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  1. Thanks. This is the area where I mentioned how one must use willpower. This begs the question, "Where do I get the willpower?" "The discipline?" What motivates us past the fear when you can't find anything more scary? What pushes you out of a comfort zone when nobody is there prodding you with electric shocks? What makes us stop feeling like a victim, and blaming the circumstances? I believe there is a balance where a certain level of fear/pain is pushing you toward your purpose, while a certain amount of pleasure/reward is pulling you toward your purpose. I agree that from a spiritual sense the heart moves us to move past barriers and do what needs to be done, and more. Recall when we've heard about amazing accomplishments in sports? It is well known to coaches and athletes that a competition between two athletes equally fit, and skilled, the one with the biggest heart will win. It is the heart that carries an athlete through the agony of defeat to drive on. It is the heart that carries one to a another dimension to make it happen. The same psychological factors limiting one from pulling the trigger can also be attributed a successful trader from seeing, and realizing possibilities, and potential, and then increasing their trade size. Jeffrey
  2. This sight can help you identify, and acknowledge, a mood (State of Mind, Mindset, Model) that's not favorable to the trading environment. Speak for only twenty seconds to get an evaluation. Home page - Beyond Verbal Take the test on a day that you've decided to paper trade, and then again on a day after you've decided to trade with real money. Is your state of mind conducive to the results you're getting? Yes. To change you need the willpower to reverse the inclination to follow your state. An emotional (negative) state of mind where thoughts, feelings, and action work to support that state. Or, at least know what state you are in. If, or when, in the state that produces results you dislike know you have to reverse what you feel comfortable as the right action to take. Core values and beliefs? As Rande stated we get stuck in a cycle (destructive circuits) where we see what we want to see. We believe what we want to believe even when we say the opposite. "Trade what you see not what you feel." This alone has no meaning. Understand that what we see is what we believe. What we believe is what we see. What we feel is what we believe, and what we believe is how we feel. (For most it's destructive in uncertain environments) Our state can change in a heart beat when a stressor triggers a past state of mind. Using money is this trigger, and your past state is associated to using money. What changes are needed? I believe that my values guide my state of mind. If you value security over risk, the circuits will support security. This balance between taking risk vs. leaving your comfort zone is what traders must find. Then push the boundaries bit by bit. The odds that the price action I choose to trade is greater than 75 percent in favor of success. I am using the 75 percent number after reading a scientific study (I didn't save it) that found was needed for one to feel a sense of confidence in future outcomes, and leavings past experiences behind. It sounds like they found a number that works for most to be in the NOW, or present. Paper trading is a start at this point, but then I think it would be best to actually post entries and exits in a chat room winning 75 percent of the time before moving onto using money. This may be bad advice because their is always negativity, and stuff you don't need to absorb in a chat room. Many think stuff does not affect them, but it does. For some, one message triggers a negative, or fight/flight, aggressive, or avoidance, state of mind. What state of mind must you stay cool in a calm assertive state. Being my own psychologist was the only way to effectively unlearn my previous programming. People hate change, and the older you get (especially over 40) the harder it is to change. (Can't teach an old dog new tricks) I wish luck to those pursuing this challenge. Jeffrey
  3. Your certainly not alone. Here is a article that covers this area. Getting to what is interfering with your intuition takes careful look into your relationships, and connectedness with ourselves, others, our environment, money, and sex. Our behavior is motivated, or controlled, by our core beliefs in these areas. Values, Morals, and Beliefs are expressed on an emotional level in life, and in our trading. The results we get reflect our mental patterns. Look for emotions you don't like, or would rather have if you had your way. What emotions you want. Is this an appropriate way to fulfill this emotional need? What area in life have you steered away from, and have accepted to live with, or without? Does this behavior, and (in)activity, have the same belief, and emotion, that prevents you from trading like you know you could? If so, it would be easier,(if not the only way) to change the beliefs and feelings in this part of your life, first. The overall purpose, I believe, is for us to find and use the power of our unconscious mind.
