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The secret to how your brain works


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The secret to how your brain works

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  #1 (permalink)
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I have been watching this documentary I found which was produced by the BBC. Its called The Brain with David Eagleman. I encourage you to watch it as it reveals some very deep insights into the mechanics of the wet computer encased in bone that is your consciousness. Im finding it fascinating with many topics relating to trading to explore and discuss further for anyone that is interested.

One part that really struck me (of the many) was this chap on the operating theatre who was undergoing brain surgery and who had agreed to a live experiment while the top of his skull had been removed, brain exposed, and surgeons were doing their thing. They hooked up a device that made an audio popping sound whenever certain neurons fired. David shows the subject a picture of a rabbit that could be a duck and asks him what he sees. At first there is no noise, but then you can hear a popping sound, almost like popcorn going off and that is the sound of his mind trying to make a decision!

It was just so weird seeing it because although it is a human lying there, I felt like he wasnt human anymore, but was something else entirely, just a bundle of nerves neurons and mechanical impulses with sensory input devices attached (ears, eyes nose, mouth).

If you are interested in this sort of thing, watch the video, there are many topics revealed in there that would create an interesting discussion relating to trading and I would love to explore some of the themes further.

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In one of the episodes I watched last night, an interesting study was done where they monitored parts of the brain responsible for empathy, and then showed the subjects a persons hand being stabbed with this huge needle. All the subjects showed signs of brain activity and winced after seeing it. However, when they were told that the hand being stabbed belonged to a person from a different religious belief, or in some cases a different race to their own...there was no reaction.

This is fascinating. Simply introducing a few choice words completely changes the behaviour of your brain. The hand still belonged to a human, the person being stabbed still felt pain, and the information might have been incorrect, yet the brain ignores all this and simply had no empathy reaction. He explains the reasons behind this which was also very interesting but for the brain to go so easily from one configuration to another is a pretty darn scary thought.

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His books 'Incognito' and 'Sum' are two of my favourites.

Cheers

Travel Well
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I love this word. Archetype. It relates to trading in a very fundamental way.
In Jungian theory it is an inherited pattern of thought that is derived from the past collective experience of humanity, and is present in the unconscious of the individual. Like a fear of snakes, or spiders.

Breaking it down to the individual and it is an experience we go through which creates a certain response within us. Negative experiences we want to avoid, positive experiences we want to repeat.

My experience of this concept (related to my early trading experience) is as follows:

The fun part:
When I first traded I did well, I made money but I didn't know what I was doing. Easy money. Fast money. Big dreams. Positive experience and I wanted more.

The hard part:
Then I started thinking about what I was doing and became a consistent loser. I questioned my ability and doubted the viability of trading. Negative experience I didn't want to trade anymore.

The blue pill or the red pill:
Then came the agonising climb out of this pit of negativity and fear. How does one overcome this overwhelming urge to run away to safety, to get away from this thing that is causing so much pain? Adding to this anguish is the message of the high failure rate in trading. All these negative things collectively gang up and endorse the desire to stop and give up. I had become the archetypal losing trader and fulfilled the recurring pattern of defeat common to all but a select few. The choice was there for me to make. Continue down the rabbit hole or go back to mediocrity?


This fits into the theme of how the brain works because the formative years of trading are the hardest part of the journey and also the part where emotions and behaviour patterns are being created (mostly negative in my case) in response to your attempt at creating a new path for yourself. I believe that this is where most people fail and give up. Not because they are doing anything wrong because the losing phase is necessary, but because the emotional trauma is too much to deal with.

I did manage to get through the fire though but thats a story for another day.

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Your mind makes you believe that you are separate from everyone, an entity ‘in here’ experiencing the world ‘out there’.

This is a necessary illusion but it is not true. You are one with everything. You are driven by the same impulse as the next person. A water droplet in a thunderstorm has the same purpose as every other water droplet. It cannot be different or unique because it is driven by the very same force of nature as the next water droplet, and the next, and the next....

The only control you have is the way in which you think about your experience. If you hate it and fight it, you will invite anguish into your mind and you will be unhappy. If you accept your circumstance and go with the flow then you open yourself to a more positive experience.

Its all in your mind.

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Your mind makes you believe that you are separate from everyone, an entity ‘in here’ experiencing the world ‘out there’.

This is a necessary illusion but it is not true. You are one with everything. You are driven by the same impulse as the next person. A water droplet in a thunderstorm has the same purpose as every other water droplet. It cannot be different or unique because it is driven by the very same force of nature as the next water droplet, and the next, and the next....

The only control you have is the way in which you think about your experience. If you hate it and fight it, you will invite anguish into your mind and you will be unhappy. If you accept your circumstance and go with the flow then you open yourself to a more positive experience.

