The Tao of Publias

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by PubliasEnigma, Jul 12, 2002.

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  1. ElCubano


    Hahahahaha.....good one.....:D

    That statement still holds true... you guys are my favorite posters; what can I say. One disagreement does not hate make.
    #201     Aug 19, 2002
  2. Publias

    Publias Guest

    hahahah you are too funny Dark... That was more like a giant sized beach ball, but I am not interested in it :)

    I have decided not to respond to anything whatsoever on this thread unless it is directly in the context of trading...

    Kids, Cuban Refugees, Phil Jackson, etc etc etc I will save for my "Detach myself from life" message board that I often post on :D

    BTW; Dark you mentioned the 'flow in sports' book, have you ever read the original study/book by Milhaly (won't even attempt to spell that last name) ???

    PEACE, health, freedom, and good trading to all!
    #202     Aug 19, 2002

  3. hmmm, hard to hit a giant beachball very far, the density to surface area ratio is way too low to get any zoom zoom in the boom boom. :D

    never read the original study by csikzentsimihalyi (that's a top of the head guess, gold star if i got it half right).

    to be honest i found the flow in sports book pretty mediocre, a few interesting snippets here and there such as the one i posted but overall nothing too groundbreaking or thought provoking.
    #203     Aug 19, 2002
  4. Publias

    Publias Guest

    Well I have never read the 'flow in sports' one BUT the orignal 'Flow; The Psycology of Optimal Experience' was solid... I would recommend you check it out :)

    PEACE and good trading,
    #204     Aug 19, 2002
  5. Darkorse, you make some interesting points and I would like to address some of them; calmly and civilly. I know you and I disagree on quite a lot (well, one MAIN thing) and I think you think I follow you around and argue just for the sake of it (I don't, although I guess to you it seems that way.) So, don't get mad with what I say; respond to the reasoning.

    Emotion does not come to the aid of logic, this is true.
    Objectivity is indeed the desired state of mind for the trader.

    here's my dictionary's definition of 'emotion':

    "A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and love"

    I would really disagree that its a mental state that ONLY arises spontaneously. I assure you that each of those emotions listed above can be created 'on purpose'. I absolutely guarantee it.

    Furthermore, I say we are ALWAYS in SOME emotional state. If I were to ask you, what emotional state are you in? You might say, "I'm feeling quite calm", you might say, "I feeling outraged", or "I'm in a contemplative state of mind"; the point is we are always in some emotional state of mind.

    'Objectivity' as state of mind? hmm, perhaps, perhaps.. I would prefer to put it as "the state of mind that facilitates objectivity is the desired state of mind for the trader." Therefore, I would not find the statement, "emotion does not come to the aid of logic", to be necessarily true.

    But a trader who can trust his well honed instincts is far better off than a trader who cannot.

    obviously..... (just finding points of agreement, don't want you thinking I am ALL bad news. :))

    And oftentimes our base instincts alert us in the raw form of what, drum roll please....


    1) Can we ever truly put emotion aside?

    again, i say no we can't...because we are always in some kind of emotional state..

    2) Can the subconscious mind be tricked?

    Was this a rhetorical question? I ask because you brought it up but then didn't add anything to it.
    Do you mean that, for example, your subconcious holds a self image of yourself as shy and withdrawn... you think that by acting in an extroverted fashion you might 'trick' your subconcious? In that case, I would say no, you cannot; sooner (probably) or later, your subconcious will call you out..

    I have more to say on this, but I'd like to hear if I have understood your question correctly first.

    3) Do properly harnessed emotions add value to trading/life?

    This seems like a rhetorical question..only because I think the answer is so obviously yes..

    Is desire not an emotion? Are we not inert without desire?

    Is desire an emotion? hmm. Perhaps not. I say this because for a man to take ANY action he must know before taking it what kind of result he expects his action to achieve.. and we assume that he expects THOSE results because he DESIRES them. We would indeed be inert without desire.. but only because desire is a defining characteristic of our existance..

    The trading state you describe in negative terms- having decisions colored by emotions run amok all willy nilly, is most definitely a bad state to be in. I agree wholeheartedly there.

    If you are talking about emotions that seem to spring up out of nowhere (although in reality they are an habitual response to certain stimuli) then I too agree wholeheartedly.

    The first trader is peaceful and serene because he knows exactly what is going on. He has made no attempt to manipulate his emotions, his emotions are calm because like a good marine he knows the terrain and thus there is no reason for red flags to arise. His peace of mind comes from the fact that he knows every nook and cranny of his mind, his methodology and his market at that time. His emotions are cool and calm because he fully understands the situation and it took a lot of blood and sweat and tears to develop that sense of understanding. He also maintains a heightened state of readiness so that if something seems off his emotions can alert him to it, like the hidden tripwire around base camp.

