation” Exercise
Updated: Views / Replies:2,213 / 13
Created: by AttitudeTrader Attachments:0

Welcome to futures io.

(If you already have an account, login at the top of the page)

futures io is the largest futures trading community on the planet, with over 90,000 members. At futures io, our goal has always been and always will be to create a friendly, positive, forward-thinking community where members can openly share and discuss everything the world of trading has to offer. The community is one of the friendliest you will find on any subject, with members going out of their way to help others. Some of the primary differences between futures io and other trading sites revolve around the standards of our community. Those standards include a code of conduct for our members, as well as extremely high standards that govern which partners we do business with, and which products or services we recommend to our members.

At futures io, our focus is on quality education. No hype, gimmicks, or secret sauce. The truth is: trading is hard. To succeed, you need to surround yourself with the right support system, educational content, and trading mentors – all of which you can find on futures io, utilizing our social trading environment.

With futures io, you can find honest trading reviews on brokers, trading rooms, indicator packages, trading strategies, and much more. Our trading review process is highly moderated to ensure that only genuine users are allowed, so you don’t need to worry about fake reviews.

We are fundamentally different than most other trading sites:
  • We are here to help. Just let us know what you need.
  • We work extremely hard to keep things positive in our community.
  • We do not tolerate rude behavior, trolling, or vendors advertising in posts.
  • We firmly believe in and encourage sharing. The holy grail is within you, we can help you find it.
  • We expect our members to participate and become a part of the community. Help yourself by helping others.

You'll need to register in order to view the content of the threads and start contributing to our community.  It's free and simple.

-- Big Mike, Site Administrator

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 

My “Focus Meditation” Exercise

  #1 (permalink)
Attitude is everything.
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker/Data: IQFeed
Favorite Futures: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 857 received

My “Focus Meditation” Exercise

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a 3-day weekend (along with 5 other traders) with Mark Douglas back in the mid 90's. It was a surreal experience sitting in the glass-walled conference room of a high-rise condominium building (where he lived) overlooking one of the piers on Lake Michigan in such an intimate setting.

That weekend is a story for another time, but I want to work on one of the things I learned there.

During that weekend he gave us a mental exercise he called the "coach and quarterback technique." The exercise is meant to not only develop/improve the ability to focus your thoughts, but to lessen the amount of time it takes for you to realize that you are in the middle of the distracting or self-sabotaging thoughts that lead to destructive (losing) behavior.

In essence to "monitor our own thoughts." Similar to the way a coach monitors a quarterback. The quarterback is essentially in control of the game, but if he starts getting sacked or misreading the defense and starts veering off the game plan, the coach is there to get him back in line and back on track.

Lately I've lacked conviction in doing the exercise so I'm starting this thread to make myself a little more accountable, to report my daily progress with it for at least the next 30 days, and to share the exercise here. I'm not looking for astonishing results, just a consistent application of the exercise.

This exercise is much like any other "meditation," and there are a million different ones to talk about, but this thread is not intended to be a discussion of all of the various meditation/mental techniques – I'm sure there is already plenty of that in this part of the forum. This thread is focused on a discussion of this specific technique and a journal of my practice of it.

I have a lot to do today and I want to get this started, so I'm going to give the basics for now and I'll elaborate as I go along and think of more details.

The Exercise

It's a simple counting exercise. Sitting comfortably and relaxed with eyes closed, breathe in and count "1." On the exhale say (mentally or out loud) "and." Then inhale and count "2." On the exhale, "and," and so on up to a count of 4, then start the cycle over again.

So it would be:

Inhale "1"
Exhale "and"
Inhale "2"
Exhale "and"
Inhale "3"
Exhale "and"
Inhale "4"
Exhale "and"

Then repeat the cycle.

Breathing should be relaxed, as full as you want and at a comfortable pace.

What you will discover (because it happens to everyone) is that shortly after you start your "counting" you will begin to experience a stream (or even bombardment) of other thoughts about all kinds of things – everything but your counting.

