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The Power of Trading on all Cylinders

Do me a favor please and fill in the blank in this sentence, “The road to _______ is paved with good intentions.” Most of you probably replaced the blank with the word “hell”. It’s an old cliché that is popular in the US and in other parts of the planet. This saying minimizes “intention” as a shallow aim that lacks real power; meaning that many people make claims about what they “intend” to do but don’t follow through in most instances.

How to align yourself mentally and physically as a trader.

It essentially is saying that intentions are common and that aiming to do something often lacks either a commitment to the behavior or a real honest-to-goodness effort. However, this view is not really attributing the huge influence that true intention places on the act, which can greatly “increase” the likelihood of completion rather than “diminishing” it. Many traders across the planet don’t always possess the belief or conviction that is required to follow-through with rules and commitments in the trade. When that is the case they are lacking in true intention.

When we step back and take a look at what it means to have a true intention; it becomes clear that it is more than an “aim” to do something. It is an underlying fierce focus that is based upon the internal state of the individual, which equates to the alignment of thoughts (internal dialogue and/or internal pictures) and emotions (the feelings that revolve around a sense that he/she “must” follow-through) and behaviors (the actual actions of the individual that reflect the critical nature of the performance outcome). True intention brings with it a context that compels the individual into action because it not only has the element of desire, it emerges out of an alignment of body, mind and emotions that in many ways “propels” the individual’s internal “parts” (that correspond to left/right brain tendencies or to an approach/avoidance that is often present when risk is involved) to go in the same direction of the desired result without the distorted judgement caused by competing perceptions. It is also important to note that true intention is both rooted in and based upon information. Information on past behaviors and results and as well information connected with future behavioral tendencies plays a crucial role in both the prospect of a successful result and as well, the warranty that the individual will actually follow-through. 1

Another distinction is that “intentions-in-action” differ from “prior aims” in that intentions-in-action are true intentions and prior aims are the one’s referred to in the above as the ambition to have done something that did not include the conviction or the commitment to follow-through. A very important element of true intention is “energy”. This is where the desire or the emotions connected to the intention are actually the driving force of the follow-through.

So what does all this have to do with your trading? You’ll want to develop your intentions around the effective execution and implementation of your trade plan to ensure that you are planning the trade, trading the plan, following through with every rule and keeping every personal commitment. This is at the core of what-matters most in your trading. To ensure that you are resolving through a true intention of being in the moment, for the moment, fully available and fully present; in other words to be in the Now of the trade which then affords a greater prospect of being aligned in thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

The core of doing the right things habitually in order to get the right results habitually is intertwined with the power of Now along with the critical nature of alignment which is also inextricably tied to increasing awareness, the information, which is the underpinning of the entire process. It’s all about the data. One way to increase true intention is by tying it to your Macro Trading Purpose – your Big Why. This is where you take the what-matters-most in your life and connect it with the what-matters-most in the trade. For instance, you might have as the core of your Macro Trading Purpose your family and the importance of providing a joyful life for them. This is a “compelling reason” for making your trades, and when you keep it fresh on your dashboard you are keying into the “passion” or in other words the “energy” of your system. When this happens, your true intentions become engaged and support the manifestation of the desire. This is when you are firing on all cylinders and that creates an edge in your trading that can make all the difference. Anytime you can identify a legitimate edge…take it. Your A-Game is relying on it.


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.”


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