Emotional or energy management is crucial to your ability to focus on the important matters like planning your trades, trading your plan, following your rules and keeping your commitments. There are many who would tell you that you should trade like a robot; that is, without emotions so you are not unduly influenced by fear and greed. Well, if that were possible, it is true that you’d avoid feeling fear, greed or any of the other negative emotions that drive unwanted bad behaviors. However, it’s also true that you would be void of positive powerful emotions like determination, inspiration, joy, love and curiosity that greatly support decision making. This is detrimental as you would not have the resource of these strong positive emotional energies either.
The research is clear that emotions, not rational thought, to a large degree govern decision making. Many would argue that logic is what determines how and what they decide; but when you make a choice of which way to go on just about anything substantive, the final determinant is how you feel.
Let’s look a little closer at curiosity, one of the more potent positive emotions. I would argue that next to love, joy and happiness, curiosity will serve you longer and in more situations. Additionally, the satisfaction of curiosity will add greatly to your joy and happiness.
One of the facts of the universe is the ubiquity of information or data. Data is at the core of physics; from the sharing of information as in cellular communication throughout the body to actions like photosynthesis. In other words, information and data are at the heart of everything…and that includes trading.
Armed with curiosity, you will be able to tolerate the discomfort of both physical pain and emotional turmoil associated with fear, anxiety, greed, and anger to name a few. With curiosity, you will yearn to see what happens if you allow the plan to unfold as written, thereby increasing the information… the data. Through curiosity, you will be open to trial and error to learn how various indicators and/or moving averages would work.
As you create consistency in cultivating and using curiosity you will develop the capacity for greater emotional strength and endurance to sit with the discomfort in whatever form it may take, and remain there for the sake of achieving your highest and best goals. Once that happens you truly are on your way to becoming a consistently successful trader.
Developing and using curiosity is a way to learn more as you find out the “why” something will or won’t work. If you are learning more about both the trading process and yourself, you will put yourself in a position to do more as you are increasing your capacity to perform at ever higher levels of effectiveness and efficiency. In other words, you become more productive. Furthermore, it follows that if your productivity is increasing and you are more effective overall, then you are also in a position to “be” more. So, it is safe to say that you are expanding not only as a trader but as a human being. You are no longer held hostage by the “tyranny of certainty;” that is, the phenomenon that takes place when an individual only has a hammer, causing everything to look like a nail; or when someone has limited alternatives that seem plausible making them closed-off and limited in the ways that they can respond to that situation. They, then, have become tyrannized by the certainty of what to do. They have lost their ability to be flexible given that set of circumstances in that instance. They are doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!
Written by Dr. Woody Johnson, Online Trading Academy Instructor. Dr. M. Woodruff Johnson has actively and successfully traded stock options, forex and futures since 2000. He is the former Executive Director of the Kaiser Permanente, Watts Counseling and Learning Center. He holds certifications in Accelerated Learning, Neurosensory Development and hypnotherapy, and he is a Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Dr. Woody is also an Associate Professor and teaches graduate psychology courses at Pacific Oaks College and Ryokan College. He has provided clinical staff services in hospitals and community clinics as well. He has a passion for helping others to achieve their goals and get the results in trading and life that they desire. Dr. Woody has been using mind/body healing techniques both professionally and personally with much success for many years. He is the author of “From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.”