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Trading With Attitude


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Trading With Attitude

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  #1 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
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I've been making posts for quite some time, and what I've been trying to chronicle since day one is my path to becoming a successful trader. But the focus of my posts, although largely inadvertent, has been based mostly on the specifics/mechanics of trading a certain method or system. It has been far more about being consistent and disciplined about executing a method, and far less about being consistent and disciplined in my approach to becoming a successful trader - about my attitude toward trading.

I'm realizing that attaining success here has a lot less to do with the specifics of a particular style of trading and much more to do with my attitude regarding the business - my business - of trading.

With that in mind I'm going to take a different tack for the time being. I still intend to discuss the specifics of my trading at some point, but for now the emphasis of my posts will be on the attitude I'm attempting to develop and maintain as I work on my trading business.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #3 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
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The past several months have been mostly a theme of struggle for me with my trading. I've kept at it, but my efforts have felt mostly like grasping at straws.

At the beginning of this year I was looking at price action in a certain way, and while I wasn't clear about what I was doing, the basics of it were the way I knew I wanted to be trading.

But I was continually frustrated by the lack of an appropriate way to approach it. I don't mind working hard, and I love to learn, but I wasn't sure what to work at, and I wasn't sure what to work on learning.

As you probably already know, I'm a firm believer that attitude is really the determining factor in success or the lack of it. I've been studying positive thinking and its myriad variations since I was in my late teens, so I understand a lot about it. But my lack of success in applying it in my life was an area of extreme frustration for me. Although I did a lot of studying and I always did the exercises - meditations, writing, visualization, etc. - I still couldn't seem to achieve any noticeable changes in my life. With everything I knew about it, I should have been wildly successful with it.

Over (a lot of) time I have come to realize that my "problem" wasn't in understanding the concepts or doing the "work." What I came to realize is that the "problem" was that I wasn't living it. In other words, even though I was doing the exercises, meditations, etc., they made up a very small part of my day. And then I would spend the rest of my waking hours worrying, being frustrated, being aggravated, being unhappy with my circumstances, etc.

It became clearer and clearer to me that the thoughts I spent the most time thinking were very similar to the circumstances that I was actually experiencing.

Then last October I decided to read a book that I already knew about but had decided months earlier was one I didn't need to read. As soon as I finished the first "lesson," I knew it was the key that would help me begin to live what I had already learned.

Within 3 weeks of starting it, I was having surprising things happening to me. I did it for a few more months and continued to have improvements in my life, but apparently they weren't dramatic enough for me to keep it up, so I slacked off from it quite a bit.

Things stagnated for me, my business slowed down to almost nothing, and I was in a very worrisome place. This was a little after the beginning of the year and I was really trying hard to get a handle on my trading. I was having some success with my "training," but other than teaching myself to be consistent, I wasn't really making any other headway.

Fast forward to the beginning of May. I made a post about my commitment to change my habits of thinking for the whole month and I did it. In another post, at the beginning of June, I talked about how my business had increased exponentially during May, without any extra effort on my part.

I also said that I intended to do basically the same thing for the month of June, and again, I have. This month my business has continued the pace it started in May, which is a nice financial relief.

Not only has my business situation improved over the course of both months, but my life in general has improved.

But something far more profound has just happened within this last week of June. I inadvertently (which is the way things seem to happen to me when I'm maintaining this attitude) discovered some information about a way of looking at price that brought almost immediate clarity to what I had been trying to do with my trading. It was like a light on a dimmer switch - as soon as I began to learn about it, the light came on but it was dim. Then as I read and studied, the light became brighter and brighter, and very quickly I had a clarity about how to proceed with my trading that I haven't had before.

It will take time, study and work, but now I know what to spend my time on. I know what to study. I know what to work on.

And I firmly believe that this is a result of my deliberate work in changing my habits of thought - in changing my attitude.

I don't want to start a discussion about all of the books, methods and concepts out there, because different things work for different people. But for anyone interested, the book I'm referring to that has been "the one" for me is The Magic by Rhonda Byrne.



I've recommended it to family members and others who have all reported significant positive results in their lives. I also spend a lot of time listening to the audiobook The Power (by Rhonda Byrne), and skimming through my collection of books by Abraham-Hicks, but this book is the first thing I've tried that has made a nearly immediate, and definitely noticeable, difference in my life when I use it.

I'm beginning to think that trading is really not all that different from any other endeavor. I believe that success in anything (work, finances, relationships, health) boils down to your habitual attitudes about it...and about life in general.

And this attitude of gratitude that I've been cultivating lately is shaping up to be a game-changer for me.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I'm much more aware of it now because I'm paying attention, but I continue to find it surprising how much time I spend thinking about what I don't want; about what irritates and worries me. It's easy enough to do that without any outside influences, but throw in another person who is stressed, worried or irritated, and it becomes nearly impossible to deliberately maintain a specific (positive) attitude.

This week has been a bit chaotic with my daughter moving a lot of her things home from college and then getting her squared away for a trip to Europe with a friend for 3 weeks. It has made it a challenge for me to maintain an appropriate attitude.

She's on a plane headed for London right now, but we just found out that the hotel she was supposed to stay in when she arrives is overbooked and the room reservation was canceled. My wife is flipping out because all the hotels that she's trying to book are either full or outrageously expensive...here we are in the middle of real life again.

This is where the challenge lies. It's also where the work lies. If I believe that attitude is everything and that how I think determines my future, then this is precisely the time when I have to make the effort to deliberately choose my thoughts - productive thoughts.

My attitude has fluctuated quite a bit with the chaos this week, but even so I was able to spend a lot of time studying and practicing my trading and I have again made another breakthrough with my understanding of price action, so I'm pleased with my progress.

I'll be continuing with my efforts to choose better trains of thought and maintain an improved attitude during the coming week.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I'll be continuing with my efforts to choose better trains of thought and maintain an improved attitude during the coming week.

Looking forward to this. You have no idea how helpful I find your posts as a reminder that I'm in charge of my attitude and to be grateful for all the challenges life throws my way.

Robert

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 AttitudeTrader 
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As I've mentioned previously, I believe that one of my inappropriate attitudes has had to do with my approach toward the business (my business) of trading.

Without really realizing it, I think that I've been trying to find a "setup" or a mechanical "system" that just generates worry-free profits all the time, as opposed to putting in the time and applying a solid methodology in a consistent way day after day. Logically I know that this is really the only true way to learn, but it seems I've been avoiding it for whatever reason(s).

The attitude I want to develop starting now is one of coming to work every day and doing my job rather than constantly spinning my wheels looking for the perfect "can't lose" system (again, even though that wasn't my intent, I think that's what I was doing without realizing it).

