Thursday, July 30, 2009

Comforting the Afflicted, Afflicting the Comfortable

Readers of the case studies from my Psychology of Trading book know that I see the role of psychologist as comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. When people are down, the goal is to help them find their strengths and the energy and optimism to move forward. When they are too comfortable repeating old, unproductive patterns, the goal is to prod and serve as a catalyst for change.

Comforting and afflicting are a large part of this blog, as well. The goal is to help traders find the best within themselves. Sometimes that means nurturing traders along a learning curve; sometimes it means reminding them that they must never stop learning.

It's not a bad life philosophy: comfort ourselves by drawing upon our talents and skills when things are darkest; push ourselves a little outside our comfort zone when life is easy. As Neil Young realized, it's just as dangerous to rust away as to burn out. A good question to always be asking, in trading and in life: Where am I in my comfort zone?