Its all in your mind.

It sounds like you'd enjoy the book "The Master and his Emissary" by Ian McGilchrist.

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It sounds like you'd enjoy the book "The Master and his Emissary" by Ian McGilchrist.

I was going to suggest the "The Inside Out Revolution" by Michael Neill Very interesting thread.

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On the way to the dentist today, I listened to an awesome interview on the radio about time and the brain.

Went along these lines: We have sensory input devices for vision, sound, taste, smell but no device that picks up time. We do however sense time. If you pause for a few seconds and think about those seconds, you must ask how do you sense this interval of time? You probably sense it through your feelings which your brain mashes, reconstructs and presents to you as a flow of time. Your brain can slow time or speed it up. When youre in a panic situation, everything relative to you seems to be slowing down. You become hyperaware, you seem to have time to think about what needs to be done.
Reason:
We experience so much through our lives that it is not necessary to remember everything, so our minds have developed mechanisms to store certain events with higher priority than others. Such as when we under extreme duress or trauma.

How does it get stored? Is you memory completely accurate or does it get enhanced over time? Memory is reconstructive it is not a stamp of exactly what happened. So something your mind reconstructs can be manipulated over time. This can lead to false memories.
The power of the brain is that it can recreate these emotional events under certain situations. And, it doesn’t need to initiate these responses from an external trigger; your reaction can come from a thought. This is where meditation comes in, it teaches you to manage thought and to understand silence. So I guess the question is if you can remain physically and mentally calm in a stressful situation can fear stimulus be lessened? From a personal perspective, I can confirm that it is possible.

They also discussed how the heartbeat is linked to fear and memory storage but it sounded like these scientists had been given huge amounts of money to study a phenomenon that can be reduced to common sense when taken apart.

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For anyone interested in this sort of thing, I have recently been listening to a gentleman by the name of Krishnamurti (RIP) who has some fantastic videos on youtube related to mind. Very insightful stuff.

Here is a good starting point. The video is only 4 minutes and gives you an idea of what his experience was all about.

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In most cases you have no free will. The purpose of your brain is to store data so that every time you are presented with a situation, memory is recalled and processed, in order that you can make the best of the immediate situation.
Without your memory of past experiences you're going to make the same choice over and over again. Clive Wearing completely lost his short term memory so every moment to him was a new one. He was basically stuck in mental purgatory because his mind had nothing to recall and compare against so therefore he was stuck in a hellish groundhog day scenario.

Listen to this and you will understand just how memory plays a role in every single decision that you make.


Quoting 
The main problem with the question of free will is that it's an emotionally loaded question. Obviously people want to be "free", they don't want to be a slave or a robot, and that puts an immediate bias on the question. There's an immediate knee-jerk reaction to answer "I have free will", that often people don't take the time to, or refuse to, consider the converse.

So, Im wondering why I repeat trading mistakes when I have good recall of the prior negative outcomes?
Lets consider moving stop loss levels and inevitably eating bigger losers than you should have. The memory is there, I know it will cause pain, yet I move my stop. The pain of the memory is being over ridden by something else more powerful. What is it? A desire/stubbornness to be right? It is an irrepressible recursive loop that presents as soon as price goes against me. Most times it can be over ridden when Ive eaten my vegetables and had a good nights sleep but when discipline is lax in the other area of my life I know that I will be making weak trading decisions.

I dont know but I think it is an interesting question and worthy of deeper exploration.

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There is not much difference between a mechanical reaction and 'free will'


Quoting 
A hunter may run toward a tiger when trying to kill it, or run away from the tiger when he discovers his gun is jammed.
This variability of response is because there is a mind building a model of consequences.

So how does this automatic subconscious processing influence a trader?

I personally have 2 elements. I will get my perfect sinewave setup as per the screenshot. When price gets to point D we are 'go time'.
But 2 things need to be addressed by concious mind (free will?) before I pull the trigger:

1. I dont know how far up this rally is going to push (Past experience is causing a fear response and is disabling me in this instance)
2. Decision: should I take info risk trade or price risk trade? (Ive already planned this trade but now mind is desperately trying to confuse me to avoid the fear of entering on uncertainty)

This is a typical cause-effect scenario that all new traders are confronted with.

How does one deal with it? Ignore the inevitable response and trust in your analysis. I used to get pissed at myself for not taking trades, entering too late etc etc ad nauseaum.
Until I got it. Its a normal function of mind to react in that way. It is automatic. Mechanical. There is nothing you can do to stop it (millions of years of evolution is there to protect you not harm you). Nothing. Your only possible way out of it is to accept thats how your mind works and then you will learn what is real and what is fake.