In an effort to reinforce this "doing my job" attitude for myself, I'm going to start posting my charts along with my trading results every day.

This won't be about trying to teach anyone anything or to advocate some particular style of trading. It will simply be an attempt to reinforce an attitude of consistent application of a specific way of interacting with price action. The ideal situation here would be to look at today's chart and compare it to a chart 30 or 60 or 90 days from now and see the exact same time frame, settings, and approach - in other words, doing my job consistently.

When I think of that scenario I feel a sense of comfort and familiarity, and I know that if I do it, it will work to my benefit. But, if I allow it, my attitude can also cycle to fear and worry due to the uncertainty about whether this is the "best way" for me to trade and/or whether I can actually be profitable/successful with this (or any) approach. And I think this fearful attitude has been a big reason for my bouncing from one thing to next. This is just another example of why it's imperative for me to develop an appropriate, productive attitude.

I still have my other job/work to take care of, so there will most likely be days when I'll be too busy to trade and/or late making a post, but I'll post a chart and my results at some point for every day that I trade.

Because I am now attempting to apply/follow a specific methodology (rather than the by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach I was employing before), I will be resetting all of my stats to zero and starting over with today's trading. It is vital that I be able to see where I stand with my application of this approach over time.






"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I learned some lessons and had some of my rules (that I didn't follow) reinforced today.






"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I was able to abide by my rules, price cooperated, and I had a successful (sim) day. I expected price to be choppy prior to the FOMC minutes at 13:00CT, so I was glad to get my goal for the day and be finished early.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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On the first trade I got suckered into shorting at the lows of the morning. Old habits die hard.

The second trade was based on a break of the channel and a retest of the lows. It wasn't a bad idea, but I mismanaged the trade (broke my stop rules) and turned a winner into a small loser.

I felt like my third trade was a solid setup (breakout pullback short), but it missed my target by a tick turned around on me.

Finished taking trades for the day. Back to studying.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I realize that I'm still not quite to the place where tracking my stats would be helpful/relevant. I won't try to keep stats until I have a clear(er) plan.

I've only marked my chart with the trades that were clean/clear setups to me (neither of which I took) - I won't mark all of the trades I actually took today. I'm still including my S5 Analyzer for today though.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 sewmuch2do 
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why not keep stats now... and then when you have a "clear plan" you can do those stats and compare them. as before and after..

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 AttitudeTrader 
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sewmuch2do View Post
why not keep stats now... and then when you have a "clear plan" you can do those stats and compare them. as before and after..

Thanks @sewmuch2do . We already discussed the answer to this in the chat room, but for anyone else reading:

I've kept a lot of stats. What I'm really working on (and apparently have a difficult time with) is adopting and being consistent with a method.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 MarketPilot 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I realize that I'm still not quite to the place where tracking my stats would be helpful/relevant. I won't try to keep stats until I have a clear(er) plan.

I'm still including my S5 Analyzer for today though.


I suspect Trade Analyzer will allow you to add the entry price as a column to the above report? I'd think this would help you analyze the trades better. I try to review the following items daily for my trades:
  • Is this trade a valid signal for my method?
  • Did I follow all my rules?
  • Was there something that told me not to take this trade or wait on the entry?
  • In hindsight, was my entry good? How could I have done better? Did I miss any signs?
  • Was the trade with the trend?
Be critical at the end of day and ask yourself what trades you should have taken and which ones you should not and why. Be positive about it and don't beat yourself up, but figure out why you are taking trades.


AttitudeTrader View Post
What I'm really working on (and apparently have a difficult time with) is adopting and being consistent with a method.

I used to feel similar about some of my trades. I had to look long and hard at my trades to break bad behaviors. I found I needed better definition on trade entries and less discretion. This change was harder than I thought it should have been and I'm still working on it. Better trade definition helped me take better trades, which helped my internal belief in my trades, which helped keep my emotions out of my trades which in turn helped me take trades without hesitating.

Seems like there could be some emotions getting in the way of you trading. Your Time Standing By (TSB) is under 5 minutes for 9 out of the 13 trades for today. The consistency is within yourself. Land on one method and follow the rules as you have them defined.

Hope this helps.

Trade Wise, Trade Well

John
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 deaddog 
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AttitudeTrader View Post

I've kept a lot of stats. What I'm really working on (and apparently have a difficult time with) is adopting and being consistent with a method.

-AT

This is something you can keep stats on.
What methods you use. Which is the most successful.
I rate my trades as being successful not by how much I made or lost on each trade but by whether I followed my trading plan.

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 AttitudeTrader 
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MarketPilot View Post
I suspect Trade Analyzer will allow you to add the entry price as a column to the above report? I'd think this would help you analyze the trades better...
...Hope this helps.


deaddog View Post
This is something you can keep stats on.
What methods you use. Which is the most successful.
I rate my trades as being successful not by how much I made or lost on each trade but by whether I followed my trading plan.

Thanks @MarketPilot and @deaddog for your input. I keep copious stats and do quite a bit of self-analysis, and I appreciate your thoughts on developing the method that I'm going to apply.

I know I'm posting my results and my charts (which I'm doing for my own sake to help me with consistency), but I don't want to veer too far away from the main thrust of this thread, which I'm coming to believe is really the critical element in all of this: attitude.

Thanks again for your comments.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I wasn’t feeling well coming into the week and it wasn’t until Thursday that I began to feel better.

As anyone knows, it’s difficult to be “positive” when you’re not feeling well. Even though I got a lot of studying done and worked every day doing my live simulated trading, I lacked the positive attitude that I know is so important to my success.

Now that I’m feeling better, I’m back to focusing my attention on what I’m doing with my mind.

Today (Saturday) I’m working with one of the exercises from The Magic (Day 13), and I’ll be making room in my schedule to visualize (employing the basics of today’s practice) several times throughout the day.

I think it’s easy to dismiss this stuff even though we all know about it. Or easy to forget its power and the importance of applying it – even for me.

There is an optimum state of mind (attitude). And I believe that the closer we come to attaining that optimum state of mind, the more profound and positive its impact is on our performance – on our lives.

Here’s a video that I watch occasionally that helps keep me reminded:


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 garyboy275 
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Great video.

I just want to share something with you. I hope I am articulate enough to convey my thoughts clearly. I read a long time ago that when you find a topnotch setup then you go very aggressively with your trade. I am very aware of how this statement conflicts FT71's "you dont know" statement. What I am saying is some days the sun is just shining brighter than others- you are in the zone, you slept good, you just have this positive energy inside you and you are very aware of your trading. Those are the days that you need to be aware of and be aggressive on those days with your setups. Nail em. It's almost humanly impossible to treat each day equally. Mondays are very hard for me, fridays the easiest and Wednesdays are dicey. I kept stats on days too-when I was rested well, when I did my morning routine, What days are most profitable for me, what days I made big blunders and why etc etc. This is a whole new exercise in itself.