What's interesting is that when you realize that you're not counting anymore, you won't know for sure how long you've been doing it. It could be for just a few seconds or even a few minutes.

And it is precisely this aspect of our minds that causes so many problems with our trading. It only takes a few moments of this lack of focus for the distracting or self-sabotaging thoughts to enter and cause us to do something we shouldn't. How many times have you looked back after a trade and said, "I know better than that! Why did I do that? What was I thinking?!"

So while you're doing the counting exercise, as soon as you're aware that you aren't counting anymore, just acknowledge it and then gently bring yourself back to the exercise. The idea is to train yourself to become aware of these distracting/destructive thoughts more quickly; to monitor your own stream of thoughts.

Start with a few minutes a day and work your way up to 15 minutes once or twice a day – whatever works for you. Mark suggested that we do it for 15 minutes, twice a day. That's what I'll be attempting to do here.

I'm calling it my "Focus Meditation" just because I like the connotation of those words, but you can call it whatever you want.

For now I'll leave you with the last thing that Mark said to us about this exercise – kind of like anything else in life: "This exercise produces enormous beneficial effects for everyone who does it. It's just that very few people will do it."

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
 
  #2 (permalink)
Quick Summary
Quick Summary Post

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.

 
  #3 (permalink)
Attitude is everything.
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker/Data: IQFeed
Favorite Futures: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 857 received

Day 1


I'll be keeping these dailies short and simple so I have little excuse not to post.

7:27am: 10 minutes of Focus Meditation - Only did 10 minutes because at this point I still hadn't decided to go through with creating this thread and doing 15 minutes, twice a day.

9:51pm: 15 minutes - First few minutes weren't too bad, but the remaining time my mind was constantly wandering off course. Feel like I have the attention span of a gnat - at least when it comes to focusing my thoughts.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last edited by AttitudeTrader; July 15th, 2012 at 10:08 AM. Reason: Minor layout modifications.
Reply With Quote
 
  #4 (permalink)
Attitude is everything.
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker/Data: IQFeed
Favorite Futures: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 857 received

Day 2 – Morning

I don't plan to post more than once a day here, but I thought of another thing so I'll post it along with this morning's meditation.

While I'm doing my Focus Meditation I have earphones in and I listen to one of my Monroe Institute Hemi-Sync tracks like “Surf.” Mark Douglas turned us on to the Monroe Institute stuff while I was in Chicago. Not sure how much it really does, but it's great for drowning out outside noises and it's nice to know that it might also have beneficial effects.

7:50am: 15 minutes – I only found myself completely off and away from my counting a few times. But for the rest of the time I had a nearly constant stream of chatter and distracting thoughts running concurrent to my counting. Toward the end I even began having thoughts about whether I had remembered to set my iPhone alarm because it had seemed like a long time. Very little actual singularly focused thought.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to AttitudeTrader for this post:
 
  #5 (permalink)
Student Of The Markets
New York
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, TOS
Favorite Futures: E-mini S&P 500
 
Posts: 753 since Aug 2010
Thanks: 448 given, 433 received

D4,

Great thread, I'm looking forward to reading more. I have used holysynic meditation cds before, but never listen to them long enough to determine their usefulness.

Cheers

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to itrade2win for this post:
 
  #6 (permalink)
Attitude is everything.
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker/Data: IQFeed
Favorite Futures: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 857 received

Day 2 – Evening

9:41pm: 15 minutes - I was pretty tired when I started so I didn't think I'd do very well, but I was actually doing a better job of focusing on my counting than this morning. I don't think I ever got through a full 4-count cycle without other thoughts coming in but it was noticeably better.