Good luck

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Is the CPU hot because of bad hardwiring or because of software?
Are we chemically or genetically inclined to be depressed and have anxiety or are this simply the effect of our thinking?

Anxiety is a mind condition most frequently caused by cognitive disorders. Simply stated, during your life time, through observation of certain events, you come to take certain "rules" for granted through thinking and belief. They become the software of your brain, running in the background.

These rules might be observations such as "Everyone else has this figured but I dont" or "My trades never go to target", or "I never get a break". Your brain will then take these cognitive observations and use them to chemically optimize your body's processes to live up to the observed challenge. For example, when you're thinking "I never win", your brain kicks your heart into gear, which will make you sweat, anxiety builds, over time you start becoming despondent. Or when you say "I never get a break", your body tenses up and you become angry, you reflect on all your past failures and you get pulled further into despair.

By silently verbalizing falsehoods, you turn them into automated background software to run in your mind forever; until the day of the conflict in this theatrical play (depression) when you need to wake up to automatic thinking, and challenge your assumptions.

So, you go to a doctor, you end up being prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. For some conditions this makes sense. For many conditions, this is simply misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Medicine frequently jumps to treating the effects of anxiety and depression, not its causes.



your mind's software glitch:
The subtlety of cognitive disorders (of which anxiety is one) is that we end up not realizing the transition of these observations into automatic subconscious thoughts. In other words, your brain is usually so smart that it can automate things for you without your awareness.

For example, when you discover how to stabilize yourself on a bike, you're not thinking in logic; you're delegating decisions to the motor cortex of your brain, which acts on thousands of sensory input signals. The brain does the same kind of subconscious learning for repeated observations: it starts saying the sentences in the back of your mind, without you having to use your mouth! It's critical for you to realize this: you're actually saying things to yourself in the back of your mind, without so much as a peep. "I doubt if that's really true?!" you think to yourself. See, you just proved the point.

Debugging the brain:
Here's the kicker: The subconscious part of your brain, which is responsible for automating your thoughts and forming your personality, has evolved a long time ago. So long ago in fact, that it's childish in its level of intelligence. You let it hear from you "Gosh, why can't I catch a break in life" and its childish response is to think "Oh! Master is tired. Master needs a break ... let me turn on ALL the machines under my control to get everything done as quickly as." BOOM - your heart is suddenly in high gear, your muscles are tense or otherwise fatigued, you're hyper-ventilating, you're having a panic-attack and eventually if this pattern repeats itself frequently enough, you're giving up on life completely and going into depression. Why? Because the subconscious brain has the IQ of a moron, and you're feeding the moron confusing information. This confusing information enters your subconscious mind and gets mis-interpreted. This mis-interpretation is called Cognitive Distortion. Its a software glitch.

And to reverse it, you must restructure the way you talk to yourself. If you are feeling anxious then odds are that you are causing it through your automated thoughts.
There are some brain hacks to help you overcome the software glitch.
To be continued...

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All or Nothing Thinking:

Do you frequently catch yourself using sentences that start with "always", "every", and "never"? Language is a powerful medium. People understand what you mean when you say "I'll always be miserable". It's an understandable exaggeration. But your subconscious doesn't understand it. It lacks the processing power of your conscious mind. It interprets such False Dilemma messages as True Dilemmas, which then kicks in all the wrong sub-systems in your body.

The key hack here is to recognise that if there are shades of grey in between, you should train yourself to speak verbally with those shades of grey included so that your subconscious childish mind hears the right messages. When you catch yourself thinking (i.e. saying in the back of your mind) "I'm always miserable at work", you should respond to that thought with "That's not factually true. I have had many days that have been quite good. Some days have been really hard, but I also have good days." Instead of "I'm always miserable at work", you should train yourself to think in terms that are instead factually true: "a few days per month I've had difficulty dealing with the workload". To you this might not sound very different, but to your subconscious mind, it's the difference between an emergency and an inconvenience. Your subconscious is dealing with these two messages like so: "always miserable? alert! alert! initiate melt-down so that we can remove ourselves from this situation" vs. "some days it's tough? okay, has today been tough yet? no? okay I don't have to do anything, carry on!"

Credit: Amin Ariana who agreed to let me share this. I share because it has been hugely beneficial to me and hopefully it will benefit those that take the time to carefully read, ponder and implement what is being said.

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@Grantx

Your last two posts are really good. Understanding in these areas seem to be the key to overcoming the knee jerk mental “reactions”. It still seems the assimilation within ones self is not as quick but seeing slow changes. Thanks for sharing.

