Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Emotions, Can't Live without Them, Can't Trade with Them
Life sparkles, crackling with experiences ranging from the sublime to the terrifying. In looking to make the best of our relationships, careers, and selves, pushing the boundaries and maintaining a balance are often at odds. What we think of as emotions can add zest but when they overpower our intentions, emotions leave a destructive path we usually chalk up to "life's tuition". The same is true for trading, which after all is simply a subset of our life, and for many of us, a substantially large part if time is a consideration.
Transforming destructive patterns to creative ones is the work of refining awareness through persistence and caring. With caring, awareness becomes wisdom. With awareness, caring turns knowledge into creative action. They go hand in hand. Changing deep patterns isn't a weekend of tricks and techniques, no more than trading is a chart with a few indicators. It also doesn't happen one day and you are through. Rather, it is an evolving, the best kind of living.
To recap, we are looking at the idea that emotions interfere with trading. For those that need to know the why of emotions, I've given a brief description of modern science's view of how emotions are created through sensory input, perception and interpretation by the brain. The intent of this article is to introduce a few ways to learn to recognize your own emotions so that the work of trading can progress unimpeded.
The concept that trading involves "controlling our emotions" is a confusing one. Many interpret that to mean suppress or repress them and become a dispassionate automaton. While a crocodile temperament might be useful in the S&P pits, human nature is a bit more complex. Emotions are a natural by-product of living. What need not happen is that they sabotage your efforts. Retraining ourselves to stop living the through the lens of the past-- the seat of emotions, and learning to live in the present moment, where responses are based on the now, is what is needed.
There are many ways and methods, but there are a few simple and practical methods that are free and involve just a bit of time otherwise spent in amusements. I will discuss them in the next two posts.
At last, over the rim
of the waiting earth
the moon lifted with
till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off,
free of moorings
- Kenneth Grahame,
The Wind in the Willows