I’m afraid I’m still feeling a little drowsy after finishing four x12 hour night shifts on the railway, so you will have to forgive any errors and waffle that might not be the norm. (Note the little psychological trick I’m using to take away my fear of failure by making my excuses at the start.)
Just finished another excellent book titled ” Malcolm Gladwell,” by David and Goliath. I always find myself being able to relate to many of his articles with things in my trading journey.
Take part one. The Advantages of Disadvantages (and the Disadvantages of Advantages.) It is shown that going to an academically selective educational institution is not necessarily a great idea, as the phenomenon of relative deprivation comes into play. Students who were once big fish in their previous environments, top of the form, are now made to feel inadequate small fish in a much bigger pond unless they are at or close to the very top level of ability. This is of course a simplification of the the idea.
Well these students with high expectations are now looking around and comparing themselves to others. Suddenly where they were motivated by their own achievements previously, they are now struggling to keep up. They have to try harder. But as they try harder they don’t seem to quite keep up. They don’t seem to get that winning break and they begin to struggle which they’re not used. Maybe you can say their ego’s are hurt, they start having self doubt, motivation and confidence levels drop. They’re now over working and it appears like they’re going backwards. They start questioning their reasons for choosing the course and looking around for other possibly more suitable courses, when the most suitable one, is the one they are actually doing, but they can’t see it. Some drop out completely, others move to different courses. They never achieve what they are fully capable of.
Now if there was only a student. Let’s call him Fxoutlier. If he could only stop, take a break and see how he was destroying himself mentally. If he could just get back to concentrating on the process, the course and not worrying about how others saw him, about being No 1, about his big ego about the time it’s going to take, or the end result. If he could just understand what his own level was and concentrate on say keeping to this level for now. Don’t let his wrong answers get to him down, even if he has a string of them. Don’t think about what others are doing, focus on tiny improvements that don’t look like much but that will add up. Take breaks, get good exercise and sleep, eat healthily, meditate, enjoy the ride and stay motivated, even if it looks like you are miles behind. Don’t keep swapping and changing or looking for different courses, stick with one and master it to the best of his own ability.Maybe find a few like-minded students who can hang out and relate to the mindset game, maybe a mentor who understands the psychology involved.
Then a funny thing happens, several of the other more able but struggling students (not in minset group) drop out, so without actually improving he’s moved up a level. Others of higher natural ability are not fulfilling their expectations and so we creep up the levels in achievement (not in ability). Suddenly he’s feeling a bit more motivated and seeing his results not as a struggling student but as an improving one and so his confidence grows. He’s still taking plenty of bad results, but now his own understanding of the subject is improving because he’s putting in more positive effort purely focusing on the subject and not on the end game. He is starting to work towards mastery.
Rob Booker in his book Strategy 10 talks about only having to outrun another (weaker mindset) individual and not outrunning the bear (the entire market) to survive. Even if the other individual is a better runner if you can lose your fear and quickly put on your running shoes you will out run the other in his hiking boots and he will be eaten alive and not you.
Now we all know casting aside fears, emotions, ego’s etc, to purely focus on the process is not easy. James Clear wrote a nice article this week about using the scientist mentality, of seeing everything as data collection and focusing on getting a meaningful set of results that can then be used to draw conclusions from. That is what I should be doing. Each individual result is meaningless, it’s only when you have a descent sample population that it becomes meaningful.
Take lots of small process following steps and forget about results. For me one of my next process steps will be to attend the Mindset webinar that L R Thomas is going to hold soon (the author I mentioned in my last post.)
Thanks to Rob Booker for retweeting my tweet about my post last week. I went up from a max of 10 individual viewings (ave 2 to 3), to 66 in a day. I don’t tweet very often and have very few followers, but Rob is like one of those key people written about in Malcolm Gladwell’s ”The Tipping Point,”who can influence masses of people and push an idea/someone exponentially forwards. Like everything from now on I won’t be expecting that to happen again I will just be concentrating on the process.
There’s a lot more I got from this book and maybe a while ago I wouldn’t have seen it. Maybe Kat your views will change on it in time. Thanks for your return email.
I’m out of here.