Victory by Surrender

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by shareflipper, May 25, 2011.

  1. One thing I've noticed in a lot of stories of traders success is that many of them turned the corner when they were on the verge of giving up or had already mentally given up but kept trading.

    I am reading Psycho-Cybernetics and came across this paragraph....

    Later, in his famous Gifford Lectures, James cited example after example of persons who had tried unsuccessfully for years to rid themselves of anxieties, worries, inferiorities, guilt feelings, by making conscious efforts, only to find that success finally came when they gave up consciously, and stopped trying to solve their problems with conscious thought. "Under these circumstances," said James, "the way to success, as vouched for by innumerable authentic personal narrations, is by.....surrender...passivity, not activity--relaxation, not intentness. Give up the feeling of responsibility, let go your hold, be genuinely indifferent as to what becomes of it all....It is but giving your private convulsive self a rest, and finding that a greater self is there. The results, slow or sudden, or great or small, of the combined optimism and expectancy, the regenerative phenomena which ensue on the abandonment of effort, remain firm facts of human nature.

    So, I'm many other traders have experienced this? Turning the corner when you gave up hope for success or maybe on your last dime.
  2. successful trading is through persistance.. you keep gaining knowledge and experience.
  3. TraDaToR


    I experienced something similar. It was in winter 2007.

    Until then I had an extremely rigid, mathematical, disciplined approach to trading. Everything was backtested on extensive datas and nothing could interfere between the system's signal and the trading. It was positive, I was making 20% or so per year but since I had a small capital it was peanuts.

    I remember a hangover day when I realized that it wasn't worth it. I was wasting too much time backtesting instead on focusing on my day job. I quite surrendered at that time , but I had a certain idea about a methodology that "should" work and told myself."Now focus on other things but just try this with one lot at night". It was the first time I would trade discretionarily( "I am really becoming a trainwreck" LOL).

    Long story short, I made like one losing week trading this approach in 2007, multiplied my capital by 4 or 5 and turned pro in 2008. I still use this approach on some of the same instruments 4 years later.


    Greetings SF,

    Boy did you strike a chord within me with this Thread and question! Many times in the past, I have “been there and done that” with this one! In point of fact, I had experienced this phenomenon so much in my early trading career, that I used to refer to it as my “Chinese Mental Finger Trap”. You know, the little finger sock toy, the one wherein the harder you try to pull your fingers out, the tighter it grips them. The solution to the toy was of course to “let go”, and release all the tension in the sock, and the toy would release your finger. But what I’m talking about is the mental version of that toy. Only it’s not very much fun, and for sure, it is a very “dark place” to be in life. Unfortunately, many lost souls never find their way to return from this “dark place”. And they continually return there every time they confront “their own uncomfortable reality”, whatever that “reality” may be.

    On the bright side, in the intervening years, I have also learned that, it is not really necessary that one has to go through this “emotional turmoil” in order to get to the “sweet surrender”. I have discovered for myself a way to “get there” without experiencing the turmoil of the other process. For me, I now find that, in a sense I look forward to confronting “new realities” about myself, rather than that old feeling of foreboding. But this is only because I found a way out, so it’s not a scary process anymore. You see, the market is an excellent forum to find out where your “uncomfortable realities” really are. So, this is a journey that you will have to take many times in the course of a trading career,.....for it too is a process.

    For me, the method was quite simple and effective, and it still works like this: You Ask Yourself a Better Question. Not the; “why am I so stupid” kind of questions. But a question leading to the answer you seek. Then you get “mentally silent” and await the answer. When that answer comes, or if no answer comes, “Then you ask yourself an even better question”. You repeat the process until you eventually set foot on the path you were seeking,…no matter how long takes to get there. Sometimes the answer comes immediately, sometimes much later. But they always do come. Just keep asking. Remember,…God’s delays are not God’s denials. It is also very useful to document this whole dialogue in the process. In doing this procedure, I found that it allowed me to have the courage to face a new day, when I felt that the walls around me were beginning to crumble. With this "trump card" in my pocket, I then had at the very least, a sense of optimism that, “we” were working on a solution, and it is on it’s way to me even now; “So I got mentally silent, as often as possible during the day, so that I could hear what it had to say”.

    Now I’m not a very religious person, but I do know there is a God. And besides, I do know a good answer when I see/hear one. In the next few days/weeks, answers would come to me when I least expected them. It was almost surreal the way they came to me. It generally happened when I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular (cutting the grass, sitting on the toilet, drifting off while picking my nose). The Chinese call this time “Suki”, meaning “the Gap”. The place wherein nothing mentally is happening. This also let me know that what I was experiencing with this “new found gift” wasn’t so new after all. And in fact, it has been around for centuries.

    Let me put this in engineering terms, so most of you can understand it. You see, we are all "transmitters" in the collective consciousness. What you are doing in essence is "tapping into" the collective, that is available to us all. You see, someone "out there" in the collective already has the answer you need. He/she cannot help but transmit because it is who/what they are. The only thing you are really doing is just learning how to tune "your mental receiver set". It has been with you all along, use it. If you think that this answer is too much "out there", then ask yourself this simple question. Are you a body with a spirit, or are you a spirit with a body? What is that spirit, and where is it?

    Did you get my "transmit"? Ok, now start to do yourself a big favor and "tune yourself" for "receive". The concept is simple, and works just the same. All is justly ordered, just like in math or physics. But in this case,......believe and receive. Then listen...

    So I got into the habit of carrying a pencil and pad with me wherever I go, to this very day. What it did for me was in essence, I got the chance to “let go and let God have the problem”, because I was sure that he already had the answer, and all I needed to do was; "ask", “get silent”, and "listen for it". It always comes…..always!

    It still works for me to this day. I hope it does the same for anyone reading this! Just ask, then get silent, and listen for it......

    Matt 7:7