What you believe is what you get?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Tonkadad, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. Do you think it is true, what you believe is what you get out of the market/life?

    Does the way we view life filter down to what we are able to create for ourselves in the market?

    If so, what could you do on a daily basis to modify or alter your perception of "your" world. It seems to me that if you are not satisfied with your "results" in the market/life then doing anything but your usual knee jerk response to a given situation would be a start.

    Example; I am 40 years old and could certainly benefit from a regular exercise program, which when I think about it sounds like a great idea, but for months now thats as far as I have taken it.

    What effect does this lack of discipline have on my trading? What message am I reinforcing? If any?

    Do you have a goal regarding trading and can you say the decisions you make through out the day are bringing you closer to your goal?

    Please be forewarned the above could just be the ranting's of a pre-alzheimeric out of shape forty year old.


    Bruce Hawkins
  2. You need more beliefs that support a physical fitness habit. Some of mine are: Exercise feels good (do a little cardio for at least 15 minutes and you can feel it), I know exercise recharges me for the second session of trading each day, It doesn't matter what everyone "says" I should do as far as exercise - I do whatever I can to condition myself nearly every day. Remember, as long as you are good you can trade for a long, long time, but you need a strong and healthy body to maximize your thinking longevity and your thinking ability. The body houses the brain.

    It make take from 6 to 9 months to properly condition your cardiovascular system. That is to say that to make it stronger without causing undue scarring of the arteries (this happens when the intensity of exercise is too great, and the body cannot make new muscular arteriole tissue, it makes hard scar tissue), you might consider exercising at a pretty low intensity and build it up gradually over many months. Also if its too painful lets face it, you aren't going to do it for too long. Keep in mind, that the reason you are fat is that your body doesn't have the chemical engines to burn it well. Proper conditioning reteaches the body to make these chemicals and their related engines. On a supplemental note, its important to get enough vitamin C, and you can read why by doing a Yahoo search for "ascorbic acid" and do some intelligent reading. This is an important element in collagen formation, and helps with the hypertrophy of the systems you are using.

    In the unfit state or at high intensities, the muscles choose sugar, the same energy your brain needs to operate. But the body can be conditioned (the muscles) to use fat more of the time, the brian doesn't have this choice. So the key is to condition your muscles to burn fat. Low intensity with increasing durations is the most risk averse way to go if you are out of shape. Increase intensity and duration as your body wants to. Do not force it. Find exercises you enjoy and do them as a priority.

    At this intensity, you probably won't get ripped in a month, but you are looking for long term success and health. Its sort of the same with trading, condition the proper skills in a healthy way, and you will be paid back many fold.

    I could also add my other bias too, like move to an exercise condusive state like CA, but that just happens to be where I live and I enjoy the variety of options that my locale offers me.

    Im going hiking now, we have a 10000 ft peak just behind the house, waterfalls, its pretty cool. This stuff gets me off.

    Have fun with it.
  3. I got sidetracked on your exercise example and missed the post entirely. But that being said, you need beliefs that support the kind of changes you want to make in your trading. I am excited today because later on I am going to read "Trading in the Zone" and I am looking forward to some more references on this subject.

    I will let you know what I learn.


  4. Like "Porky" from Martin Schwartz's book shows us, discipline in one area is not necessarily correlated to another.

    There are also plenty of crappy, undisciplined, but athletic, traders.
  5. dbphoenix


    You would enjoy Trading In The Zone, particularly Douglas' account of his efforts to "become a runner". Both his books spend a great deal of time on beliefs and belief systems and how they affect our perception of the markets and what we expect from them. Highly recommended.


    Bruce, what a great post. I certainly believe that the way I view life has a direct affect on my results. 1998-2001 had to be one of the toughest years in my life: I lost my first born son after only 1-year of life the day before my birthday, lost many great friends and traders in the Atlanta daytrading massacre in July 1999, and have had many great disappointments on a business level until March of 2003. Despite all of that tragedy I was able to keep a neutral to positive perspective and results in my trading, only after reevaluating everything in my life. Those were some tough times in my life, and I learned very valuable lessons from them all. The saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” only holds true when we allow them to make us stronger.

