Think Like A Trader Blog

Thursday, 15 June 2017

T-Model Trader Blog Post 15 - Q&A Thoughts

Hello Traders.
I have been a bit quiet over the past couple of weeks in relation to the blog. Unfortunately, sometimes that annoying thing called life gets in the way! 
Anyway, here we are back with T-Model Trader and his 15th post (how did we get to 15 already?!)
I hope you've all had a great trading week.
James Orr

T - Model Trader Blog Post 15
Q&A thoughts
I am assuming that many of you have had the chance to read the interview with James posted on the Decisive trading blog. Beyond the fabulous questions, the answers haven’t been half bad either (well….someone had to say it) so it is definitely worth the time.
I personally have got so much from the answers that it has been a revelation for me in hearing the background stories in the development of James’s trading journey. It is so easy to forget that those who have achieved their desired goals have often gone through hell to get there.
So…without sounding like a right royal bastard, I have to say that it is great to know that he has suffered too. What it offers is perspective and has been so important in triggering me in to making some great changes in my approach to trading recently. I do feel that I might not be alone here in this thinking.
So I want to pick out what has been a major theme and expand on it, as the light bulb moment was I believe quite significant.
What was also surprising is that I didn’t realize the level of impact that this particular issue was having in my trading.
This theme has to do with the concept of work and is in Part 4, question 12.
In the answers, James talks about feeling like he had accomplished an outcome when he had built that “something” and how trading was a completely different affair. Having done similar work in the past, I was accustomed to this feeling as well. At the end of a working day, my body surely knew that it had done some work physically. So in this regard, there is an instant knowing in the relationship between doing and then gaining something from that effort.
So, without really being fully aware of this until recently, I have been struggling with this notion of seeing trading as work. Although it is something I had been spending time doing, I am coming to see that there was this part of me that felt as though I was just playing at being a trader, that in some way I was really just being a pretender.
The trigger was when I read that paragraph of that stated question that ends with “I just had to wait…..and wait….and wait”.
In putting these interviews together, questions and answers would go back and forth via email between James and me. I remember being up around 5am reading that particular response, rubbing my eyes and trying to get a grip on the brain explosion that I was immediately going thru. It was one of those moments when a piece of information slots into place and begins the next round of cascading events. I seriously felt as thou something had just crashed through the blood brain barrier, jolting me violently and finally made sense.
As the hours of that day progressed after I had read the answer in the interview blog, it began to dawn on me how this was actually quite a serious issue and that it was causing a great deal of problems in my trading.
Basically put, I wasn’t allowing myself to fully immerse in the process of becoming a trader, simply because it wasn’t “real” work that I was doing. The word pretender is close, but I think it is more than that too. A lot of it was also conditioning from my early years.
As a kid I use to love to read and was always carrying books around. At family get togethers, I was the shy one tucked away in the corner glued to the story and in complete joy about being so. I had a few real working class Uncles who use to give me a seriously hard time, mainly because in the “real” working world I wouldn’t be needing a pile of pointless books. Life was all about hard yakka and I was repeatedly told this over and over.
I remember on so many occasions that the stories of how “hard” they work would come out after a few too many ales. It was like a game where one of them would up the other of how “really hard” they worked, till the next one who worked “really really hard” and so on.
In their eyes, sitting and reading was not work and boy oh boy was this told to me many times. By extension, trading would not be considered work either. The key ingredients are sweat, blisters and a sore back (sounds lovely hey).
So when I read “waiting and waiting and waiting”, I realized that when I was in the state of “waiting and waiting and waiting”, my impatience was also being fueled by this sense of “I seriously need to do something here”, just to relieve that pressure of feeling like I am not working. When this is combined with my rather natural impatience, then a rather ugly trading mess tended to unfold.

The change from before to after this insight has been huge. I can accept now that this waiting is an intrinsic part of the process and that doesn’t mean I am a lazy person. I can go thru a trading session now and be totally accepting that no trades were taken, as no trades were there to take, or they didn’t feel right for me to take. In fact, I quite like the space that seems to have surrounded me now in trading (Yep…I can see me writing in Blog 458, that I haven’t taken a trade in quite some time, but hey man….like I am really enjoying the trading atmosphere…haha).
Also, in not having clicked the trade entry button, I don’t feel like I have failed either, simply because I didn’t perform some physical action. This is such an important aspect to these changes, as I understand it now that this waiting is a part of the process and all is well. Not only is it well, but I don’t need to fall into an anxious ball of fretting that I will never make it as a trader….because I am not placing trades. It was the perfect trauma loop of one feeding the other.
In the last few weeks, my trading has changed.
I will leave it at that and next blog take up another of these light bulb moments from the interview responses.
Till then…

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