Coming to second part: In my trading I have different strategies within different time periods. There are maybe 2-3 setups that happen infrequently (about 10-15% ) of time and over time I ve realized that these need to be treated differently. These are the home runs. Low risk high reward setups. Like when the smaller time frame aligns with the bigger trend. Let's say I take a setup on 5' then I need to let the runner have the potential on the hourly and these can really pay off. I am still working on discipline myself on these - its hard not to book a good 3-4R, rather than leaving it running at night just cause I cant sleep well with an open position. An example is took a recent trade with 6 tick risk and booked 35 ticks--it stayed near my exit for a day and now its over 200 ticks higher-all on a 6 tick risk. You probably are wondering why not take the exit and re enter another time-if I did that and my logical stop would be 30 ticks--so now you are risking 30 ticks to make the 200-if that works. If and when I am able to put on a lot bigger size is the only time I could take majority off and then let the small remainder ride-that's the only solution I have for this right now. But just throwing it out there that on your best setups you need to be really aggressive-both with size and with profits. And yet FT's statement holds true that even on these kind of setups"you dont know" holds true just that they need to be treated differently.

Sometimes I feel my mind is going to explode with all these complications

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 deaddog 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I don't want to veer too far away from the main thrust of this thread, which I'm coming to believe is really the critical element in all of this: attitude.

Thanks again for your comments.

I'd work on my Edge. The best Attitude in the world won't overcome an Edge with a negative expectancy.

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 Ddawg 
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deaddog View Post
I'd work on my Edge. The best Attitude in the world won't overcome an Edge with a negative expectancy.

I think that is what makes this so hard. If you cant look at yourself in the mirror, and honestly say "what I do WORKS" how can you be consistent in it? I find there is a million things you could change or adjust, but every solution has its problem.

I am trying to get to a consistent place myself, where I can honestly make the above statement. I am not there yet, but I think/hope I am very close.

Good trading all.
Ddawg

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 AttitudeTrader 
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deaddog View Post
I'd work on my Edge. The best Attitude in the world won't overcome an Edge with a negative expectancy.

I'm glad you said that, because part of the purpose of this thread is to dispel the belief (which I also have a hard time letting go of) that making finding your "edge" the main priority is the key to trading success.

If it's just about the "edge," then one should be able to pick up the Turtle method and start making money - and there are extremely successful traders using variations of that even today.

I don't think that it's news to anyone that there are plenty of people who have discovered an "edge" but still can't make money (e.g., analysts and peddlers of systems?). It's also not news to anyone that there are traders who have relatively mediocre edges by many standards, which can be learned for free in many cases, who are incredibly successful.

I think the phrase "making the turn" is reminder that it's not just about an edge. I don't think that phrase means that "they found an edge." I think it means that they finally developed/acquired the appropriate attitude(s) to allow themselves to capitalize. An edge is a required component, but not the key.

I believe an edge, and more importantly, the ability to execute it, will only come as a result of developing the appropriate attitudes toward trading - not the other way around. And I believe that success in trading or any other pursuit/endeavor comes down to attitude.

I understand if you don't agree. And I hope you understand that I started this thread to share my opinions (as well as my journey) with others who are open to them and would like to discuss them in more depth - not as a forum to debate the validity of them.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 lifeguardsteve88 
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AttitudeTrader View Post

I think the phrase "making the turn" is reminder that it's not just about an edge. I don't think that phrase means that "they found an edge." I think it means that they finally developed/acquired the appropriate attitude(s) to allow themselves to capitalize. An edge is a required component, but not the key.

I believe an edge, and more importantly, the ability to execute it, will only come as a result of developing the appropriate attitudes toward trading - not the other way around. And I believe that success in trading or any other pursuit/endeavor comes down to attitude.


-AT


I would agree with you that it's not just about the edge, it's obvious from most of the journals and other related posts that psychology (which I think you refer to as attitude) is critically important. But from my limited experience (also mostly garnered by posts on futures.io (formerly BMT)) that just as critical for success is having an edge, for without it you are like the customer that goes to a casino (who have an expectancy of fractionally below 50/50 in most of the games), since commissions and operating expenses will send you to ruin (over time) even if you are fortunate enough to have a 50/50 (coin flip) expectancy. To me at least both are equally necessary. Cheers!

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 Traderwolf 
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AttitudeTrader View Post

I understand if you don't agree. And I hope you understand that I started this thread to share my opinions (as well as my journey) with others who are open to them and would like to discuss them in more depth - not as a forum to debate the validity of them.

-AT

AT,

I really appreciate the many references to study material about mindset and attitude you have provided in this thread. I loved the Longoria video and have studied some of Byrne's concepts in The Secret. I find I can always learn more and every tip helps me in my journey. Thank you for providing it.

Looks like to me you are on the proper journey for you. You have demonstrated you can follow a process for long periods of time. You are now trying to define exactly what that process may be(trading methodology or plan). Mastering the psychology part of trading has been the most difficult thing by far for me. If you break down trading into 3 sub parts; Psychology, Edge, Money Management.............. Psychology issues will screw with your money management and edge to no avail and render them useless... So it looks like to me you have the "mastering" in the correct order.. Psychology being first.. (I wish I would have tackled it in that order).

All the best and continued success....

Wolf

You might find this book of value as you continue your journey on the power of the mind.. Although written many years ago, it is similar in concept to some of Byrne's teachings from a different perspective.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind: Dr. Joseph Murphy Ph.D.: 9781434440822: Amazon.com: Books

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 deaddog 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I think the phrase "making the turn" is reminder that it's not just about an edge. I don't think that phrase means that "they found an edge." I think it means that they finally developed/acquired the appropriate attitude(s) to allow themselves to capitalize. An edge is a required component, but not the key.

I believe an edge, and more importantly, the ability to execute it, will only come as a result of developing the appropriate attitudes toward trading - not the other way around. And I believe that success in trading or any other pursuit/endeavor comes down to attitude.

I understand if you don't agree. And I hope you understand that I started this thread to share my opinions (as well as my journey) with others who are open to them and would like to discuss them in more depth - not as a forum to debate the validity of them.

-AT

I agree with you.

I believe you and I have a different definition of an :Edge"

Each of us has our own “Edge”. You should be able to define your “Edge” to your own satisfaction.