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Mental Filters
Are you the type of person who hears a bunch of encouragement and some criticism, and you completely tune out during the first part and only focus on the second part? This is called a mental filter. And it becomes automated. So later when you're thinking about that same feedback while sitting alone, all you remember is the criticism. Then your subconscious braces for defensive manoeuvring, i.e. let's not spend any energy on anything because we are focusing on the negative feedback. And boom, you're sitting on the couch, fatigued from lack of energy, and sobbing because life sucks and the day is passing by. Why? Because you've gotten yourself into a routine of just looking for flaws.

The trouble is that those encouraging messages you dropped on the floor are necessary for your subconscious mind to reward your body for having gotten you closer to your goal.

The key thing is to realise it's not up to you to decide what part of the feedback is important. You should relay it fully to your subconscious. And you do that by focusing on BOTH the encouragement and the criticism, and mentioning both when recollecting the memory, not just one and not the other.

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Your mind generates all kinds of theories in order to explain experience. Mind has a deep compulsion to explain and the incessant inner dialogue you experience is a function to satisfy this need.

I see it everywhere, so much explanation and reason for why price did this thing or that thing. Losing trades in particular, mind is reassured once an explanation has been attached to a losing trade.

You must learn to see past this function of your mind because it is holding you back. Try it next time you lose and you hear the inner dialogue starting up with reasons and excuses. Get into the habit of not attaching anything to a trade, it was either a winner or a loser – that all there was to it.

Your mind will see according to what it expects: If you have trained yourself to avoid getting into bad trades then you are focused on bad trades.
Mind clings: If you attach to the idea of avoiding losses then your focus is on loss.
Mind is a classification supercomputer: It categorises automatically. Certain things are important and others are to be ignored. Find out what these are because you could be missing out on a world of opportunity especially when it comes to your beliefs about trading.

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Dashrath Manjhi

We all face a mountain at some stage of our lives but Dashrath Manjhi went through the mountain. This man, on his own, carved a path 110 m long, 9.1 m wide and 7.6 m deep through a hillock using only a hammer and chisel.
What prompted him to do this??

While at work, Manjhi’s wife, Falguni Devi, used to bring food. One day, she slipped and seriously injured herself. The nearest medical facility was nearly 55 kms from Gehlaur. Owing to the steep mountain, it was impossible to reach there in time and eventually she died.

Manjhi was deeply hurt by this. Using only a hammer and chisel, this landless farmer, decided that he was gong to carve a path through this mountain so that his village could have easier access to medical facilities.

When he started, people mocked and laughed at him. Eventually the villagers, seeing the progress he was making, started giving him food and support.

He worked day and night for 22 years until he had broken that hill.

He was interviewed and one of his quotes went something along the lines of: Don’t rely on the universe to provide because you don’t know if the universe is relying on you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashrath_Manjhi


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I realised something about myself last week which was a fantastic realization and I would like to share it here.
It all started when I watched this incredibly insightful video on the mind. It needs to be watched a few times because it is heavy going but what I like is it is solely focused on scientifically verifiable data. Im not going to summarise the entire thing but one part I really enjoyed was the mechanics of fear. Fear has been my biggest hurdle so that is why I focus on it.

Your brain chemically (norepinephrine) triggers a defensive state when we feel that our thoughts have to be protected from the influence of others. If we are then confronted with differences in opinion, the chemicals are released in the brain, are the same ones that try to ensure our survival in dangerous situations. In this defensive state, the more primitive part of the brain interferes with rational thinking and the limbic system can knock out most of our working memory physically causing narrow-mindedness. On a neural level it reacts as if we're being threatened even if this threat comes from harmless opinions or facts that we may otherwise find helpful and could rationally agree with.

On the flip side, when we express ourselves and our views are appreciated, the defence chemicals decrease in the brain, and dopamine activates the reward neurons, make us feel empowered and increasing our self-esteem. Social validation increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain and allows us to let go of emotional fixations and become self-aware more easily.

Then I read an article on daylymail this morning about a chap on a dating site who became more interested in the ‘narcissistic kick of virtual admiration than finding a meaningful relationship.’ This dude got hooked on social validation instead of his original intention of finding a partner.


Im sure you can work out what this means to you personally. The real tricky thing with our brains is that we can very easily be deceived into doing something and then asking ourselves afterwards why the hell we did it. You have almost no control over the chemical processes in your brain but you do have knowledge of the processes and this is where you have to focus your attention. The whole mindfulness fad is about being self aware and ‘gurus’ make a big fuss about how to mediate and know yourself and quiet mind etc. ad museum but honestly you don’t have to go down that path. Its too hard and takes too damn long.

How does this relate to trading? I started to understand myself better by observing my mental state before and after entering into trades. When in a trade, I fear losing. I am in a pain zone, and looking for reasons to exit the pain. WHY? Because that is just how it works for me. I see myself as a provider to my family and anything that takes away my ability to fulfil that role is a threat. The problem is that this natural function doesn’t only get in the way of objective thinking...it completely disables it. Once you are aware of this process however, you can take steps to overcome this debilitating pattern.

