Friday, December 05, 2014

Acting in the moment of now

Think for a moment about your trading, in particular how you respond to past events, or letting your mind drift into the future. Then ask yourself a couple of questions:
  • Do you fret or stew over what has happened in the past, be it trading errors, losses suffered etc?
  • Do you worry over what you perceive may happen tomorrow, next week or next month?
If you answer yes to either (or both) of them, then I've got news for you:
  • What's done is done. You can't change it.
  • Also, what's the point in worrying about the things in the future that may never happen?
In both of these scenarios, you cannot control or influence anything.

Instead, do something positive, and on which you CAN control or influence - focus on the moment of now.

The past is the past. It's set in stone. It cannot be changed or undone. If it's a mistake, such as overriding your stop, allowing a small loss turn into a big loss, or taking profits far too early for fear of losing them, get over it. File it, learn from it, and move on. Concentrate your energies and focus on what you will need to do when, in the future, a similar moment of now presents itself.

When it does, that is the point where you may have a chance to do something over which you DO have control.  Don't do anything before that moment arrives, or try to predict or second-guess what will happen. Sometimes, that moment never arrives. For example, think about that time you tried to time the top of a uptrend, only for it to explode further upwards without you. Or, you thought the market was overbought and ripe for a pullback - which never came.

If you can do that, then your levels of stress or worry will fall. You will become more comfortable accepting responsibility for your own actions, which will lead to an improvement in your trading. Ideally, you will end up in a state where, when a moment of now presents itself, you will go to Auto-pilot and act without hesitation or fear.

"Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what is clearly at hand." - Thomas Carlyle.

Yes, you need a plan or a guide to let you know what to do if certain things happen in the future, be it to do with entries or exits. But again, when the time comes to act, that is when you are in the moment of now. Don't let the moment pass. Every day, every minute is unique. Act on it, otherwise that moment of now has gone forever.

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