If you ever see a picture of me (and you will), you will see that I am very slim.
You might even think I am too thin. (I get that a lot)
But my mind is amazing. A super fast intuitive thinker.
I see things, not just in trading, but in all aspects in life that people do not.
My capability of processing information – all sorts, is through the roof. I am not saying this to toot my own horn.
I am saying this because I consciously set out to develop this skill.
I was not born with it. I felt I had to develop it in order to succeed in the game of Global Macro Trading.
If I wanted to, I could bulk up my body. It’s easy. I know the process.
I would go work out more, my appetite would increase, and I would add a fourth or fifth meal for the day. I could add 5 pounds of muscle to my frame in a few months, if I so desired it.
Trading as a Physical Game
I remember reading about one trader during the financial crisis in 2008 that said he was on top of things and so busy, he didn’t have time to workout.
Sonia Jones, characterized the trading of her husband, Paul Tudor Jones, as:
“Trading for him, it’s like having baby after baby that cries in the night. He wakes up for the baby every few hours.”
Now, I don’t think you have to wake up every few hours every day – only on the special days.
And you can structure trades that you don’t have to worry about every single day. I describe the complete process I used to find such a trade here.
The point here is that trading can be physically challenging – if you are watching charts and interpreting information for so many hours during the day.
It requires a certain amount of physical stamina.
Trading as an Intellectual Game
Trading can be one of the most intellectually fascinating games in the world.
After all, one of the goals in life is to find a game worth playing and play it with passion!
Jesse Livermore talked about this in the book he wrote:
“The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world.”
Paul Tudor Jones also talked about it:
“If trading is like chess, then macro is like three-dimensional chess.”
So whether you read charts, interpret information flow, play out scenarios in your mind, or crunch quantitative data, it requires mind power.
What trading and market ideas can you come up with and apply?
That is what counts.
Balance and Extremes
Part of the inspiration for this blog post comes from someone who claimed they “knew stocks.” After the first two sentences came out of his mouth, I knew he didn’t know what he was talking about. I can spot these people very quickly nowadays. But he certainly does workout! He goes to the gym a lot.
He could punch my lights out.
Though, he doesn’t seem to want to bulk up his mind.
Another person I knew wanted to be a business owner, but they said they just kept being so exhausted from their day job and from all the workouts they did. I suggested that perhaps they were overdoing it. Between the day job, commute, and bulking up their body so much, and all the recovery time involved, when do they have time to bulk up their mind?
Just an idea. I don’t know your unique situation.
You of course want to keep the body in shape.
As Buddha said:
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
But you also have to remember that you are not trying to be an athlete. You are a trader. And that requires a bit different skill sets.
To have that mental agility to perceive opportunities.
As Jack Schwager noticed about the billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen:
“Another thing I noticed about Steve that I’ve also seen in a number of other great traders is that he can look at the same one hundred facts as everyone else sees – some of which are bullish and some of which are bearish – and somehow pick out the one or two elements that are the most relevant to the market at that moment in time.”
He has the ability to be bombarded with information and make music out of it.
That beautiful symphony of profits!
It comes from the power of the mind.
Feed Your Mind
Athletes they have their favorite workout regimen.
Musicians listen to music to fill their mind with such melodies, etc, to provide the raw material for their own music.
If you ever read the story of Conrad Hilton, you will see he had the ability to vision new hotels and picture them in his imagination, even though he was staring at dilapidated hotels in the physical world.
So as a trader, what do you read to bulk up your mind? What information do you consume?
As Jim Rohn said:
“Pity the man who has a favorite restaurant, but not a favorite author. He’s picked out a favorite place to feed his body, but he doesn’t have a favorite place to feed his mind.”
Now you also have to consider the source of the information. Some information is more valuable than others. Some information is closer to the market truth than others. Just like some actions are more powerful than others.
So do you have a plan to bulk up your mind?
The Greatest Year of My Life
So next time you are in a gym or restaurant, or pass by one, have the thought:
These people are bulking up their bodies, and feeding their bellies, but how many of them are truly bulking up their minds? 95% aren’t. So joining the elite 5% club, to start the process, is as simple as making the decision to start bulking up your mind.
