A Strong Enough “Why” Will Take Your Trading to the Top


10 ratings



Dr. M. Woodruff Johnson

21 Sep, 2012

in Psychology

Paulo breathed a heavy sigh as he thought about the next day’s preparation. He was still attempting to recover from today’s session, which was emotionally whipping him, as my grandfather used to say, “like he stole something!”  He felt fragmented and frustrated; and he knew that his research and preparation for tomorrow’s trading was crucial. Paulo also knew that his state of mind was not conducive to the sharp focus of his A-Game, which was required for preparation that was not distorted by poor judgment or distracted by noisy negative thinking. 

He actually had a number of mental/emotional tools that he could use when his emotional temperature was too extreme for making prudent decisions.  But, he was so disgusted with his results from this day’s trading, which included several losses, two rule violations and a premature exit that left him at break-even only to watch the price action move decidedly in his direction for several points; that he just wanted to chuck it for now.  However, just then his thoughts turned toward his toe-headed little daughter whose cherubic face beamed a smile in his mind.  He also envisioned his loving wife whom he knew was in his corner.  In fact, these mental pictures reminded him of his “sensory rich vision of success” that he had written which detailed his “compelling reason” for trading. 

It was all about his family and his community service.  As he revisited the short but riveting account of those things that mattered most in his life; those things that propelled him out of bed in the morning and drove him like a turbo jet toward his goals; his emotional state rebounded like the ball from a home-run bat.

Paulo became triggered into a whole cascade of neuro-networks (specific sensory filled memories and thoughts surrounding significant events and people in your life) that revolved around his family, friends and community that made his heart sing.  He became reacquainted with his passion for living which he had connected to his compelling reason for trading.  Herein was the internal motivation that was not tied to “will power” … the myth of discipline.  Will power is the “I’ll make myself do it” syndrome.  It is a form of discipline, but the mind/body is working against itself.  It is the precursor of inner conflict and stress.  Will power is where you use metaphors like “putting your nose to the grind stone” and “put your shoulder to the wheel.” 

This form of discipline is not nearly as powerful as connecting your goal to what makes you want to break out in song.  Connecting to your passionate visionary form of discipline engages the body, mind and emotions to work in the same direction and for the same goal.  When your passion is at work, you become aligned and poised to activate and access your internal and external resources.  When you are on purpose, and your goals are tethered to your passion (a compelling reason), you become driven not dragged to the results you want.  You are then poised to do only what is in the interests of your highest and best goals and highest and best self.

You need to be logged in to post comments or rate this article.

Re: A Strong Enough “Why” Will Take Your Trading to the Top

Just ask Nick Leeson lol sure he was passionate, certain he was useless ;)

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pale of water....

Sep 22, 2012

Member (655 posts)

Re: A Strong Enough “Why” Will Take Your Trading to the Top

Just ask Nick Leeson lol sure he was passionate, certain he was useless ;)

Sep 21, 2012

Member (109 posts)

Re: A Strong Enough “Why” Will Take Your Trading to the Top

interesting ......however being passionate about something doesnt necessarily make you good.....Paulo could still be just useless at trading and need to find a new passion that pays the bills


Sep 21, 2012

Member (35474 posts)