Exquisitely Sufficient

Oh, why am I writing this. I believe I do possess the knowledge, technical skills, risk management to be a really good trader. However, setting all that aside, something that does impede the success of many traders is the psychological aspect, which I believe is the biggest part of trading.

Though the majority of this blog is focused to the technical aspects of how I trade simply, I'd like to share some of the things I'm doing and learning about the psychological part of trading from my very own experiences.

One may often want to skip over this step, but what separates truly great traders who last and those who do not, being the assumption each of these traders all possess the knowledge, skills, risk management abilities, what will allow a trader to survive and thrive over those who do not make it?

One thing that does intrigue me, and though he is not a trader, is Robert Allen, the real estate guy that can go into a town with no money and easily turn over properties and have lots of money in a short period of time. I would surmise that if he were to acquire the skills, knowledge and risk management abilities as a trader, he'd do exceedingly well, being able to take a very small account to huge in a short period of time.

His psychological makeup is probably pretty healthy compared to many of us who seem "stuck". So, I am actively pursuing and addressing the "tough" habits and mindsets that do not lead to ultimate success in my life.

I started a couple weeks ago keeping a notebook of thoughts that pop into my head that are not healthy, or feelings about things. Even if they do not directly relate to trading or money, since our lives are very entertwined, they could directly be negatively impacting my trading.

One of my closest friends shared with me that I often have a fatalistic outlook on things and that I have this expectation that input = output. In other words, if I work hard and smart, the natural result should be success (and in trading, good profits). And, if you do not put in your due diligence, you should not expect or have good results. We can see there is a flaw in this type of thinking and although I can see it, emotionally it's rooted in me because of the actions that result.

My accountability partner identified that "it's not fair", which greatly struck me, so I wrote that phrase down, as well as "they didn't put in the work". I am normally not a jealous person and truly do love to celebrate in the successes of others, but in some minor cases, there have been perhaps "jealous" type feelings.

Those jealous type feelings do not just extend to a handful of people, but they have also extended to me. In my CMI trade, that trade was incorrectly put on because I failed to know there was a split on that stock. That is a HUGE no no, yet it was one of my most profitable trades in quite some time with a ROI in the hundreds of percents. My intention, well-thought out trades rarely ever come out this good. So, even to my own self, there is self-sabotage.

We live in a fallen world and sometimes things DO happen where we are given grace. Thank God we do not get EVERYTHING we DESERVE. Sometimes we do, but without making this a preaching session, God imparts such grace on us. I think the thing now is when we are given grace, which means undeserved favor, we are to be grateful and recognize this, learn from this.

As I listened to Lynne Twist’s audio on “Unleashing the Soul of Money”, in Section 3, she talks about “Enough”, about “Sufficiency”. Whenever I hear the word sufficiency, 2 things come to mind:

* Self-Sufficiency
* God’s grace is sufficient

The meanings of both those are the complete opposite. The first, we depend on ourselves, the latter, we depend on God.

The Message translation of 2 Corinthians 7-10 is:

7-10Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

The Bible refers to Jesus Christ as the living water, “LIVING”, not dead. Ms. Twist makes a comparison between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee has water that flows into and out of it, breathing life into that body of water. It is a perfect balance of receiving and giving, nourishing. It allocates, does not accumulate. It is a current, a carrier. It energizes, flows. There is a sense of well-being, of integrity with this, honor, gratitude.

On the other hand, the Dead Sea is stagnant. Water flows in, but does not flow out. It only takes, hoards, holds onto, thus becoming toxic, deadly. That’s like fear and greed where those 2 things trap a person, causing death. Life ceases. It’s never enough. It always wants more.

I’ve heard and focused on living abundantly, but I never realized until hearing Ms. Twist that that means to live in “Enough”. You let go of what you do not need. This frees up oceans of energy so that one can pay attention to what one already has, allowing this to expand so you can truly make a difference with that which you already have because it is enough.

So, this allows one to be in the presence of the exquisite distinction of having enough. This means that we are no longer consumers living in a consumer culture, rather we appreciate, thus that appreciates.

Money is a carrier, but we have to ask ourselves what does it carry? Does money for us carry courage, positive energy, love, a higher commitment? Or, does it carry fear, greed, death?

Anyway, there is a lot more to write, but will save for another time.

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