Around twenty years ago I went through an interesting phase that lasted close to a year. It was 1994 – I was a 2nd year business student at Auckland University and I was a devout born-again Christian attending a charismatic church in West Auckland (New Zealand).
I had been a born-again Christian since I was 13. By the age of 15/16, I become more and more interested and involved in the church and in the faith. I would study and meditate on the Bible, would pray a lot, attend church meetings and youth group, would talk to strangers on the street about Jesus [though I didn’t use a loudspeaker], and got involved in running kids programmes and outreaches on some of New Zealand’s finest beaches. But from time to time I would have doubts as to whether Christianity really was the truth, whether I was on the right path. And I realized that these doubts really “slowed me down” in my “Christian walk”. I devised a neat and clever strategy. I would proceed on the assumption that Christianity was in fact the truth and the way etc (see John 14:3). I accepted that I would always come across some questions and doubts that I wouldn’t immediately have an answer for. However I would trust that, if I waited patiently, God would sooner or later provide the answer, and that in the meantime I would just carry and assume that I was on the right path. Doubts that would arise I would write down and put them to one side, no longer allowing them to give me jitters. Well, this approach worked fantastically for several months, and my “Christian walk” really “progressed” well. [The end result was that I couldn’t bring myself to live an entire life on the basis of such an assumption – I had planned to eventually devote my life to the faith – becoming a minister or working on the field to make converts so to speak – I did some research into some of the questions that I had raised – spent the summer break in the University library researching the development of the New Testament cannon – and rapidly became an atheist].
Why share this story?
I think this same “blind faith” approach could have a lot of merit in FX trading. Rather than continuously doubt as to whether or not I will become a successful FX trader, I could proceed on the assumption that I will. That even though there will be events that make me jitter, such as losing trading sessions or losing streaks, not understanding certain principles etc – I could put those to one side, and believe that one day this issues will be resolved. In the meantime I will just crack on and do the work on. The more time that I spent working hard and learning and refining and the more trades that i open, manage and close, the more likely I am to become a successful trader. Every day that goes by increases the likelihood that i will reach my goal, as every day I should improve to some degree.
With religion, the blind faith revolved around something that existed in my mind – in my imagination – as well as in the imagination of countless billions Christians, Muslims, Hindus and [insert your religion here]. With trading the issue is something that can be proven. A successful trader is one that makes profits on a consistent basis. Sooner or later you will have proof. Either you are making money or you are not. If after several years you are still not making money then it’s not working for you. Then you can stop and do something else. You don’t have the problem of trying to prove that a particular religion is true or not – a problem much much more complex than trying to make pips in the forex market. Thus using the blind faith approach should help an aspiring trader in his or her journey of becoming a successful trader.
Thus I have decided that from now on, I will believe that I will become a successful trader. If I have a bad day, or if there is something I am not getting, then I will note it down, and I will try to work on it, and develop skills for shortfalls that I think I may have. But I will not let these things dwell on my mind and continuously try to answer the question as to whether I am going to make it or not. I realize that this discussion overlaps with the aspects of visualization and emotionless trading. I believe that this approach will:
1. Help me to progress more quickly
2. On average, make me a happier person, because in the short-term it will reduce stress, anxiety and doubt.
3. As a result of (1) and (2) it will increase the probability of me converting the target into reality.
By the same token, there must be a time limit when I decide that “enough is enough” and that i will do something else instead.
Well, the milestone of me turning 40 is around 15 months away – October 2015 – may that be the date. Based on my recent calculations of my “bankroll” and the rate at which I am eating up, drinking/travelling/skating/socialising my bankroll away, I would still be in a nice comfortable financial position on my 40th birthday should I not have accomplished the goal. In other words, I don’t have to worry about any financial constraints in this experiment. There is limited downside, but unlimited upside in this bet – and thus this is a good bet to make.
Bring it on……