Having an “Edge ”can be articulated in all kinds of general ways: Along with a set up that has a positive expectancy, there are a raft of other things to be considered. Proper capitalization; Proper discipline; Proper trading plan; Consistency: Risk control; Position sizing; Portfolio makeup; Money management and so on.

You have to have all these things working for you. If you say that you have an edge but don’t have the discipline to trade it you don’t really have an “Edge”

By the way; I have started reading and following the exercises in “The Magic” I am grateful to you for pointing me in that direction.

DD

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Traderwolf View Post
AT,

I really appreciate the many references to study material about mindset and attitude you have provided in this thread...

...All the best and continued success....

Wolf

Thanks Wolf.


deaddog View Post
I agree with you...

...By the way; I have started reading and following the exercises in “The Magic” I am grateful to you for pointing me in that direction.

Thanks for clarifying - I appreciate it.

I hope you'll keep in touch and let me know what you think of the book after you've had some time with it, and whether you think it's making a difference for you.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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longandwrong
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Firstly, a compliment... It's only because your journey has been such a fascinating one (as you know I have followed this in multiple ways, none of which had anything to do with PRISM!) that I have raised my head above the virtual parapet here

A few points...

1. This issue of the importance of "an edge" seems best summarised by a phrase from philosophy / logic -- having an edge is a necessary but not sufficient condition. It's like having the right tool for the job but not the skill to use it.

2. I think your focus on attitude is open to misinterpretation. You are not (I assume) trying to perfect your attitude in the belief that this will generate consistent profitability (in the crudest sense this is the case where someone continues with unhealthy levels of positivity in the face of ever decreasing capital). What I think you are saying is that with the right attitude will come the way to develop a positive edge AND the mental strength to apply it consistently. It's not about the attitude in isolation, it's about what the attitude delivers.

3. I take your point about the stats at this particular point in your education, I'm pretty neutral on it though but I'm a geek. If you find that it is not possible to have a method that feels sufficiently formalised then you may have to learn to live with the discretion/flexibility required. One useful exercise can be to record your "confidence" when you open the trade (just from 1 to 5 or something) and then the outcome. If you find there is a correlation (ideally positive!) between confidence and profit then you will have a lot to be very pleased about.

I'll go back to enjoying the charts for another few weeks now.

L&W

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 AttitudeTrader 
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longandwrong View Post
Firstly, a compliment... It's only because your journey has been such a fascinating one (as you know I have followed this in multiple ways, none of which had anything to do with PRISM!) that I have raised my head above the virtual parapet here

Firstly, I’d like for you to know how much I appreciate you being here. I know that this is not your normal venue and that you might have been a bit reticent to join here, but I’m glad you did. And I’m honoured to have your first post on the forum!

longandwrong View Post
A few points...

1. Agreed.
2. Precisely.
3. I’ll see what I can do with these ideas.

longandwrong View Post
I'll go back to enjoying the charts for another few weeks now.

I was really hoping that you were coming here because you wanted to spend quality time with me, and not just to look at my big charts...

-AT

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

I don't think that it's news to anyone that there are plenty of people who have discovered an "edge" but still can't make money (e.g., analysts and peddlers of systems?). It's also not news to anyone that there are traders who have relatively mediocre edges by many standards, which can be learned for free in many cases, who are incredibly successful.
...
I think the phrase "making the turn" is reminder that it's not just about an edge. I don't think that phrase means that "they found an edge." I think it means that they finally developed/acquired the appropriate attitude(s) to allow themselves to capitalize. An edge is a required component, but not the key.

-AT

I haven't finished reading the rest of this thread yet, but I think there's something important here: the more successful traders have (at least) an OK edge, and a very good attitude. (If "attitude" means all the mental aspects of trading.)

Of course, if your edge is good, your attitude will tend to be better too. But they're still separate things.

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Today (as far as my actual trading goes), I didn’t try to do anything except work on identifying my “edge” and executing my entries. I didn’t worry about targets (they were hard), or drawdown or anything else.

But I think today was a fairly good example of “attitude” canceling out “edge” and/or the ability to read the context of the market today.

Many of you will recognize that I’m studying a fairly well-known, fairly straightforward approach to reading price action, with fairly straightforward rules.

But today, it wasn’t until the end of the session that I was able to see what the appropriate context was, and where my edges were for the day.

This certainly has to do with experience and needing time to learn the method, but the context today wasn’t that difficult to discern (see the red dashed trend lines on the chart). And with what I’ve already learned, and as much studying as I've done, it shouldn’t have been difficult even for me.

This had nothing to do with whether the edge(s) were apparent before the end of the session, because they were. And even after seeing things incorrectly at the beginning of the session, it should have been pretty easy to adjust and get on the right track – but I didn’t/couldn’t.

I couldn’t see what I needed to see.

And why couldn’t I see what I needed to see? I think it had everything to do with my attitude. It only took a couple of losing trades to put me into a negative mentality and a very microscopic view of price action. From there, even though I didn’t get crazy with position size or per-trade risk, I bounced between “fight mode” and “disappointment mode” for the rest of the session.

My thoughts slipped easily into a flow of things like, “Here we go again, another method that doesn’t work,” and “Great, all someone would have to do is take the opposite of my trades and they’d be rich today.”

This is what I’m talking about when I say that I think that attitude is so important. It doesn’t matter how apparent an edge may be to others, an inappropriate attitude can make that edge invisible to you. I'm not just talking about one's attitude during any particular trading session, but also one's attitude about success, self-worth, life, etc.

About the chart: Now that the context is clear, all of the text on the chart is basically “blah, blah, blah,” but I left it so I, and others, can see it and possibly learn from it. Again, the red dashed lines were what I should have been seeing from early on in the session.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I wanted to make a separate post for this today.

I’m starting to do something in addition to the book I discussed previously.

I’m a believer in the benefits of meditation, but I’ve always had a difficult time doing it. About a year ago I bought a meditation CD produced by a couple (Jerry & Esther Hicks**) that incorporates the mechanics of meditation (releasing thought, increasing breathing) along with some other things that are specific to their teachings.

I didn’t use it consistently though, or for (I think) a long enough time for it to “work” for me.

So, starting today I’m going to be using this meditation CD daily. It's called Getting into the Vortex Guided Meditations and User Guide and contains four 15-minute meditations (General Well-Being, Financial Well-Being, Physical Well-Being, and Relationships) that I’ll use in rotation. If you’re interested in it, there’s a book with CD version, and a PDF with digital recording (iTunes + MP3) version. I bought the book/CD for my mom and the PDF/digital one for myself.

I’m also going to keep a log of my usage and my experience with it. I'll probably post it here at some point.


**I'll warn you in advance that their stuff is about as far "out there" as you're going to find, so it probably won't appeal to everyone.