Here is a fine example of a trade from this morning, as I type this in fact (which ended by me closing the position a few ticks shy of target). I had the urge to close that trade out on a few different occasions. My mind was coming up with all sorts of reasons to exit early. So what happened to rational mind that had a clear and articulate view of how to play this range? He got steamrolled by irrational mind as soon as price action started zig zagging. But the thing is .... I know this process now. It happens every time. Im not surprised by it anymore and I know its coming. And that simple knowledge is what helps me deal with it.

This knowledge might help you too. Get to know yourself and your pain thresholds and what happens to your mind when you push through into that pain. This is important if you ever want to figure out why you keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

The video:


Good luck.


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I was listening to Alan Watts rambling (and boy can he warble on) and in amongst the blah blah blah was a nugget of gold which I would like to share with you. I felt that this applies to trading because we all fall into this trap of setting a goal that once achieved, gives us permission to define ourselves as traders. What we dont realise is that it becomes un achievable because when your goal is 'out there' you miss what is happening right now.
Here is what he was saying (slightly edited and a bold highlight for a great quote):


What is the point? The existence of the physical universe is basically playful, there is no necessity for it. It doesn't have some destination that it ought to arrive at. It is best understood by analogy with music. Music as an art form and is essentially playful.

We say you play the piano you don't work a piano. This is why music differs from travel. when you travel you are trying to get somewhere. one doesn't make the end of a composition the goal of the composition. if that was so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest and who wrote only finales. And you wouldnt get people going to concerts just to hear one crashing end chord!

When dancing you don't aim at a particular spot in the room with the intention of arriving there. The whole point of the dancing is the moving around.

This is something brought by our education into our everyday lives. We've got a system of schooling which programs us with the wrong approach. It's all graded and what we do is we put the child into the corridor of this grade system where they lured through with end goals. First its kindergarten which is a great thing because when you finish that, you get into first grade and then to second grade and so on. And then you get out of grade school you go to high school. And your mind is revving up because the destination is coming. then you go to college and by Joe then you get into graduate school and when you're through with graduate school you go out to join the world.

Then you get a job where you're selling something and they've got that quota to make and you're working towards that, and all the time this destination is coming. That great success you're working for.

Then when you wake up one day about 40 years old you say my god I've arrived I'm there but the thing is you don't feel very different from what you always felt.

Look at the people who live to retire and put those savings away and then when they 65 they don't have any energy left. they're more or less impotent.

We just miss the point along the way. it is a musical thing and you are supposed to dance to the music

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About your last post, look up TED Shawn Achor on YouTube

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I was listening to Alan Watts rambling (and boy can he warble on) and in amongst the blah blah blah was a nugget of gold which I would like to share with you. I felt that this applies to trading because we all fall into this trap of setting a goal that once achieved, gives us permission to define ourselves as traders. What we dont realise is that it becomes un achievable because when your goal is 'out there' you miss what is happening right now.
Here is what he was saying (slightly edited and a bold highlight for a great quote):


What is the point? The existence of the physical universe is basically playful, there is no necessity for it. It doesn't have some destination that it ought to arrive at. It is best understood by analogy with music. Music as an art form and is essentially playful.

We say you play the piano you don't work a piano. This is why music differs from travel. when you travel you are trying to get somewhere. one doesn't make the end of a composition the goal of the composition. if that was so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest and who wrote only finales. And you wouldnt get people going to concerts just to hear one crashing end chord!

When dancing you don't aim at a particular spot in the room with the intention of arriving there. The whole point of the dancing is the moving around.

This is something brought by our education into our everyday lives. We've got a system of schooling which programs us with the wrong approach. It's all graded and what we do is we put the child into the corridor of this grade system where they lured through with end goals. First its kindergarten which is a great thing because when you finish that, you get into first grade and then to second grade and so on. And then you get out of grade school you go to high school. And your mind is revving up because the destination is coming. then you go to college and by Joe then you get into graduate school and when you're through with graduate school you go out to join the world.

Then you get a job where you're selling something and they've got that quota to make and you're working towards that, and all the time this destination is coming. That great success you're working for.

Then when you wake up one day about 40 years old you say my god I've arrived I'm there but the thing is you don't feel very different from what you always felt.

Look at the people who live to retire and put those savings away and then when they 65 they don't have any energy left. they're more or less impotent.

We just miss the point along the way. it is a musical thing and you are supposed to dance to the music

This is awesome. Thanks for sharing! I've always that way, just waiting to get to the next step. Yeesh. But what's the better way to do it if you're not going to be results oriented?

