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effort to avoid pain of one kind, the subconscious mind creates pain of another kind that leads to further feelings of frustration and dis satisfaction. If left unchecked, this process creates a downward spiral that erodes self-esteem, stifles achievement, and arrests personal growth; it leads to a destiny of failure.

To establish positive, noncontradictory motivation, the subconscious mind must experience the process of pursuing a goal as pleasurable and not pursuing it as painful. If you can create this state of mind, then the choice to act toward achieving goals is essentially made; there is no altemative possible. The essence of being able to make a decision and stick to it is the ability to achieve commitment a state of mind in which knowledge, motivation, and execution are totally directed toward the same goal. In this state of integrity, your mind will drive you towards achievment and a destiny of success.


Success is a dynamic process of goal-oriented action resulting in a constant progression of personal growth, achievement, and happiness. The key ingredient of being successful is the ability to commit yourself to achieving your goals, which means joining together your conscious and subconcious mi nds to work for the same ends. Most people have trouble committing themselves because they have conflicting motivations, which arise from conflicting emotions, which arise from conflicting values and beliefs. With this understanding, the formula for positive change seems clean

1. Identify limiting and destmctive values and beliefs and eliminate them.

2. Adopt new and life-serving values and beliefs.

3. Eliminate the subconscious associations which create limiting emotional responses and replace them with new, empowering associations.

Like most formulas, the statement is easy but the application is quite complex. In the next chapter, I will discuss how to translate the formula into positive, life serving action.

Changing So It Sticks

If you dont know where you are going, youll probably end up somewhere else. -David Campbell

To be a successful trader, you have to obtain the mindset that following the rules is pleasurable and breaking the rules is painful. But, even when you follow the rules, youll still lose money sometimes, and losing money is almost always a little bit painful. You have to understand that the pain is normal, natural, like the occasional nick you get when shaving. You have to be able to accept, on an emotional level, that the pain is unimportant, that it will pass. You have to realize, in the strictest sense of the term, that success is a process of change, and pain is part of the process.

If success, as a trader and a human being, is a process f change driven by the desire to change our current mental and physical state, then the essential element of being a success is mastering the art of managing both our mental and physical environments. But as I have already said, given adequate knowledge, the problem of changing our physical environment-of taking effective action-depends on having the right motivation, or will, to act upon knowledge.

Since we know that the lack of will to execute is a result of limiting associations, values, and beliefs, doesnt it makes sense that the way to begin the process of change is to examine the content of our minds and isolate those limits? I think it does.

Specifically, the way to change is to unlock the content of the subconscious mind; to find limiting associations, values, and beliefs; and to replace them with new ones which move us on the path of our choosing. Remember the objective is to achieve a mental state in which the pursuit of goals is pleasurable and not pursuing them is painful.

We have three basic tools we can use to achieve this end: the physical body, the conscious mind, and the automatic workings of the subconscious mind. These three tools are already working all the time, and they behave interactively, each

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either supporting or undermining the operation of the others. What I want to do is explain the basic principles of how to take personal control of them and get them working jointly for you instead of against you.


Maintaining any state requires energy and effort, but just as a poorly designed machine consumes more energy than an efficiently designed one, so being depressed, frustrated, or miserable takes more energy than feeling good about yourself and life. Being unhappy and dissatisfied is extra work; it wastes energy and it depletes desire; it negatively afects your physical body.

Picture someone who is depressed. What are the physical characteristics that let you know how he or she feels? Probably slow movements, listless gestures, slumped posture, quiet and monot onous speech, and shallow breathing intermingled with heavy sighs. How about someone who is happy and excited? Probably quick movements, animated and expressive gestures, increased volume and inflection in speech, erect posture, faster and deeper breathing, and so forth. How about anger, elation, suffering, rejection, love, and so on? All of these emotional states have characteristic physical actions associated with them as well.

Everything we feel is manifested in our body, and this makes sense, for as I m entioned earlier, emotions are both a mental and a physical response to value judgments made in the subconscious mind. But doesnt it make just as much sense that a change in your physical body would affect you

emotionally? Absolutely. For example, motivation specialist Anthony Robbins does the following exercise on one of his audiotape programs. Try it and see what happens:

Stand up straight and erect, shoulders square, and look up at the ceiling. Put a big smile on your face, no matter how stupid it feels. Now, try your best to feel depressed without changing any aspect of your posture or your smile. Keep trying.

Did you end up laughing? The point is that to feel depressed, tired, miserable, or inept you have to relinquish control of your body to the su bconscious mind to keep feeling that way. A large part of being motivated is moving like you are motivated. A large part of feeling good is moving and walking and acting like you are feeling good. A large part of feeling full of energy is how much energy ou actually have, which means what you eat, how much you exercise, how you use and treat your physical body.

You can use your body to interrupt the associations in your mind that stop you from taking positive action. Anthony Robbins has made a science out of how to do this, as well as with many other ways to create change, so I will refer you to his tapes and books for further study. But to begin the process of change, recognize that you have it in your power to change your mental state, at least to a signi ficant degree, simply by changing how you move, how you carry yourself, exercising, and putting good, nutritious food into your body.

When you watch professional athletes, you will notice that they almost all have some kind of ritual before they participate. For baseball players, it may be the way a player taps his feet with the bat, then grabs a handful of dust and rubs the bat, and then "digs in" at the batters box. For tennis players, it may be the particular way and number of times they bounce the ball before serving or hop around just before receiving serve. Football players are notorious for their almost superstitious rituals in preparing for the game. What these rituals all have in common is that they are repetitive, physical actions that force the subconscious mind into a state of focus on the coming task. These players use their bodies, through rituals, to manage their subconscious processes.

When I was working at the Interstate offices, we had rituals too. One trader wore a cowboy hat and cap pistols on his belt, and when a trade went against him, he would "draw" and shoot at the screen. I often wore an old leather bombers cap, which I still have, and would playfully "bomb" the market when I wanted it to go down or when the action went against me. While these activities may sound childish, they were an important means of relieving the pent-up tensions and stress associated with trading. They allowed us to rechannel energy that could have tumed to anger, and more importantly, they made the process more fun, even when we lost money!

We all have physical rituals whether we are aware of them or not. One of mine is the way I post my charts every moming. I could easily put the data I log on a computer and let it print out the charts and calculations for me, but the actual physical act of writing the numbers and drawing the lines triggers focus in my mind.

Not all rituals are positive, however. Because I used to work in New York City, one that first comes to mind is people ceaselessly honking their ho ms (especially cab drivers) in locked-up or slow-moving traffic. It is so pointless; all it does is feed the already unhealthy tension that causes the honking in the first place.

What are your rituals? You do have them. Ask yourself what purpose they serv e in your life. Why do you do them? Do they energize you, or deplete you? Do they make you focus, or distract you from your intended purpose? Do they move you toward pleasure and away from pain, or the reverse?

Be aware of how you use your physical body-your rituals. When you catch yourself shouting at a trading screen, slumping with depression after a loss, angrily honking the hom in traffic, or anything else that reinforces a state that makes you feel less than successful, try instead taking a deep breat h and asking yourself questions like those above.

But most important, do something different that makes you feel better. Sit upright, breath deeply, walk differently, talk with more energy, play a piece of music that you like; use your body as you would if you felt the way you want to feel, and you will intermpt the negative associations that are controlling your actions. If you succeed in changing your feeling, then relish in the change; feel the pleasure of it and the pleasure of being in control. If you do this enough times, you will establish a new association in

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