Have you ever been in the midst of a trade and thought how supportive it would be to have someone – a fellow trader possibly – that you trusted, to call at just that moment when you’re about to careen off the cliff to the left? Or, perhaps you have a trading buddy that trades the same asset classes and has called you for help just as they ventured into that fork in the road and were about to go left into the dark abyss of “rule violations,” and you calmly guided them back to the right and in the direction of trading with their highest and best interests in mind. In either instance, whether you made or got the call, how did you feel?…supported, relieved, glad to be helped or of help? Either way, not only were your emotions buoyed by the connection, but both you and your buddy may have experienced a higher level of resolve to keep your commitments and maintain a fierce focus on what matters most in the next trade. This could be considered a “peak experience” where both of you felt a mood expansion akin to exhilaration, elevation and being deeply moved; in other words you felt a moment of reaching your full potential.
A “peak experience” was originally described by Abraham Maslow as “moments of highest happiness and fulfillment” in his book Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences.1 Consider the last time you fully executed your plan and followed each and every rule while keeping all of your commitments to the plan and yourself; despite multiple urges to capitulate and swerve to the left at that fork in the road and into the abyss. Well, you probably felt strong, courageous and exhilarated because you stood your ground and fought the demon that tried to snatch your steering wheel…and you won! That is a peak experience; and it happens quite often in a community of like-minded individuals who have forged a shared commitment to one another and to skillful, boldly precise trade execution. Therein lay one of the gifts that community can bestow on those that dare to fully engage and be engaged by fellow like-minded and like-hearted individuals.
Having and being a part of a learning community or mastermind group can be a real trading power house. It fosters a common sense of direction, objectives and aims; and, it can be very helpful in supporting personal accountability. Community can also assist its members in forging a greater commitment to trade planning and following through with rules due to the team spirit and emotional bonding that takes place. One way that this can happen is through the personal connections that are encouraged because they evoke a richer, more involved sense of “selves.” According to Oxford Dictionaries “community,” for the purposes of this missive, essentially means “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” The ideas of “change and exchange” and “shared by all“ implied in the definition above are potent precursors to individual and collective learning that are necessary to the evolution of peak performance trading. It creates cooperation and reliable interdependence which are building blocks of the type of synergy that can propel the growth of the community members. There is a common purpose that stems from articulated values of the trading process; and this leads to greater positive results. Additionally, it becomes a practice field for skill building, another core principle to any performance oriented endeavor. The community also holds opportunities for specific and valuable contributions from its members that further cement its value and again produces increased performance. When this happens, it also provides sustainability to the endeavor and elevates a shared vision of success for all based upon traders living up to their personal and collective commitments. In part II I’ll share some additional specific components of a successful trading community or mastermind group.
Across the planet some of the most stunning achievements in all types of endeavors have had at their core a mastermind group, a learning community. Team efforts work in trading and not just sports. Trading is a 100% mental game and if you have a caring, strong, effective and committed support community behind you, and you behind them, then you become more caring, strong, effective and committed.
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.”