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

Don't know if you're familiar with the works of Rick Hanson, Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom, Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time and the 3-cd set Meditations to Change Your Brain.

His Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence is due for release Oct, 2013. All good stuff, in my opinion.

Robert

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Robert Carrillo View Post
Don't know if you're familiar with the works of Rick Hanson...

All good stuff, in my opinion.

Thanks for sharing! Lot of different (although probably very similar) ways to go about this.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Today I was able to 1) keep my mind open enough to see what price might have been trying to do, and 2) be patient and wait until I thought I could see an opportunity before taking a trade.

Much better day today.





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 AttitudeTrader 
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In the Stage 5 chat room today a discussion started, and FT71 delivered some very straightforward and powerful material regarding our development as traders - priceless.

Then the topic of attitude came up, and some “concerns” about its importance were directed toward me and my posts.

I’ll try to be a little clearer about why I’m so interested in improving my attitude, and today’s trading will provide a good example of what I’m talking about.

My intent right now is just to work on learning how to recognize an edge – my edge. I’m not worrying about daily loss limits, risk to reward, appropriate distance of stops, etc. My only focus is on learning to see an opportunity (a real one) and executing the trade.

To the extent I had some clarity about price movement yesterday, today was just the opposite. I kept thinking I was reading it correctly, but I wasn’t. In fact I wasn’t correct a lot.

And this is where I think my/our attitude becomes an incredibly important aspect of my/our development.

Today’s trading is embarrassing, even though I’m just learning this approach, but it’s what happens during this kind of day that I believe is critical for me. Because how I react to what I’ve done today will make the difference between whether I make some progress or start the cycle of spinning my wheels all over again.

This would probably be easier if I was doing it privately and keeping it to myself, but I want to share this stuff because I’m sure I’m not the only one trying to get through it.

By trade #11 I was really in the “If I just do the opposite of what I’ve been doing, I might actually get some winning trades” mode, so I took that trade in opposition to what an amateur (me) would do, and amazingly enough it was a loser too.

So, do I talk to myself about how much of an idiot I am for not even being able to make money in sim? Do I go back to one of my “trusted” indicators (which in actuality were never really helpful) to get a better view of price action? How about if I start going through a forum or the web and see if there’s another method that I can learn or buy that works better than what I’m doing. There are other people who are making money, maybe I can get in touch with one of them and they’ll tell me what I can do to start making money now too.

For me, this is where attitude becomes everything.

Almost all consistently profitable traders have sucked at first, and almost all consistently profitable traders have had to go through a lot of crap and do a lot of work to get to where they are. It’s also unlikely that any two (or more) of them did it in precisely the same way. But there is something they do have in common – their attitude about their inevitable success, among other winning attitudes. In fact FT71 said this today: “there is a belief that there is little, if anything, that they can't overcome.”

Attitude doesn’t replace the necessary steps/processes to becoming a consistently profitable trader. It allows one to understand that the steps/processes are necessary, and gives them the ability to go through those processes, even when they’re difficult, slow, and embarrassing.

If I were going to try to become good at something other than trading, I feel like the steps would be relatively clear and I would have the choice of either doing them, or not becoming good at that thing. I believe that trading is similar, but it is my attitude, about trading and a lot of other things, that is either going to help me or hinder me in taking the necessary steps and doing the appropriate work.

Simple things like becoming frustrated by losing trades only serve to make what I’m trying to see become even more obscured, and it’s a sign that I’m focused on results rather than the learning process – I think this is a big one for me. And I've annihilated any potential joy contained in the learning, by being focused on whether I'm making (real or sim) money.

So I have to ask myself hard questions like, “Am I going to sweep today’s results under the rug because they’re so bad or am I going to see what I can learn from them?” “Am I going to see if I can find a better method because today sucked so bad, or am I going to get to work analyzing what I did, reviewing material that I have to support this approach, and looking for ways that I could have done better today?” “Am I going to make the effort to study my charts and trades after the close, like so many traders have suggested I/we do, so I can start to understand more about price action and how I might interact more effectively?” “Am I going to go into this afternoon/evening with an attitude of defeat about the day, or am I going to have the attitude of being in a learning process and excited about what’s available for me to learn?” “Am I going to go watch TV, play golf, run errands, or find any number of other distractions after the market closes today, or am I going to get to work studying my craft?”

It’s easier to run away to another approach, indicator or guru when things get difficult (I know this firsthand), than it is to buckle down and work on getting familiar with the market I’ve chosen and the tools I’m trying to use (and that I know work for goodness sake). As always, easier said than done.

Lecture (to myself) over…for now.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 dloomis514 
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I think you have been extraordinarily tenacious with your posts and rigorous in your documentation. i think you know the answers to a lot of the proverbial questions you asked in that recent post. FT71 has offered to review your stats, why not try and summarize them. You have bared your sole here, why not see what the 'mechanic' can do to help. You know he can help. You have a huge sample size, FT will show you some pitfalls you might not be aware of. Go for it!

And keep documenting, the answer is on there somewhere.

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 AttitudeTrader 
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dloomis514 View Post
I think you have been extraordinarily tenacious with your posts and rigorous in your documentation. i think you know the answers to a lot of the proverbial questions you asked in that recent post.

Thanks.


dloomis514 View Post
FT71 has offered to review your stats, why not try and summarize them. You have bared your sole here, why not see what the 'mechanic' can do to help. You know he can help. You have a huge sample size, FT will show you some pitfalls you might not be aware of. Go for it!

Rest assured, he already has them. And you (and the rest of the room) will probably have the opportunity to see what he has to say about them - good and bad.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 ratfink 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
This would probably be easier if I was doing it privately and keeping it to myself, but I want to share this stuff because I’m sure I’m not the only one trying to get through it.

I get one or two days a month like that and they are usually sufficient to undo the rest of the week's positive work. They happen despite you and I both knowing that a 3 consecutive full stops and finish for the day would stop them occurring - so why don't we? Human, that's why, work on attitude and discipline we must. Thanks for another precious futures.io (formerly BMT) journal inspired lesson in honesty and sharing.

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 GFIs1 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
By trade #11 I was really in the “If I just do the opposite of what I’ve been doing, I might actually get some winning trades” mode, so I took that trade in opposition to what an amateur (me) would do, and amazingly enough it was a loser too.

..as you do have your own plan.

Two things that helped me:

1) to find out on which weekday I am doing great...
2) to see if results are better in trending days or in range days

Then after filtering out the unnecessary - the results were much better

Good trades!
GFIs1

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 AttitudeTrader 
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I’m a little worn out because I was really focused on my charts today.

