Have you ever felt fragmented, frustrated and frazzled with your trading? Well if you’re anything like me and the majority of traders on the planet you definitely have. And, when this unsavory set of circumstances revs up your state of mind is not conducive to the sharp focus that your A-Game requires. What happens is that your mind becomes distorted by poor judgment and/or distracted by noisy thinking. At this juncture mental/emotional tools would really be useful when your emotional temperature becomes too extreme for making prudent decisions. But, quite often you are so disgusted with the results from the day’s trading which probably included several losses and rule violations that you just want to chuck it all. However, maybe your thoughts turn toward your little daughter or grandson whose cherubic face beams a smile in your mind. You might also envision your spouse or significant other whom you know is in your corner. These mental pictures may actually remind you of “why” you are trading in the first place, your real reason for trading. When you stop to think about it, your real or “compelling reason” for stock trading is what the profit is all about; either loved ones, a passionate community cause or your bucket list. It is at these times, as you revisit those things that matter most in your life, that your emotional state rebounds like the ball from a home-run bat. This is “plugging” into your true “purpose” for trading.
Your macro or big-picture trading purpose triggers a whole cascade of neuro-networks (specific sensory filled memories and thoughts surrounding significant events and people in your life) that revolve around family, friends and community. When you do this you become reacquainted with your passion for living. This is where internal motivation is not tied to “will power” … the myth of discipline. Will power is the “I’ll make myself do it” syndrome. Relying on will power can be the precursor of inner conflict and stress. This form of discipline is not nearly as powerful as connecting your goal to what makes you want to break out in song. Connecting to your passionate vision engages the body, mind and emotions to work in the same direction and for the same goal. When your passion is at work, you become aligned to activate and access your internal and external resources. When you are on purpose and your goals are tethered to your passion (a compelling reason) you become driven not dragged to the results you want. You are then poised to do only what is in the interests of your highest and best goals and your highest and best self.
Actually, connecting with passion also creates a “magnificent obsession” where you are focused with laser precision on your plan for achievement. Just think about it, what if you were magnificently obsessed about your health? This would mean that you were only interested in eating those foods and doing those things that would render your body and mind in its optimum physical/mental state. Or, what if you were magnificently obsessed about your relationships; where you were only interested in loving, respecting and supporting your family in ways that lead to optimum growth, happiness and well-being? When purpose is connected to passion you engage the unconscious mind to work for you rather than against you. You are setting the blue print and the road map in your unconscious mind to do those important things consistently to create the results in your life that you are envisioning. You can’t help but follow-through because you have a burning desire to master the process. It actually becomes imperative that you do the right thing habitually in order to get the right results habitually.
Having a specific and detailed purpose starts the journey to be the trader that you know is in you. At this point your purpose can be used like a tool during the tough times of the trade. For example, when you are preparing, processing, fighting off urges to violate rules just access and activate your purpose and the vision associated with it. In this way you promote an inner “state shift” from frustration, anxiety and/or self-doubt to emotions such as determination, inspiration and confidence. It’s as if you plugged into an energy socket when your purpose is strongly connected to the passion of your life. It can help create consistency in order to develop capacity for strength and endurance in the trade.
How do you find that purpose? Be open to the questions that life asks you, for instance: Who am I? What is my gift in life? What is my role? How can I serve? At the end of my life what do I want my family and friends to say about me? At the end of my life what do I want my life to mean? What are my wishes for my family and my community? Discover how supportive solitude can be in this process as well. You might be surprised at the fact that your unconscious is willing and eager to communicate with you; but you must ask the question and be patient for the answer. It may come as a vision, a dream or if you sit with pen and paper it may come as a statement. The point is to get in a quiet space and “have the conversation.”
The power of purpose is awesome. It can set the foundation for beginning the journey to getting better stock trading results. Begin to hone your mental game by setting your attention to your intention. Your A-Game is a requirement for being a consistent winner in the trading trenches…where winning is defined as planning your trades, trading your plans and following your stock trading rules. You can do it! And, if you want more help get my book “From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Traders.”
Dr. Woody Johnson