Then it suddenly struck me that I had forgotten to set my timer for 15 minutes. I jolted my eyes open, unlocked my iPhone, and then saw that I actually had set the timer and I still had a little over 6 minutes left. What was that about? I was nearly certain I had forgotten to set it - weird. After that I was back to a ton of distracting thoughts like this morning.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
 
  #7 (permalink)
Elite Member
Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Investor RT, Multicharts
Broker/Data: LMAX, Infinity Futures
Favorite Futures: EUR/USD
 
fibfisherman's Avatar
 
Posts: 57 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 167 given, 87 received

Thanks - this is a good topic.

15mins is way too long for me to stay focused at this point. I try to do 2min but can rarely keep my thoughts focused for more than about 10secs at time.

Some interesting links:

30 DAY CHALLENGE: THE EASY WAY & THE EASIER WAY - Good Disruptive Change

Do Nothing for 2 Minutes

Reply With Quote
The following 4 users say Thank You to fibfisherman for this post:
 
  #8 (permalink)
Attitude is everything.
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker/Data: IQFeed
Favorite Futures: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 857 received


fibfisherman View Post
Thanks - this is a good topic.

15mins is way too long for me to stay focused at this point. I try to do 2min but can rarely keep my thoughts focused for more than about 10secs at time.

Join the club. Just remember that this isn't as much about "thinking about nothing" as it is about beginning to recognizing when you're "off track" with your thoughts - having thoughts that may be counterproductive to your overall objectives - and then being able to redirect them.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to AttitudeTrader for this post:
 
  #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
Orange County
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS
Favorite Futures: TF, Currency
 
Posts: 13 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 4 given, 2 received

What if I am aware of other thoughts but I am still counting?

Maybe I am not doing it right? I am counting "1" in my head and "and" in my head. Thoughts?

Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to DavidK for this post:
 
  #10 (permalink)
Attitude is everything.
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker/Data: IQFeed
Favorite Futures: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 857 received



DavidK View Post
What if I am aware of other thoughts but I am still counting?

Maybe I am not doing it right? I am counting "1" in my head and "and" in my head. Thoughts?

I pretty much have the same thing. There are few moments when I am only focused on my counting. Every time I realize that other thoughts are streaming through, I try to just release them and go back to counting - but it seems like it's about every 2 seconds that I'm doing that.

Mark said it can take at least a week of doing it twice a day, 15 minutes a day just to get to the point where you might be able to get through a 1 - 4 count cycle without other thoughts coming in.

I'm still not completely clear about what I'm going to accomplish with this yet. This is an experiment as much as anything and like I said in the intro, I'm just trying to apply the exercise consistently for a while to see what happens.

So back to your question: There really isn't a "right way" and a "wrong way." There's "your way," so keep at it for a while and see where it takes you.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply With Quote
The following user says Thank You to AttitudeTrader for this post:

Reply



futures io > > > My “Focus Meditation” Exercise

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Upcoming Webinars and Events (4:30PM ET unless noted)

Linda Bradford Raschke: Reading The Tape

Elite only

Adam Grimes: TBA

Elite only

NinjaTrader: TBA

January

Ran Aroussi: TBA

Elite only
     

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Secret of Wine Enjoyment and a Cardiovascular Exercise for Those of .. kbit Jokes 0 June 9th, 2012 02:47 PM
Berkshire Will Not Exercise Goldman Warrants Now Quick Summary News and Current Events 0 March 20th, 2011 03:10 AM
How many methods do you focus on? jonc Psychology and Money Management 6 December 15th, 2010 12:07 PM
Money Management Exercise George Psychology and Money Management 8 July 30th, 2010 11:26 AM
Jim Rogers: Stress Test Is a PR Exercise Quick Summary News and Current Events 1 July 26th, 2010 08:39 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:45 PM.

Copyright © 2017 by futures io, s.a., Av Ricardo J. Alfaro, Century Tower, Panama, +507 833-9432, info@futures.io
All information is for educational use only and is not investment advice.
There is a substantial risk of loss in trading commodity futures, stocks, options and foreign exchange products. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
no new posts
Page generated 2017-12-12 in 0.13 seconds with 19 queries on phoenix via your IP 54.167.44.32