Paulo breathed a heavy sigh as he thought about the next day’s preparation. He was still attempting to recover from today’s session, which was emotionally whipping him as my grandfather used to say, “like he stole something!” He felt fragmented and frustrated, and he knew that his research and preparation for tomorrow’s trading was crucial. Paulo also knew that his state of mind was not conducive to the sharp focus of his A-Game, which was required for preparation that was not distorted by poor judgment or distracted by noisy thinking. He actually had a number of mental/emotional tools that he could use when his emotional temperature was too extreme for making prudent decisions. But, he was so disgusted with his results from this day’s trading, which included several losses, two rule violations and a premature exit that left him at break-even only to watch the price action move decidedly in his direction for several points; that he just wanted to chuck it for now. However, just then his thoughts turned toward his toe-headed little daughter whose cherubic face beamed a smile in his mind. He also envisioned his loving wife whom he knew was in his corner. In fact, these mental pictures reminded him of his “sensory rich vision of success” that he had written which detailed his “compelling reason” for trading. It was all about his family and his community service. As he revisited the short but riveting account of those things that mattered most in his life; those things that propelled him out of bed in the morning and drove him like a turbo jet toward his goals; his emotional state rebounded like the ball from a home-run bat.
Paulo became triggered into a whole cascade of neuro-networks (specific sensory filled memories and thoughts surrounding significant events and people in his life) that revolved around his family, friends and community that made his heart sing. He became reacquainted with his passion for living which he had connected to his compelling reason for trading. Herein was the internal motivation that was not tied to “will power” … the myth of discipline. Will power is the “I’ll make myself do it” syndrome. It is a form of discipline, but the mind/body is often working against itself. Relying on will power can be the precursor of inner conflict and stress. Will power is where you use metaphors like “putting your nose to the grind stone” and “put your shoulder to the wheel.” 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 visionary form of discipline 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 and poised 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 (the what-matters-most-in your life) 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. Just as Paulo did, when you get to the frequent difficulties in and around your trading, preparing or debriefing process, if you experience any resistance to doing what you know is important just access and activate your purpose and the vision associated with it. In this way you promote an inner “state shift” from frustration, anxiety 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 even though it’s out of your awareness is for the most part 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 yourself 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 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 rules. You can do it! And, if you want more help, ask your Online Trading Academy Educational Counselor for more information on the Mastering the Mental Game online and on-location courses. Also, get my gook From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Traders.
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.”