I am a big fan of little mantras throughout the day, often print things out or write tham on my charts for awhile. Past monitor decorations include;
"Max down = $500.00"
"Discipline is what makes money"
"The only thing you can control is your stop loss"
"I will choose the trade, the outcome is not my decision"
And so forth.
But I also like to have positive things running through my mind through other parts of the day, Sometimes it is saying things very motivational in my mind as I prepare for the day, other times it will just be something somewhat relevant, but there really more to make me smile, like the plastic piggy bank.
I did some grocery shopping today and when I saw this, decided to change my brand of deodorant.
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I had a different thought last night but was half asleep and hardly translated it. 20 years of experience turned on it's side, but possibly just righted.
Before I started into business for myself, I was around 24 years old, I was working for a very low wage and was discussing with my stepfather how to ask for a raise. He told me not ask for more money, but say I was willing to accept more responsibility. I did, and as a result, I got a raise.
When I did get into business for myself, I carried that thought for a long time. I did not make money by receiving large amounts for what I did, I focused on just doing the right things, providing the services that were needed, and believed the money would just come.
And come it did, far beyond what I had ever hoped for. But at some point in that time period, I started to think about the money. Where I previously saw completeing a succesful project as something that was my responsibility, I began to see it as a privelege. I looked for the next bigger and better deal, turning the emphasis on how much money could it make.
Turning that thought to trading, when I traded one contract, the only real goal was to trade correctly. It was a process of accepting responsibility for the trading process, but not the amount of money generated from it.
As I move the focus to making a living from trading, the question comes up, "how much can I make", and things shift. Holding a trade for it's intended target becomes harder to do, as I see the dollars as the goal, and when they are there in front of me, why not take them? Goal accomplished? No.
I went back through some trades of the past two years, and found some where I allowed 50-60 tick winners to turn against me for a breakeven trade, and just let it happen, more interested in finding out if it had anything else left in it. Today I am taking shorter and shorter targets, thinking that they have a higher probability. And maybe they do, but that is not the correct focus, and inside me somewhere I know that, and that reduces the confidence. And the skill.
Moving towards trading full time causes me to want some guaranteed income, which causes me to want to lock in profits early, and that is a step backwards. The focus needs to be on the trade itself. The money is the byproduct. The amount will always remain unknown.
Keeping the focus on the trade, and removing the dollar amount that is attached to it, that is the correct way to proceed. A true surrender of the concept of dollars and a total committment to responsibility for trade management.
Last edited by GaryD; June 17th, 2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Good call, and you and @josh both proved to have a better understanding of quad witching than I do.
I read some about options again this weekend, something I started to study several years ago and then lost interest. As I was reading this weekend, googling various articles about options and quad witching, the belief that a lot of stops get taken out seemed to be the consensus. The "why" I have not discovered, but that seems to be the "what".
Did you lose it and then gain it back doing exactly the same things? Or did something change that turned the losing to winning? That is my suspiscion. Can you put into words what was the difference? Would that remove the chance of losing it all a second time?
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Oh man what a great post. These sentences echo my experience to the letter both trading and non trading. Thanks for writing because I just had an aha moment......just manage the trade and let the money take care of itself.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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Would I like to know more about options? Of course I would.
Most of the time, yes, I feel very lucky.
From The Awesome Science of Luck;
"All the lucky people I know are confident, curious, and observant. They also have a strong sense of serendipity - the phenomenon of finding valuable things they weren't conscious of seeking."
The serendipity part is coming more into focus recently, the realization that what I think I am seeking, and what I am truly wanting, may not be the same. And possibly the two are interchangeable at times even. Your comment about finding something outside of trading is a recent example, causing me to see things differently. Is trading the goal, is money the goal, or is living the goal?
That recent approach of curiosity and observance of nearly everything I thought I knew previously, may just be luck. But I'll take it.