  4. A simple example most use of being in the flow is driving a car. Most of the time we use our unconscious mind to drive, while repeatedly reverting back to our conscious mind to deliberately deal with unfamiliar, and uncertain, territory. Through training, and repetition, we gain trust in our unconscious to have complete control. This control is maintained even when the unexpected happens. I experienced this while riding my motorcycle along with a passenger. I car went through a red light. I had to skillfully use both back and front breaks to stop as fast as possible in thirty feet without fishtailing out of control. We approached the care, which had slammed the breaks stopping in front of me and starring with fear. As I approached, I brought the back of the bike up so that we were almost sideways just before the car and at coming to a speed where the back tire stopped skidding and gripped the pavement, while our momentum brought us back upright, and I was able to continue at an angle just missing the car. I was amazed. I had no fear of what might have happened. Internally, I felt lucky, but mostly proud as if I meant to maneuver out of the situation that way. Yet, my passenger was scared &%$# and couldn't get over it. How did you do that! (The skills I acquired from dirt bike riding enabled me to deal with this situation on the street.) Our mental filter is the culprit most of the time, but especially in trading, we need to be aware of physiological filters such as sight. We need to know ourselves. We best know ourselves when we don't have conflicting beliefs, habits and additions between the unconscious, and conscious mind. We need to know when we go in and out of our unconscious flow; when to be relaxed and not think, or any more than needed. If we are intensely focused when trading we blind ourselves from surrounding events. If we are to be attacked by a few thugs we need to be aware of what the others are about to do, not just the one who is coming at you and swinging. We will not have the use of our natural peripheral vision if we allow fear to cause focus solely on the one target. This fear is filtering other information out so that we can fully protect ourselves from apparent, primary, and present danger, but leaving us vulnerable to secondary dangers. Or, leaving us unaware of opportunities. Be aware of your focus when you see a trade opportunity. Do you start feeling uneasiness, or anxiety? This is mental filter interfering with what you know you should do. What you know you should do will be coming from your unconscious and conscious in unity with no conflict(s). What you do without thinking comes from your unconscious after training, repetition, and preparation. From my empirical understanding, we find trading difficult, because their is too much time think. The unconscious works best alone, and in milliseconds. Many don't understand why they miss so much when after the fact is so evident. Do you become blind when focusing on a chart? An exact price? Besides the mental filter being the culprit interfering with what you know is going on, here is an exercise that may wake you up to how you can see, and don't see, what is there. Purely physiological. You will become blind to peripheral events somewhere between 3 to 7 seconds. I think the ability to act without thinking should be called a gift since most can't carry it over to activities of their choice. Many can train, practice, but never get past their consciousness. They give up thinking that they don't have what it takes. They succumb, to a controlling belief system having been victimized by, or accepting, circumstances. And they call those with talent gifted. What they don't understand is, that for the right reasons, we are all capable of being gifted in certain areas of choice, and commitment. One main reason one finds they are gifted is because they have an attitude that finds the activity fun! And exiting!
  5. P.S. About getting in touch with your natural self. Most of us build a persona to cope with the outside world. We are our ideal self when home in a more relaxed state. Recognize the difference and realize our outside persona is a survival state. Your natural state is your growth state. (creativity functions here) I will ask myself, What state am I living in? What influences are contributing to my growth state and what influences contributing to my survival state? Discovering new questions to ask myself, keeps me on a path of growth. I find that I need to journal at the time, and review my progress weekly, or time go will by making it easy to fall into a survival state. If we are not pulling the trigger it is because we are in a survival state of mind. Equally, if we are not trusting our intuitive hunches, and taking action when we know it's time to take action, it is because we are in a survival state of mind. If we miss opportunities and wonder how we missed it, it is also because of our state. While in a survival state our unconscious mind protects us from possible danger, pain, ridicule, and unwanted results. It does its job well. What part of your mind is in control?
  6. Theoretical is without meat until it is put into practical means by giving up, if not changing or adjusting, your current situation and environment for something better. Theoretical is a starting point to get back to our natural states. With stimulating objects, activities, and/or other people, it is natural for us to be happy all the time except when feeling physical discomfort. (Like a baby with a mobile, or swinging in a bouncer) For me to be on top of trade opportunities it takes alert observation. I will call it work fighting against possible impulsiveness, and distractions. And fighting to maintain my free will to stay on a certain path of growth. I can't have a relaxed state of mind, or I'll let myself get distracted. To do my best I need to prepare physically and psychologically to maintain focus on my task of finding trade opportunities that will prove to be winners. And then from another perspective, I am relaxed. Having "Let Go", and waiting for it to happen. Trading the markets has become my stimulation to natural states of being. This holds true for any talented activity one finds in life. A reason to do something we choose to do is because it brings us emotional consequences of a natural state. A calm assertiveness, and feeling good. When we do something that we are good at it we are expressing who we are. This expression enables us to reach a natural state of growth unique to us along with the ability to excel. There is a balancing act going on between what I think is natural, and when to take control. One thing that I want to make natural so that it fits into the environment I've chosen to live in is getting up an hour earlier than I would naturally get up. Laurus: I hope that everyone understands what you said about "Slow". Thank you everyone for the contributions this stimulating thread.