My results weren’t very good, but I was back to work applying the same method as yesterday, rather than jumping to something else and looking for a “better way.”

My entries were fairly straightforward today and I had specific reasons – according to my read of price action as best as I could apply it – for each one.

I worked with two charts today, both the same time frame, but with different channel lines as I saw them. I used two charts so the lines wouldn’t get so confusing all being on one chart.

Even though this is only about finding the entries and executing the trades right now (not about the stops or finessing entries), on the last trade I allowed myself to get a little aggravated because price touched my target price (but didn’t exceed it to hit my MIT order), then reversed to stop me out by one tick, then reversed back down to exceed my target.

This, again, is about attitude. Am I trying to make profits now or am I working to learn the skills that I need to develop?

I said I was worn out because I was really focused on my charts today, and that's true, but it's something else too. It's very apparent to me that trading has a powerful, mostly negative, effect on my attitude due to all of the fears and worries I have surrounding it. And a lot of those have just come from spending a lot of time approaching trading incorrectly. This is where I believe the vast majority of my work lies.






"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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It's very apparent to me that trading has a powerful, mostly negative, effect on my attitude due to all of the fears and worries I have surrounding it. And a lot of those have just come from spending a lot of time approaching trading incorrectly. This is where I believe the vast majority of my work lies.

“The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.” ~Eckhart Tolle

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear” ~Ambrose Redmoon

Choose to be bold. Being bold simply means that we commit to taking the action, to be bigger than our fear, and our sometimes-small notions of ourselves; all for the sake of expanding our life in the direction we know that’s right aligned for us.

With boldness we choose to be bigger than our current self; to step toward that new future to bring it into the present; to expand beyond what we know, knowing that fear will show up, but we commit to action anyways

courtesy of tinybuddha.com

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 AttitudeTrader 
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My first three trades were taken without having a clear idea about what was going on. The rest of my trades were taken based on thinking I had a clear idea of what was going on. Then I realized that I really didn’t have a clear idea of what was going on.

I thought I would only be working off of one chart (Chart 1) today because I thought I had the appropriate lines marked, but by 12:30 or so, I realized that the more appropriate channel was on Chart 2. I was too tied to the lines on Chart 1 and didn’t keep an open mind that I could be wrong. After the fact, my activity on Chart 1 looks silly in comparison to what was occurring on Chart 2.

Apparently (obviously?) I wasn’t as focused on my charts as I should have been. I wasn’t as diligent in continually checking my lines as the session progressed as I could have been.

Now I’m going to talk about attitude again. When I realized that I had misinterpreted the trend lines for today my first reaction was to be a little aggravated, disappointed, and embarrassed (because I knew I’d be posting this).

But, because I’ve been working on my habits of thought, it quickly occurred to me that I could/should actually be pleased with the fact that I did find the appropriate channel; that I was able to see it; that I was able to see that there was a better way to operate today.

This is far better than what I’ve experienced so much before, which is finishing the day with poor results and having no clue what I could have done better.






"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I had two main objectives this week.

First, and primary, was to work on the improvement of my attitude through various exercises and a deliberate choosing of my thoughts.

I’ve created a log to keep track (for now) of the exercises/reading I’m doing in this regard. It always seems to feel, with any exercise I’ve done in the past, whether physical or mental, like I’ve been doing it for far longer than I actually have. This log will give me a clearer idea of how long I’ve actually put effort into it this work, the tools I’m attempting to use, and the results, if any, I’m seeing from it. Here’s the log from this week (starting Sunday when I got serious about doing it):
07/14/2013 Sunday
09:00 Counted my blessings (from Day 1 of The Magic).
10:25 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Felt pretty good.
15:45 Read the entire General Well-Being section from the Getting Into the Vortex Meditation User Guide today.
20:42 Read the entire Financial Well-Being section from the Getting Into the Vortex Meditation User Guide.
20:59 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Lot of wandering thoughts and it makes me feel a little bad because I feel like I’m not getting the most out of it. I also notice that the breathing cadence is different than my usual (shallow) breathing, so I’ll be interested to see when/if I get really comfortable with it. Some yawning too.
Attitude Index for today: 0

07/15/2013 Monday
06:28 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Enormous amount of wandering thoughts. Although I was in cadence, I had very little focus on my breathing. A little bit of yawning too.
07:30 Counted my blessings.
07:49 Vortex General Well-Being. Still breathing with the cadence, but still a lot of wandering thoughts.
In general I’m also feeling “unusual” from the breathing to the point of almost being uncomfortable. It almost feels like it borders on being hyperventilation…but it isn’t. I have absolutely no doubt that it is the result of the way I’ve probably been breathing prior to this, which is shallow and choppy.
13:13 Vortex Physical Well-Being. More tingling in my arms and legs. Still a ton of wandering thoughts.
21:11 Vortex Relationships. A lot of wandering thoughts. Some yawning. More slight tingling in my arms.
Attitude Index for today: 0

07/16/2013 Tuesday
06:38 Vortex General Well-Being. Wandering thoughts, however a few times I had brief pictures come to me of things I’ve done or places I’ve been that I enjoyed and I found myself smiling.
07:10 Counted my blessings. While I’m doing this I’m finding myself taking deeper breaths than I normally do.
07:24 Weird. As I’m doing things this morning I’m almost feeling like I’m “thirsty” for air. I find myself wanting to take deep breaths.
07:30 Count My Blessings.
07:45 Read chapters 1-3 of Physical Well-Being.
11:07 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Lot of wandering and fractions of thoughts. Arms and legs tingling slightly. Had chill bumps run through me several times. Had that funny, tingling sensation right between my eyes like I used to get as a kid when we would put our finger or a pencil really close to that area but not touch it and it would tingle. Just tried it with a pencil – still does it but not as strongly as I felt it during the meditation.
18:54 Vortex Physical Well-Being. Still a ton of wandering thoughts. So much so, that most of the time I’m not even hearing what Esther/Abraham is saying. Had just a times where couple chill bumps ran through me, but I see it is as a result of thinking about something that made me happy or pleased me.
20:38 Read chapters 4-10 of Physical Well-Being.
21:07 Vortex Relationships. I was able to focus on my breathing for a little while at the beginning, but then had a lot of wandering thoughts. I’m realizing though, that these thoughts are benign for the most part – they’re not negative thoughts of fear, worry, irritation, etc., that seem to make up a lot of my thoughts during the day. And then I have an occasional really good feeling thought and it sends chills through me.
Attitude Index for today: 0

