Friday, December 04, 2009

Cultivating a Quiet Mind

"When we think of psychological well-being, we naturally think of joy, pleasure, and vigor. A different facet of well-being is serenity: a mind free of distracting thoughts and feelings. In many ways, serenity is vital to elite performance: a mind at peace is one that can be fully focused on market patterns.

Most of us spend too much of our time assaulted by stimuli to achieve a high degree of serenity. Social interaction, television, radio, music players, cell phones, billboards, and computers: much of our day is spent in a melange of sights and sounds. Each calls to our attention, entertaining us from without, but leaving us ever more challenged to stimulate ourselves from within.

In the absence of the ability to generate our own stimulation, many of us equate the absence of stimulation of boredom. Boredom is an empty state, a frustrated state in which there is no-thing of interest. Upon reflection, however, we can see that boredom betrays a kind of inner emptiness, an inability to find objects of interest in our inner and outer worlds.

The aversion to boredom is the source of many trading problems. To erase boredom, traders will manufacture trades, overtrading--and sustaining losses--in the process. Traders will take unusual risks and size positions too daringly to sustain their excitement and interest. It is ironic that many traders consider emotion to be their enemy, when in fact it is the boredom of quiet markets that they particularly dread."

The Daily Trading Coach, p. 83