In everything that we do, in every waking day of living, we feel every second of it – may it be the weather, the food that we eat or even bodily functions. These feelings get thrown in as part of our emotions for a specific time period. Now, feelings are easier to handle, but emotions? They’re harder.
It takes a lot of work for most, if not all of us, to become masters of our emotions. It takes A LOT of time, patience and self-discipline to really be able to control them.
Whatever I was feeling the other day bothered me. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I got so bothered that I finally decided to ask Dr. Pipslow. I mean, come on, the dude is 600 years old! He’s gotta be the right person to talk to at this point. With age comes experience and knowledge, doesn’t it? Plus, he’s got a degree in Pipsychology, Pipmatics, Piponomics, Yoyo-ing, Rollerblading, and let’s not forget his PhD in Mustache Growing. Going into an office where a doctor is this over-qualified and over-experienced is really comforting!
So I went straight to his office. I was a bit hesitant to knock on his door. Why, you ask? The thing is, Dr. Pipslow doesn’t close his door. He likes to leave it open to say that he’s available to talk about trading or just about anything under the sun. Good thing I heard a familiar voice coming from his room. I was pretty sure it was Audrey Hepburn, so I did knock. (He’s always been smitten with Audrey. Can’t blame him really.)
I’ve been around for a few of centuries now, even before “wasp waists” were fashionable. I got to say that Audrey Hepburn takes the cake. No contest. Heck, she was beautiful before the concept of beauty was invented. Okay, I exaggerate. But for those who can’t see beyond fake tans and even faker body parts, why don’t you open another tab and Google her name? Might be worth it.
He was gracious enough to stop Breakfast at Tiffany’s to ask what was on my mind. Hats off to the guy—with just one look, he knew something was bothering me. Instead of telling him what was on my mind, I just ranted. That got a chuckle out of him. I had to ask what was funny. He explained that every time he heard anyone rant, he thought of Huck and Big Pippin. He enjoyed Huck’s girly rants about her trade journal and how Big Pippin would put a groovy spin on his chart analysis every day. He let me finish ranting and followed up by saying that my current state of emotion was very similar to how many forex traders would findthemselvesat some point during their trading.
Like most forex traders, the toughest situation that I’ve had to overcome was leaving my ego at the door. The fact is, in forex trading, there is always the possibility of losing. No matter how good we become or how much we study, we WILL experience losses. And that’s something we all have to accept. Everybody who goes into trading already knows this, but actually dealing with and accepting losses is another thing.
That got me thinking. So I asked him two questions. Which emotion tended to have the most negative effect onsuccess, and how essential was it to master one’s emotions when forex trading?
Based on decades of research, I have concluded that it’s not really the emotions themselves that have a negative effect on trading success; it’s the mismanagement of these emotions. You see, unlike Robopip, we are only human and our decisions are often influenced by our feelings. As traders, we should learn to master these emotions and try to stay objective. It’s easier said than done, but it’s crucial for traders to stay level-headed at all times and, if possible, use those emotions to one’s advantage. Keeping a trade journal is one of the best ways to achieve this “mind over matter” state.
I asked if keeping a diary (just like how forex traders have psychological journals) would help me master my emotions. He definitely liked that idea and reminded me of one thing:
DON’T BE LAZY!
Take the time to specify the details of the market situation while you were trading and how you reacted. It shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes every day to update your journal with this information. Heck, most of you probably spend HOURS stalking and poking people on Facebook. Why not put all that free time to good use?
You may get tired of doing it at some point, but just stick to it until it becomes a habit. The time will come when you’ll give yourself a pat on the back for being meticulous with your journal. I’ll stake my iPad 2 on that!
He even suggested that I download apps on my phone to help me stick to this new journaling habit! And that if I can’t do that, maybe I can just have a friend do the reminding for me! That is, if I have forex friends to talk to…
The truth is, retail forex traders usually have very few, if any, real life friends that they can discuss trading with. By engaging heavily in an online forex community, retail forex traders are given the opportunity to converse with like-minded individuals.
Also, having people to talk with about trading ideas and systems is a great help. But more important is being part of a community that helps retail traders get through losing days and keep their psyche in check. I know many people who would’ve stopped forex trading if it weren’t for the help they received from forex forum members.
I made a quick mental note to go on the forums more often when all of a sudden Dr. Pipslowtells me how he’s been asked a couple of times if he’s related to George Clooney.
He’s serious. He says he thinks it’s the chin and the hair.
Hmm. I guess if you look close enough and loooong enough, you’ll see the similarities?
Then it hit me. Whenever I get overwhelmed about something, all I have to do is stop, breathe and go back to basics. What basics? It’s this one:
The basic principles of Pipsychology center around a trader’s ability to control his emotions and to not let them interfere with trading. This mastering of the “dark side”, as I like to call it, entails studying the thoughts and feelings that one goes through as he is trading. In the end, I believe that the biggest factor in being a consistently profitable trader lies in working on yourself and trying to understand what is preventing you from becoming one.
That’s Dr. Pipslow for you. Smart, sensitive and… sexy? Ha.
You can also find this post here.