07/17/2013 Wednesday
06:45 Vortex General Well-Being. Wandering thoughts, but slightly better/fewer.
07:15 Read chapters 11-16 (end) of Physical Well-Being.
07:30 Count My Blessings.
14:42 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Lot of wandering thoughts.
17:40 Read chapters 1-4 of Relationships.
17:59 Vortex Physical Well-Being. Lot of wandering thoughts.
20:20 Vortex Relationships. It took an extraordinary amount of effort to stay focused on breathing in and breathing out as opposed to the ridiculous quantity of random thoughts that pop into my mind.
Attitude Index for today: 0

07/18/2013 Thursday
06:46 Vortex General Well-Being. Lots of wandering thoughts. Trying to relax but focus on my breathing.
07:04 Read chapters 4-9 of Relationships.
07:32 Count My Blessings.
**10:14 Trading Mind: Living In the Success Zone. I had forgotten how much attitude is talked about in this session.
15:10 Read chapters 9-13 of Relationships.
17:12 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Tons of wandering thoughts.
18:40 Read chapters 14-16 (end) of Relationships.
18:58 Read chapters 1-4 of General Well-Being.
19:15 Vortex Physical Well-Being. A little more relaxing simply because I had slightly less chatter going on in my mind.
19:47 Trading Mind: Trading To Win Mindset. Did pretty well with not having too many wandering thoughts.
20:26 Read chapters 4-16 (end) of General Well-Being. I did this instead of my normal routine of watching TV (usually only an hour) with my wife because she was out with friends. As I sat slowly reading, breathing, and focusing on the meaning of the words, I felt a significant sense of peace and calm.
21:01 Read chapters 1-11 of Financial Well-Being.
21:17 Vortex Relationships. Moments of focus interspersed with a lot of wandering thoughts.
**Started doing the Trading Mind sessions today. Also listened to it as background (using headphones) while I was trading.
Attitude Index for today: 0

07/19/2013 Friday
06:30 Vortex General Well-Being. Lots of wandering thoughts.
07:01 Count My Blessings.
07:23 Read chapters 11-13 of Financial Well-Being.
16:36 Read chapters 14-16 (end) of Financial Well-Being.
17:09 Still really keyed up from the day, so I did the Trading Mind: Living In the Success Zone meditation because it has a pretty good guided relaxation at the beginning.
17:26 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Lots of wandering thoughts, but managed to focus on my breathing briefly a few times.
I’m not sure why but I’ve found myself in a very irritable, foul mood this evening.
20:44 Trading Mind: Trading To Win Mindset. Not too bad.
21:06 Vortex Physical Well-Being. Lots of distracting thoughts.
21:18 Read chapters 1-5 of Physical Well-Being.
Attitude Index for today: -1

Second was to work on learning my chosen method, in my chosen market, using my chosen time frame.

Right now I’m only focused on learning to read the current context of the market (based on the method), recognize a valid opportunity, and execute the trade. I’ll work on the other aspects (stop placement, daily loss limit, trade management, etc.) later.

I said I wasn’t going to keep stats, and I’m not going to keep stats the way I was before, which put a lot of emphasis on profitability. But I am going to compile my Trade Analyzer stats which put more emphasis on consistency and execution of a method. One of the members of the Stage5 chat room (thanks Bo!) created a spreadsheet to work with the TA stats, and I’m posting my current (and slightly modified) chart from that spreadsheet.

You may notice that I’ve modified the data so that it reflects 4-tick wins where the TA grids I post each day only show 3-tick wins. For my sim trading, I use MIT orders 1 tick beyond my profit target to show me without a doubt that I would have been filled with a limit order in a real account, but occasionally I get additional slippage in the sim account, so I’m changing them from 3 ticks to 4 ticks because it better reflects what would occur in a real account. Everything else, like slippage on stops (entry and exit) remains untouched.

I plan to spend the majority of this weekend doing my exercises, reading, working on my trading, and, in general, working on my attitude.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I had two main objectives this week.

First, and primary, was to work on the improvement of my attitude through various exercises and a deliberate choosing of my thoughts.

I’ve created a log to keep track (for now) of the exercises/reading I’m doing in this regard. It always seems to feel, with any exercise I’ve done in the past, whether physical or mental, like I’ve been doing it for far longer than I actually have. This log will give me a clearer idea of how long I’ve actually put effort into it this work, the tools I’m attempting to use, and the results, if any, I’m seeing from it. Here’s the log from this week (starting Sunday when I got serious about doing it):
[INDENT][SIZE="1"]07/14/2013 Sunday
09:00 Counted my blessings (from Day 1 of The Magic).
10:25 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Felt pretty good.
15:45 Read the entire General Well-Being section from the Getting Into the Vortex Meditation User Guide today.
20:42 Read the entire Financial Well-Being section from the Getting Into the Vortex Meditation User Guide.
20:59 Vortex Financial Well-Being. Lot of wandering thoughts and it makes me feel a little bad because I feel like I’m not getting the most out of it. I also notice that the breathing cadence is different than my usual (shallow) breathing, so I’ll be interested to see when/if I get really comfortable with it. Some yawning too.
Attitude Index for today: 0

...........

That is an approach I have not seen, but I like it. My focus is going towards "feeling" where things are going.

In some ways, it is similar to the way a skiier will learn to ski more technical runs. They do not "think" their way through, their bodies learn to adjust and compensate to maintain balance, gradually evolving over time as long as the practice stays on the edge of their potential.

Another analogy, I watch surfers paddle out and float on their boards for what seems like a long time for a sport, then try to catch a wave, miss it, paddle back out, sit some more, catch one, maybe it is weak and they bail, or it was great but they fall, paddle back out, wait again... All the time ENJOYING it, as that is what surfing is.

I still struggle to hold a trade past 50-60 ticks, habit kicks in, memory says it will turn soon. While I would love to catch 150 tick moves, I am not allowing myself to exist in that reality. To do that, most often there would be long periods of greater uncertainty, up 60, then back to only up 20 as an example, and becoming numb to that "noise" takes continous practice. My biggest wins occur in overnight trades, where I don't watch. LOL!

Train the mind to accept and allow what you want to experience from trading. That is a great thing to focus on in my opinion. I admire your direction.

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 AttitudeTrader 
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I had to leave for other work around 12:00 and only took one trade. I marked (in gold triangles) other spots where I thought that there might be an opportunity, but that weren’t in line with the method I’m learning.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I'm super busy, so I'm only going to be posting my Weekend Review to my blog.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I want to talk about something I went through on Saturday and then Sunday morning that is a good example of my habitual train of thoughts and the way I seem to typically approach things.

Last week I made the decision to finally become active on a Facebook page that I created a couple of years ago. It was a personal page and I wanted to make it a business page, so I started reading and studying about how to do it. However, by the time I started working on it I was already uptight about other things I had been doing during the day.