  7. I've looked into my relationship with money and the meanings behind what it has done for my life. What it would mean to me if I would extract from the markets what I believe I can on a daily basis. The purpose has been to uncover conflicts between the conscious and unconscious, and change core beliefs. First, I accept this conflict (and others that were recognized through questioning) by stating the truth that I really don't want to make money on a consistent basis even though I say I do, and what I say I can do is supported by simulated trading results, or if you can be backed up by a coach who you've instant messaged entry's and exits to verify what you say you can do, I think this would be even better. The unconscious is always in control of your reactions and responses, so through mindfulness, I've committed to change unwanted core beliefs, which have become habits, and addictions, bringing the unconscious into harmony with the conscious. The changes have not come instantly, but I am moving forward. (Very close to breaking away from familiarity, comfort, and others expectations) From early conditioning, beliefs about money are often connected to your self image and worth. How would it feel to have a daily income if what you say comes true? Is there an uneasiness? How would you feel? Why? And how would this serve your life purpose? What would change? etc, etc. My financial self worth is one example I had to change. I have consciously believed that I can and will make at least $5,000 per day. But I was really not comfortable with that until I started telling myself while in a meditative state that I am worth $10,000 per day. After a while, I'll say about 21 days since this is a common number they say is needed before change takes hold, but it was within a month, I felt like a little cloud of darkness, an uneasiness I didn't know existed, had lifted freeing myself to grow. To expand my capabilities. I felt inspired being on track. Another possible limiting thought for many that you may need to contemplate is taxes. Many don't think about starting their own business because of this thought. They are willing to pay more through wages automatically, but they don't have to face the responsibility thinking and writing a check themselves. In California this is what I will pay for earned income from the stock market. I used my payroll software, so a small amount for Disability and state unemployment. In relation to expenses, they are minimal compared to my goal. The positive in this is that I don't pay self employment tax. I take responsibility to pay these taxes. I've broken down to a daily basis. (trading 250 days per year) When I win..., I pay... $150 23% $250 30% $500 37% $1000 42% $2000 46% $3000 48% $5,000 50% Now, for some, they never really broke it down and now that they see it they have subconsciously decided not to be successful. This is irrational! Some would rather be a martre than contribute to something they feel is unfair. And then some types are willing to do what it takes to design, discover, and achieve their potential. I see where I fit into society and both continually, and patiently, make the necessary changes. Also, It's been a while, but the book, "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Malcolm Gladwell"(2005), gives examples of how we need very little information to make a decision, and how we need to trust this intuition.. (this book is not specific to trading) "The chairman comes in a different form to everybody. You risked everything for Elise. and Elise you risked everything when you came through that door." "Most people are conditioned to live their lives the way others want it. People who realize free will is a gift you'll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that's the Chairman's real plan. That maybe, one day, we won't write the plan, you will." The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
  8. I think it is important to note that morals can impede your progress. To what extent are decisions guided by morals? On the surface, and when under pressure when opportunities arise. I have run into two situations where Real Estate Agents took advantage of an opportunity. One under-priced a house in her interest. The house next door sold $30k under market in 2004. The pool was not used and needed cleaning. Three thousand was deducted for pool re-plastering. After the sale the pool was cleaned and filled along with house cleanup and some tree trimming and planting. It sold for an 80,000 profit after being flipped. Another incident a coworker was taken advantage of mad at himself for trusting the real estate agent. It is buyer beware wherever you do business. Each industry has unwritten standards. About a year after the flipping of the house next door, I inquired with another real estate agent about selling my house. I brought up the name of the real estate agent who under-priced the house next door, and before I said anything she told me that that agent was real good. Opportunists are amongst the best known in their field of practice, and get away with it. Morals are flexible. They adapt to the situation. Some people can be respected for certain actions, while another will be castigated for the same behavior. Maybe we have to earn our right to take advantage of certain situations. If you are a person of character, integrity, and with strict moral standards... you may unconsciously, or consciously, think you are doing something wrong if trading successfully. You don’t want to be castigated. Especially, if shorting stock. Or, it could be used as an excuse not to become successful for some other unconscious reason. But in trading we don’t have to earn the right to take advantage of opportunity. This reminds me of discussions that have come up where traders ask what they tell others what they do when asked. This shows an underlying fear coming to consciousness. How does a trader deal with the fear of being a bad person? Instead of believing that there must be a winner and a loser consider the possibility that there are transactions with a winner and a winner. Is this possible? Out of the group of traders who have the shares you need a portion will benefit from the exchange. They will be taking profit, or getting into a position and take a profit some future time. So, it is a choice to believe what is going on behind the scenes of a transaction. I can choose to believe what will work for me. That could be that I choose not to pick a belief about something that does not matter. (if this ever mattered, or limited, me in the past it doesn't any more) How does a trader deal with a belief that he is, or will be, a victim? You don’t have to be a victim unless you think you are. Unless you are predicting the future. (which can cause worry) This is an example amongst a multitude of phobias we are conditioned to, and can choose to deal with. Besides phobias, the feelings of Guilt, Shame, and Worry will cause anxiety, affect the capacity for change, and limit growth.