    I an extent. However, I think you erroneously assume that a person constantly exposed to a certain kind of environment will, over time, automatically adjust to that environment in such a way that his emotions are habitually calm, cool and collected. There are people in all walks of life who are exposed to the same environment day in and day out yet never learn to respond to the sensory stimuli of that environment 'unemotionally'. They even have an excellent 'understanding' and 'knowledge'; they know every nook and cranny; yet, still, they end up in unresourceful, disempowering states.

    The second trader is peaceful and serene because he has read a lot of stuff about inner calm and not being buffeted by the waves of the market. He does not understand nearly as much as the first trader does, because he took the helicopter to the top. His methodology is working pretty decently (so far) and so he sees no need to delve into the nuts and bolts nitty gritty. His emotions tend to flare up on him whenever he loses direct control of them, but overall the chants and the tapes are working pretty good at creating a sense of oneness and peace and inner harmony.

    I think I can basically sum this up by saying, "Experience is the best teacher." Of course you can have read all the books, listened to all the tapes, attended all the seminars and still perform dismally in the 'real world'. That's just normal.

    When things go wrong, they tend to hit him a little harder because signals have to get through the barrier before his neural cortex gets a warning buzz- so he works harder at blissing out when this happens, and his improvements are a few steps behind if existent at all.

    Now why would things hit THIS particular person harder? What is this barrier that the signals have to get through? If you mean that this person is purposely 'blinding' himself to the information his results are screaming at him, well, yeah, that is definitely one big barrier. If this person thinks that, "i simply MUST stay calm and objective", yeah, that could indeed hinder learning. What would be the proper form this person's reaction to dismal results should take?
    I think this second person is definitely on the right path in being aware that, eventually, at some point in time, he should be making trading decisions calmly and responding to the result of such trading decisions in a calm and collected manner.

    Contrast that with a trader who is emotionally unintelligent who gets trading performance feedback that tells him he sucks. Would it be fair to say that a likely reaction would be (given the anecdotal evidence) that this person gets mad at the market, takes those dreaded 'revenge trades', and perhaps even engages in the ultimate self desructive behavior (for a trader), riding his losers to the bitter end.

    Darkhorse, would such scenario be what you refer to as the "blood, sweat and tears" of the learning process? If so, why must it be assumed that such a person will eventually learn that such reactions are self-destructive and make the transition to 'Trader One' (the cool, calm marine)? I think it's much more reasonable to assume that such a trader may or may not make such a transition, but Trader 2 is more likely to; given that he already understands the kind of emotional state that is most conducive to effective (profitable) trading must eventually be attained.

    But are they really? What happens when they decide they want to advance? The first trader has learned to embrace his emotions and thus has their power at his disposal when he wants to make use of them. The second trader has learned to stuff his emotions into a sack and thus cannot make use of them without fear of losing control when he opens that sack. The first trader is integrated and in tune; the second trader is conflicted and removed.

    That is a far too simplistic and wholly unreasonable conclusion to reach.

    So here is what I am saying: seek serenity and objectivity, sure. But do so through real understanding, not artificial conditioning.

    Why not do it through BOTH?

    Don't try to calm your emotions through mental exercises, calm them through true advances in understanding.

    Again, why not through BOTH? I am beginning to think that perhaps you are talking from experience here; that you tried the 'mental' approach, couldn't get it to work and are now writing it off as baloney.

    Right perception leads to right action leads to right attitude flowing naturally.

    I would say: right attitude - right perception - right action.

    Before a person can make accurate perceptions, he needs to be in a state of mind conducive to making them. Do you think a person in a state of boiling rage or bitter anguish is in a position to accurately perceive reality? Hardly. His extreme emotional state will most likely cause him to filter the information in such that perpetuates his rage.

    Want to be more comfortable with the markets? Learn the markets. Want to more comfortable with yourself? Learn yourself.

    No disagreements there...

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts..

    #205     Aug 19, 2002

  6. Dan:

    I agree with some of your clarifications and disagree with some, but overall I consider your thoughts to make sense and to be a value add. Discussions as broad and far reaching as these almost always benefit from intelligent restatements and refinements of the original points.

    I think the fact we wholly agree on the last point (regarding knowledge of markets and self) speaks more loudly than any of the smaller items we might snag on. Cheers.
    #206     Aug 19, 2002
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