"It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop." Confucius
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This is awesome. Thanks for sharing! I've always that way, just waiting to get to the next step. Yeesh. But what's the better way to do it if you're not going to be results oriented?

Good question. One that I struggled with as well.
I figured that I cannot control market direction but I can control how I interact with it. A positive trading outcome is the result of proper preparation, procedures, restraint and discipline. If you practice deliberate focus on these areas, you should start to see positive returns.
Enjoying what you are doing is also a vital ingredient.
So for me the answer was deliberate attention to mindset, approach and procedure and the rest would hopefully take care of itself.
And it does

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Watts has some great perspective. I'm a fan.


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"All wretch and no vomit..."

Well...that's a metaphor if I'ever ever heard one.

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"All wretch and no vomit..."

Well...that's a metaphor if I'ever ever heard one.

Yep, ye olde dry heaves... worse than puking because you're going through the motions but without the payoff.

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Yep, ye olde dry heaves... worse than puking because you're going through the motions but without the payoff.

Great core workout though. Twist slightly while dry heaving and you target those obliques

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Great core workout though. Twist slightly while dry heaving and you target those obliques

Well hell, I'm up for a good workout, let's start drinking!

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Julian Baggini is awesome. You should read his book - the pig that wants to be eaten.

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Love this quote. Applies to trading

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... do things.”

That saying, have a plan and trade the plan. I think Im having a moment here because it all just seems so ridiculously funny that we are all so harsh with ourselves for not following 'the plan'. Sometimes we get so caught up in the story (the plan) of what our indicators are indicating and the nonstop mindful chatter which fools us into believing we know whats going on that we overlook the most important thing: What is price actually doing? Its right there you just have to see it.

At the end of the day we are all just dogs chasing cars and occasionally one latches onto a bumper and becomes a legendary dog. Most of the other dogs get squashed. Dont be one of those dogs. Catch the car and be careful of those tyres

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Love this quote. Applies to trading

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... do things.”

That saying, have a plan and trade the plan. I think Im having a moment here because it all just seems so ridiculously funny that we are all so harsh with ourselves for not following 'the plan'. Sometimes we get so caught up in the story (the plan) of what our indicators are indicating and the nonstop mindful chatter which fools us into believing we know whats going on that we overlook the most important thing: What is price actually doing? Its right there you just have to see it.

At the end of the day we are all just dogs chasing cars and occasionally one latches onto a bumper and becomes a legendary dog. Most of the other dogs get squashed. Dont be one of those dogs. Catch the car and be careful of those tyres

LOL, where's that quote from?

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LOL, where's that quote from?

Heath Ledger - the dark knight. The joker had some awesome quotes in that movie you should check them out.

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Read something Mel Robbins said which I found interesting. Paraphrasing:

Motivation is garbage . You will never feel like doing the things that are tough or difficult or uncertain or scary. The key is to stop hesitation or waiting for the right 'feeling'.

The moment you hesitate your brain is alerted to this new condition and magnifies what you are perceiving to be a threat. It immediately goes into protection mode because that what it is designed to do - stop anything that might hurt you.

So according to her, hesitation is the problem. I agree.

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I want to share something I wrote in my diary the other day. There was a profound moment for me a few months ago but Ive never really been able to properly express it in words until I heard Neale Walsch say it with great fluency.
Paraphrase:

-----------
We try mediation and mindfulness and law of attraction and various techniques but nothing seems to be working! How long does not having what you want ...have to go on for?
It goes on for as long as you keep saying that you do not want what you already have.
If you want what you have then ultimately you have what you want!
But if you keep saying that you don’t want to experience what you currently have then you are denying the very gift that makes your goals possible. You are literally pushing away the very conditions and circumstances that are giving you the perfect opportunity to demonstrate and experience what it is you wish to have.
What you resist – persists. What you look at disappears. That is it ceases its illusory form once you become aware of it.
-----------

To explain this another way. I went through a very dark phase and a big contributing factor was near the start of my trading journey. What I didn’t see at the time was the gift I was being given (which I am now grateful for but wasnt at the time). Because when you get to a place of utter hopelessness, its a forest fire that has burned your entire mental landscape leaving you standing alone and isolated amongst the charred ruins of everything you once thought you were. From this perspective you find out what really matters in life (family for me) . You ask yourself how you got here and you realise that question doesn’t matter anymore because the past doesnt matter. You can recreate yourself any way you want. The choice is yours. You start to understand that pain is a gift. It becomes a birthing process. It’s an announcement that new growth is occurring.