As a result, getting the page setup quickly became a struggle. I kept attacking it and remained in a state of being frustrated and annoyed that I couldn’t get it to do what I wanted it to do. This was exacerbated by searching the help sections and finding nothing of any assistance.

I worked on it (banged at it) late into the evening, when I decided to hire my daughter (she’s expensive!) to help me with it. We were finally able to get a page set up, but it was in a backward way, the address/username thing wasn’t working (so the url wasn’t what it should be), and I had created multiple pages that were confusing and unnecessary.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I realized how much frustration I was “putting into” this project, so I immediately made the decision to change my attitude about it. I did my morning meditation and my practices from The Magic, (the one for every morning as well as today’s Day 4 practice), and got myself into a pretty good state.

Once I had done that, I started to think about what I wanted regarding my page in a relaxed way and with the attitude that somehow, some way, it would get worked out. I did that for a few minutes before I sat down to my computer. When I did, I had no idea how I was going to deal with the broken username thing or the confusion of multiple pages, but I just started “feeling around” my Facebook page, as well as the help sections, in a very relaxed way, without any real expectation of finding the answer.

Within just a few minutes I found a link that looked like just the thing I needed. It was at the bottom of a page that I had looked at 50 times on Saturday, but didn’t see.

This is a perfect example of something being right in front of me, yet invisible to me. Clicking on the link took me to a different way of accomplishing what I had been trying to do the day before. Although I was unsure whether it would make a difference, I navigated through several pages to get to the one that I hoped would allow me to correct things.

Once I got there, I stopped and took a break to get cleaned up. We were leaving a little later to visit family and I didn't want to get started with something that might make me late getting ready. While I was getting cleaned up, I kept visualizing, in a relaxed way, what I wanted to see happen with my page. It becomes very clear to me that I’m not doing this when I slip back into anxious and irritating thoughts about not being able to resolve the issues I want to resolve. But this is just like when I meditate – I have to keep bringing myself back to the thoughts that I need to be thinking.

When I got back to my computer I was still in a good state of mind. I proceeded to take the next steps in creating the new page, and sure enough it allowed me to create my business page so that the url and username were working correctly.

Then I still had a “dangling” page that I couldn’t seem to access so that I could delete it. But I applied the same state of mind to it, and in a relaxed state of knowing that I would get it worked out eventually, I did some more clicking around. Without really knowing how I did it, I was able to get to the page from another direction and delete it.

I leaned back in my chair stunned that I was able to accomplish all of this with so little effort or frustration.

I’m relating this story because it’s a microcosm of my day trading work. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, but I became frustrated and annoyed very quickly when it wasn’t working the way I wanted it to. I imagined negative scenarios (e.g., people seeing it and knowing that it’s screwed up; never being able to figure out how to make it “right;” having messed it up to the point where the name I want to use can’t ever be used again, etc.) in an automatic way.

I seem to behave in a similar, habitual way when it comes to my trading. It’s not that I’m stupid or unwilling to do the work. But I believe that my habitual state of mind prevents me from seeing the simple things that make the difference between struggle and success.

It only takes the deliberate decision to “think in a different way” to begin making things easier for myself, my efforts more productive, and ultimately, the process more enjoyable. Remembering to make that deliberate decision, rather than getting lost in the habitual negative trains of thought, is the part that I need to work on.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 garyboy275 
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It's such an amazing post if you can relate to it. Had my best day today cause I basically just sat on my hands--this has been my biggest problem. I can get in alright but either I get out early or the trade comes back and takes me out. Today I took the right amount of risk, took it off partially to reduce risk and then hit a full 100 ticks on remaining CL trade. There is such a feeling of calm and a sense of accomplishment instead of exhaustion and frustration. Opposite of it was last week when i got in 2 ticks from eventual LoD and got a measly 15 ticks and end of day a frustration trade took that away too and I was just speechless that I had put in so much effort and got in at lows and was still negative for the day.

Edit: Even on this trade I had a fleeting thought of "OMG its going to go the otherway so I should reverse it" I ve done that so many times in the past-you analyse one way and then flip it cause yr mind is playing tricks on you. I thought I should add this -cause thats what made this trade stand out. I dismissed the negative thought without knowing that I dismissed it.

I have enjoyed your journal so much. Trading has changed many things in my life - its not just about money.

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 Robert Carrillo 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
This is a perfect example of something being right in front of me, yet invisible to me. Clicking on the link took me to a different way of accomplishing what I had been trying to do the day before. Although I was unsure whether it would make a difference, I navigated through several pages to get to the one that I hoped would allow me to correct things.


Quoting 
Then I still had a “dangling” page that I couldn’t seem to access so that I could delete it. But I applied the same state of mind to it, and in a relaxed state of knowing that I would get it worked out eventually, I did some more clicking around. Without really knowing how I did it, I was able to get to the page from another direction and delete it.

I leaned back in my chair stunned that I was able to accomplish all of this with so little effort or frustration.


Quoting 
It only takes the deliberate decision to “think in a different way” to begin making things easier for myself, my efforts more productive, and ultimately, the process more enjoyable. Remembering to make that deliberate decision, rather than getting lost in the habitual negative trains of thought, is the part that I need to work on.

Intuition is a powerful force, and when harnessed (or set loose), amazing things are possible.

From Schwager's intro to his "Zen and the Art of Trading" chapter in The New Market Wizards:

...I still don't understand your trading method. How could you make these huge sums of money by just watching the screen?

There was no system to it. It was nothing more than, "I think the market is going up, so I'm going to buy." "It's gone up enough, so I'm going to sell." It was completely impulsive. I didn't sit down and formulate any trading plan. I don't know where the intuition comes from, and there are times when it goes away.

How do you recognize when it goes away?

When I'm wrong three times in a row, I call time out. Then I paper trade for a while.

For how long do you paper trade?

Until I think I'm in sync with the market again. Every market has a rhythm, and our job as traders is to get in sync with that rhythm. I'm not really trading when I'm doing those trades. There's trading being done, but I'm not doing it.

What do you mean you're not doing it?

There's buying and selling going on, but it's just going through me. It's like my personality and ego are not there. I don't even get a sense of satisfaction on these trades. It's absolutely that objective. Did you ever read Zen and the Art of Archery?...

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 AttitudeTrader 
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garyboy275 View Post
It's such an amazing post if you can relate to it...

...I have enjoyed your journal so much.

I sincerely appreciate it.


garyboy275 View Post
Trading has changed many things in my life - its not just about money.

An understatement!


Robert Carrillo View Post
Intuition is a powerful force, and when harnessed (or set loose), amazing things are possible....

Awesome stuff. Thanks.

-AT

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