    During that period I traded two accounts, one for the firm(s) I worked for and my own. Initially, I had a very tough time keeping my cool. One day, I had a fantastic revelation, TRADING WAS THE ONLY AREA OF MY LIFE THAT I COULD CONTROL. I could not control all of the unrelated tragedies, but with perseverance and fortitude I could control the results of my trading. Wouldn’t it be great to have predetermined entries, stops and targets in every other aspect of life? How great would it be to have our bodies kick in with some physiological mechanism that stops our intake of weight gaining substances when our weight has hit a certain level? How great would it be to have your body get on a treadmill to get the cardio going? I envy the 60+ year olds that I see driving a golf ball for 250 yards straight down the fairway, or my friend’s 95 y/o grandmother who used to get up every Sunday morning at 5am, picks figs from her tree in Brooklyn, make sauce, brasciole, sausage and meatballs, and make fresh wine in her kitchen before 1pm (until she passed away of natural causes).

    On the other side of the spectrum, there are 30-50 y/o like many of us who make excuses. Bruce, the question is not “can we change” the real question is “do we want to change”?
    There are many areas of my life that I could improve, and surely the effect would improve my trading. I believe we all fit into that category.

    Our beliefs dictate our results. I have disassociated myself with everyone who had negative belief systems. Once I did that my life changed.

    “Example; I am 40 years old and could certainly benefit from a regular exercise program, which when I think about it sounds like a great idea, but for months now that’s as far as I have taken it.

    What effect does this lack of discipline have on my trading? What message am I reinforcing? If any?”

    You’re answer is in your post. If you’re unhappy with your physical state then it will surely have an effect on your trading. Try this:

    If you have a treadmill, and trade from home, go out and buy a cordless keyboard and mouse. Find a way to get the keyboard and mouse in front of the treadmill panel, and start using it while you trade. Setup some sort of punishment / reward that relates to the treadmill and your trading. BTW I just threw away a pack of Marlboro Lights, your post has inspired me to try and quit smoking. GO KICK ASS!!!
  7. I started to read your post and I thought did the main part of my message get misconstrued. But I see you covered it in your follow up post.

    Thanks for the info, my main form of exercise will be racquetball. I haven't played for about a year, the first couple of weeks will be painful.

    I commend you on your thorough understanding of fitness. If you approach trading with the same intensity I am sure you do quite well.

    Sounds like you have an awesome view out the back door.


  8. Dman


    When I trade well I reward myself with good beer. When I reach my goals for the week or month I treat myself to other little luxuries. There have been a few times when trading wasn't so good but I needed a beer. I am proud to report that on these rare occasions I maintained discipline by drinking Busch Light
  9. lol Dman, I can relate 100%.

    Like so many, I believe that maintaining healthy psychology is vital to success as a trader, and that at least half of what we do is based on our subconscious belief in our goals. I go to great lengths to protect my mindset, actively massaging out the negativity in myself and close company. I think that until your subconscious and conscious minds are in agreement about your goals, you will encounter trouble along the way. My sort of mantra (and I know this may be trite sounding) has always been to think like the trader I want to be and not the trader I am.

    Now if I could only apply this discipline to my physical fitness and diet. I guess my subconscious is not in line yet on these desires.

  10. Peter,

    thats part of my question, not if you have to have your life together but if changing something in your personal life for the better would have a positive impact on your trading.

    "There are also plenty of crappy, undisciplined, but athletic, traders."

    Either I am misunderstanding you guys or you are misunderstanding me, I was just using the exercise thing as an example in my life where I feel I lack discipline, I was wondering if this lack of discipline also manifests itself in my trading.

    Which after going over it again I would have to say that there is a general lack of discipline in my life and I have no doubt it affects my desire to be a consistently successful trader.

    There I have said it, now what. Self improvement the never ending story.



    p.s. Martin Schwartz's book is that "Trading Wizards"? I haven't read it.
    #10     Aug 16, 2003