In relation to trading, one of the things I battled with was the constant losing. I was demanding a different set of results than what I was actually getting and this cause huge internal conflict. I just sat back one day and gave up. I sat there looking at the charts and told myself this is impossible. Borrowing a saying from deadpool: I had reached fuckit. This was a gift in disguise because now I had perspective. I was still new to trading and my little illusion of how easy trading was going to be, evaporated, and I got to see the true nature of this profession. I came to understand how integral losing is in trading and how unnecessary the associated emotions are.

Im kinda glad I learned that lesson early on. But more importantly is showed me that whenever I feel anger and discomfort it is because Im not in tune with something and I need to readjust my expectations.

Im not to sure where Im going with this post and Im starting to ramble so Ill sign off with a saying, dont know where it comes from:
Lord grant me the patience of the devil and the wisdom of the serpent.

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Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out.
The first monk said, "Oh, no! The candle is out."
The second monk said, "We are not supposed to talk"
The third monk said, "Why must you two break the silence?"
The fourth monk laughed and said, "Ha! I'm the only one who didn't speak."


The four monks have each broken their silence for different reasons:
The 1st monk was compelled to talk about his distraction (he could have just re lit the candle).
The 2nd monk was more worried about rules than the meditation itself.
The 3rd monk let his anger at the first two rule him.
The 4th monk was sidetracked by his ego.

Which one do you practice being?
There is a 5th option. Had there been a 5th monk he could have just sat there and simply maintained his silence. But if he had, in all likelihood, the other 4 would've probably continued to argue and not even noticed his silence. Could you be that 5th monk? Many people feel that If they are doing something that no one notices, then what is the point of doing it at all. They believe that the reward is in the recognition, not the effort.

Source: Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors

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The paradox of Choice: Free Will vs Fate.
You are who you are because of the choices you make, yet you can not succeed without external forces, such as friends, family, enemies, and random circumstance influencing your path.
The debate of Free Will vs Fate is a paradox because both sides are correct.

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Took dog for walk. Thought about a mobius strip and correlation to trading (don’t ask. I’m weird).

You are determined. Commited to this path (trading). Its hard but you have methods of distraction. Positive affirmations, catchy quotes, popular life coaches telling you how to think in a way that guarantees abundance and prosperity. If we persist and out-stubborn reality then the effort will eventually produce positive results.
Its not true. You are stuck on a Möbius strip. Darkness at the edges where you daren’t go..

How do you get off? To answer that you need to ask yourself how you got on in the first place.
Go straight to the pain and start by asking yourself what the most aggravating thing is about trading? For me it was losing a trade. Here is why:

I felt like a loser. Losing made me feel powerless. I felt embarrassed that I got it so wrong. I am highly competitive and losing made me feel boxed in, cornered, which in turn led to anger and aggression. Life taught me to fight or die but the market is superman with nunchukkas. It took trading for me to see one of the many pre programmed responses was a fight response. The feeling of powerlessness is terrifying.

You can be positive affirmationed up to the eyeballs but lurking just at the very edge of your perception is a looming darkness waiting to consume you at the first show of weakness. My belief was that if I could just read more positive stuff and put out higher frequencies the universe would get me out this hellhole and away from that darkness.

Didnt happen.... that damn Möbius strip had me. I realised that I was at war with myself. The darkness was me. The one pretending that everything was cool was the avatar and he was the weakling, the sucker, the crowd pleaser, the little bitch that cried every time something went wrong. Fuck that guy. I ditched the pretence and embraced my darkness. I went to all the hard places. All the embarrassing places. All the mistakes and regrets and enemies and hate....I went straight to them all and dived into the stink. I was having none of it any more. Here I am do your worst! As it turned out, facing the darkness put it into the light revealing nothing but smoke and mirrors.

What I believe the answer is for you:
To progress takes more than trying to out think the situation. You have to reflect deeply on who you are and why you think the way you do. What are these patterned responses and why do they overwhelm logic and reason? Your enemy is a chemical precursor to an emotion which gets all up in your face before you can do anything about it. You see, your conscious awareness is the last one to be notified of this event so throwing your toys out the cot is just a cute performance. If you continue to automatically react (you have a choice not to), then you are no better than a monkey dancing to an accordion. If you want to be free of the accordion, you have to observe and accept. No thinking your way out of it. When the emotion presents itself, you must remember that is the accordion playing a tune waiting for you to dance. You have the choice to be still and simply listen. Do it enough times and you will give yourself the freedom to play whatever tune you want!

And eventually that damned mobius strip goes poof and disappears and you will find yourself falling. Thats when you learn to fly


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I wanted to go back and watch a video you guys posted a while back that talked about neuroplasticity. I believe it was in this thread and I think it's either one of these two links - unfortunately neither is available anymore.

Do you happen to remember what it was called?



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For the curious...



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The video:


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Hope this helps you @xplorer

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Hope this helps you @xplorer

Hi Ron, thanks.... it wasn't this one unfortunately.