  9. And not only be ready, willing, and able to do what it takes, but to possess a certain personality, and the talent, that it takes.
  10. Whether it matters, or not, it would be interesting to see a report for certain period(s) including all trading accounts. And of those accounts, how many traders moved from hobby status to trading as a business. And then, of those accounts how many lasted for more than so many years.
  11. I found breathing techniques in combination with mindfulness instrumental in my development. When a well trained dog's Master, or Mistress, gives orders. It is an automatic response to change states adapting to the order; wanting to please. A dog can change from a survival state to peaceful calm state in an instant. This is where I really saw the importance of having a well thought out purpose, and higher meaning. And to serve that purpose without feeling uncomfortable being a "servant". Then it became very easy to periodically question whether I was serving my purpose, or not. To be aware when my state of mind was off track. If a dog can change states in a second, so can us humans. I noticed I did not do this. When something got me discouraged, I found something disappointing, or if something really got me upset, it might take a whole day before I let it go. I didn't realize that I was needlessly carrying garbage with me interfering with my desired state and/or Frame of mind. It was a misguided force of mind. While breathing, I not only focused on awareness, relaxation and peace, but I focus on every point of change from exhale to inhale, and from inhale to exhale. Like a peak and bottom turns of a steep V shaped chart pattern. It is at these points my thoughts are of how quickly I can change my state by taking control, and ordering it. With practice, this self-talk imbued my belief system with a new belief. I found a growing ability to let things go. What use to affect me for a day lasted only 3 or 4 hours. After a few month's(actually almost a year) some of the same things takes only minutes. As soon as an unwanted thought passes my awareness, I stop myself from rehashing the whole experience again. (As if I could correct it somehow by reliving it.) Along with other tools, mindfulness combined with breathing exercises has helped me reach a deeper introspection. P.S. I can't remember where I read about focusing on the breathing changes.
  12. You are asking if an activating event causes the consequences. Or, another words if results are caused by an activating event never taking responsibility. Here one will blame everything but themselves for causing the emotional consequences suffered, or they attribute good fortune to others, or to luck. Or, is it our beliefs and their thoughts, and emotions, that cause our results. Here we take responsibility and control of our own mind. (mental schema, thought process, belief system) And then there is a balancing act going on where they seems to be grey areas with our interpretations. An area where we can choose the most accurate interpretation for a situation. We can be content, considered ourselves successful, yet never come close to our potential. This can be from comparing yourself to others with a competitive mindset without an internal mindset of abundance and possibility.
  13. Is a trader who is 'naturally' suited to trading better off in the long run? The short run, yes. But who's to say to what extent they make use of their talent? How deeply do new traders generally experience anguish and what is their general tolerance level? If they don't set a tolerance level they may experience anguish. I set my tolerance level at my win rate. I believe the win rate should be at least 75% with simulated trading before moving onto real trading. The mind holds strongest its beliefs that are validated as the truth at least three times to one time that it turns out wrong. Does a trader have to break in order to become fully competent? They need to break away from their old way of thinking. Make changes from what is not working, and reprogram the mind with a goal of feeling good. Feeling joy in all areas of life. Supporting a purpose driven positive attitude. Does anything really change anyway other than the trader having more useful experience? Beliefs are formed by experiencing and reinforced by experiences. When skills are developed we have new experiences and our beliefs change. Our thoughts and feelings change to support that belief. As the markets are in perpetually evolving, do traders experience the same thing over and over? In my case, yes. I will stop and adapt to the new environment, but this would be unusual. Say the markets start a bull run more days than not, and prices just keep running up. I would stop and be cautious until an intuitive feeling says it's time to change. This is from personal experience, Interpretations, Beliefs, Distortions, reading, etc.
  14. Here is one for Android. https://market.android.com/details?id=t2.tacticalBreather
  15. I meant that my emotions have been mitigated. I still have to deal with what is there. I have started writing down current self talk, and replacing it with more accurate self talk that does not include fear, but reasoned optimism. I have only been through this once last weekend, and I will go through the exercise again this evening. I believe this has effectuated changing my state. (Mindset) But, it takes daily practice. I will be trying to read and re read everyday. Accepting the current fear based emotions, and replacing them with confidence. Eventually, I should be ruminating a new mindset throughout the day without reading it first. Today, I experienced frustration, as well, after I was letting trades go by. I know my fear based emotions are from a culmination of past, and future, thoughts/beliefs. Understanding that mindfulness is about staying in the present, I believe, and is putting me on the right track to trading with impartiality.
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