The greatest year of my life, I read the most – over 50 books, thousands of articles, plus lots of action, plus met lots of new people.
The worst year of my life (where I almost didn’t make it out alive) – I read the least – not even one book, plus little action, met few new people.
One of the most sorely lacking traits in humans – is VISION. Capital is not scarce. Vision is.
And one of the ways to help develop vision is to bulk up your mind – and know various ways to think about the information and interpret it and play out the scenarios in your mind.
So what are you doing to bulk up your mind? To be able to better perceive opportunities both in the market and elsewhere in life?
When you commit to some kind of reading plan – even for just a year or two, you start to be leaps and bounds ahead of other people who don’t read, or who read with no purpose, no focus, no end goal in mind.
Your mind becomes very attuned to opportunities. And your bank balance will thank you for it.
To be honest, you don’t need all that much knowledge to succeed in trading. You can find a certain system, a process that works, and then just keep implementing it and not trying to grow and push the envelope. I can stop learning more today, and I would be okay. But I am sufficiently paranoid not to do that. (see the story above about my best and worst year).
So I operate under the need for new ideas and new perspectives on old ideas. I consider it a necessity in trading. To be plugged into the stream of information flow.
There are many people I meet, I know just the right book that could revolutionize and transform their life. And I may even know which quote or sentence or paragraph from which book. I don’t tell them because I don’t want to try to change them. I like to appreciate most people for who they currently are.
Though, it is important to know that the answers you seek can just be the right book, the right blog post, the right person, the right trading course away. Those insights can shed light on so much of your previous journey.
I almost want to tell them: “You know, if you go to this book, on this page, in this paragraph, there is the answer you seek.”
One of the most important skills to nurture is that of decision making.
All of life expressed is a series of decisions, of choices.
How you decide about the information that comes in, how you make choices, how you evaluate opportunities, are all a result of decision making powers.
“Every dollar of diminished or enhanced investment value in my world, as well as every measure of failure or success, peace of mind or anxiety, frustration or happiness is the result of decision-making. It is the most important human skill, yet it is rarely, formally taught as a skill.” – Stephen Roulac
Find someway to bulk up the mind, so you can make better decisions in life.
More Free Time
Bulk up your mind, so you can finish the powerful habits and trading activities faster than ever.
So you can then get many hours of enjoyment in after a profitable trading day.
I remember reading about how one hedge fund manager was able to quickly make investment decisions in one moment, then switch to making philanthropic decisions in the next moment.
How was he able to do this? My theory is that his mind was so developed, he just knew what information was important, if there was a big market move coming or not and what trading moves to make.
Bulk up your mind.
Bulk up your desire for achievement.
Bulk up your desire for speed of achievement.
Improving the Mind
If you talk to people and the only conversation you have is about the weather, gas prices, etc, then you know the other person may not have developed their mind.
There are ways to improve the mind.
Massive reading of the proper trading books, asking questions of what you are reading.
Lots of action on the ideas that you read. The development of some principles you can apply.
Your mind should be roaring with ideas.
Trading ideas, success stories, things you can do to make the money, all the things you can buy and experience and freedom you can have with your trading fortune.
If not, something is wrong!!
In the previous blog post, I talked about how it was I and a few of my buddies all stuck in the technical indicator rat race. Well, if you want to find out exactly how I bulked up my trading mind and what actions I took to break free from the mediocre majority, then click here. There are most certainly insights, strategies, revelations and of course “secrets,” that, when learned, get you to see the markets in a completely new and profitable light.
P.S. Ever hear of the story of the baby elephant?
When the circus elephant was a baby, it was chained to the ground.
It was a baby and didn’t have the strength to break away.
It tried to, but could not. It cut and hurt itself in the process.
So this conditioning and belief was ingrained within him that he could not break free from the chains.
When the baby elephant became a big elephant, it still kept this belief and did not try to break away. It never forgot the experience from when it was a baby.
Well, imagine hoards of traders – on the trading forums, etc, going to search for the new fancy indicator, etc, as being that baby elephant in shackles. They are shackled.
With just a few carefully targeted insights and strategies, they can break free from those bonds and experience a trading world of profit they never dreamed of.