Sunday, May 10, 2009

Trading and the Training of the Will

"I strongly suspect that even the most successful traders have a constructive side and a destructive side--a self that is capable of mastering the markets and a self that is capable of implosion. The traders who are ultimately successful have found ways of continuously accessing the mastery they possess. The ones who fail may be every bit as knowledgeable and experienced, but they remain locked in states that undermine their goals. Overcoming problem patterns is only half the game. The equal challenge is to cultivate successful patterns that can be invoked at will. This is only possible to those who have developed a high degree of intentionality--the capacity to sustain significant effort and purpose."

The Psychology of Trading
p. 296

"Without freedom there is no trading. Trading is a celebration of economic and political freedom. Slaves are traded; they do not trade.

All this freedom, however, is for naught if we, ourselves, are not free. It is the deepest of ironies that we experience greater freedom--far broader potentials--than those who came before us. And yet, in our lives, in our abilities to master ourselves, we are no freer. Amid opportunity, we remain partial: tethered to our conditioning.

What it means to be free is to be able to choose, to live with intention. The free life is one that we guide: a life lived with purpose, direction, and meaning.

Trading, like all the great performance activities, is an opportunity to cultivate the intentional life. Pursued properly, it is a path to freedom."

Enhancing Trader Performance
p. 254

"When we pursue goals in an effortful manner, we build intentionality and free will...It is the interplay between the flow state and intentionality that creates accelerated learning curves: without flow, talents have no place to go; they never evolve into elite skills."

The Daily Trading Coach
p. 80-81

To aggressively pursue opportunity and equally aggressively refrain from risk when opportunity is not present requires a highly developed Will. We train ourselves for our careers, and we train ourselves physically. Rarely, however, do we train the Will and cultivate our capacity to act with purpose and intent. Many a wise mentor has advised new traders to "trade well and the money will come." Without a developed Will, however, there can be no consistent discipline or learning curve. The capacity to sustain directed, productive effort underlies all greatness; our being is a reflection of our doing.