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Hi Ron, thanks.... it wasn't this one unfortunately.

I think I know which one you are talking about

I had a feeling it wasnt going to last long so I ripped it and reposted it back on youtube. Incredible stuff, you have to watch it a few times.

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I think I know which one you are talking about

I had a feeling it wasnt going to last long so I ripped it and reposted it back on youtube. Incredible stuff, you have to watch it a few times.

Yes, that's the one, thanks!

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Highly entertaining read. Still haven't finished it.

https://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html


Quoting 
The neocortex had turned humans into magicians. Not only had he made the human head a wondrous internal ocean of complex thoughts, his latest breakthrough had found a way to translate those thoughts into a symbolic set of sounds and send them vibrating through the air into the heads of other humans, who could then decode the sounds and absorb the embedded idea into their own internal thought oceans. The human neocortex had been thinking about things for a long time—and he finally had someone to talk about it all with.


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He gives some examples in this video with numbers and colours etc. which are pretty darn interesting. When you pay too much attention to boundaries, you dont see the big picture -you see only categories. Obviously this has yuuuge consequences for us traders. With all our lines and averages and pivots and whatnot. Perhaps these things impose boundaries and restrict our minds from seeing what is really happening. You decide.



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TLDR: stop trying to figure shit out

Here is an interesting thought. Imagine you are sitting in a room with no windows or doors. Your only company is a miniature hot air balloon slowly drifting randomly between floor and ceiling. There are air currents too subtle for you to detect but which the balloon responds to. You are moderately happy and blissfully unaware of the limitations of your awareness. Your purpose in this room (your reality) is to predict the direction the balloon will take. You create an identity for the miniature balloon and empower it by projecting all your hopes and fears onto it. Then one day whilst contemplating the nature of the balloon you have a flash of realization and see a door that went entirely unnoticed up until now. You open the door and find yourself standing at the threshold of a vast expanse of open space. Your eyes adjust to the light and you realise that you are standing in the doorway of a tiny hot air balloon which is drifting in the open expanse of an enormous room. You are compelled to jump and as you fall into the vast open space, you slowly expand in size so that the balloon you just exited from, gets smaller and smaller until it becomes indistinguishable from the miniature you had been observing just a moment ago.

You look back at the miniature balloon with a new awareness. A deeper perspective of the limitations that your reality once occupied. You quickly realise something else. If you have just jumped out of one perspective into another, how far does this linear expansion go? Not only that but how far does the contraction go in the opposite direction? If you jumped back into the small balloon how many recurring smaller balloons are there? Even scarier is that you now realise you have no idea where you stand in this sequence. You are simply a conscious entity existing in an infinite sequence of varying levels of awareness.

While you are doing everything possible not to lose your sanity in the face of this realization, you notice a window. Numb from your recent revelations, you walk over and peer out the window. Billions of gigantic hot air balloons floating around and gently bouncing into one another. Each balloon containing an infinite amount of smaller balloons and simultaneously existing within a larger balloon.

Then you realise something else, all these infinite fractal recurrences of awareness (each balloon is an awareness) do not exist in a vacuum. Something flows in between it all which is the cause of movement. Let's call it energy. Because we have to label this unknown force to contemplate it. It is a force that none of your senses can detect but exists because the very movement you are observing is evidence. right?

Thats the market. You never quite know where you stand. You never quite understand what's happening. You can keep chasing an explanation and trying to figure out the patterns or you can find a place to simply BE. The only reality is change.

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Dude, that UK acid... man I gotta get me some of that..

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Dude, that UK acid... man I gotta get me some of that..

Dude, dont get me started on conspiricies because then you will see how truly deep is my retard

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Fascinating.

The fire hydrant experiment is interesting. Can you see the parallel?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2020-01-24/barbara-tversky-on-how-the-mind-works-podcast

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Had to share this . taken from extraordinary claims and beliefs in my phsychology module:

"On the other hand, fantasy proneness was consistently correlated with belief in psychics, as was a heightened tendency to perceive connections between things that are in fact unconnected (e.g. to find meaningful links between randomly paired stimuli, such as unrelated line drawings) and measures of visual pareidolia (e.g. ‘finding’ pictures in random dots). It therefore appears that people who have a high level of belief in the extraordinary claims of psychics are also likely to have a higher than average tendency to perceive meaning where there is none (apophenia and pareidolia)."

Kind of true in my case.
fantasy proneness: I like to believe in UFO and alien related theories
apophenia: I trade.. say no more.
pareidolia: I conjure abstract patterns where none exist. Like @ninjus funny avatar states "I see expanding wedges"
Just the paranormal stuff (psychics, ghosts, horroscopes,etc) that I dont have any interest in.

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