*Warning* This blog post has frequent use of a four letter word in it – sensitive readers might prefer to read a romantic love story instead.
My wife bought me a fantastic book for my birthday, that I highly recommend: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. In a nutshell, it talks about caring less about things that you can’t control and to stop trying to be “positive” all the time.
I realised a long time ago, through my own life experiences, that you’re more likely to lose that which you intensely cling on to. In your desperation to not lose something of which you hold great value: your job, for example … you might subconsciously do things to justify your worries about losing it; get the sack and say to yourself: “see, I was right to be worried”. Perhaps you once lost a girlfriend/boyfriend that you loved dearly because you just tried too hard to keep her/him, instead of just enjoying the great relationship. The list of things that you might give too much of a fuck about is endless. How many of those things would bring about the end of your life, or even worse, the end life on earth if you were to lose them? The chances are that you give a fuck about things over which you have absolutely no control, with endless sleepless nights while you gnash your teeth with worry. You need to decide what is important in life and what you can control; likewise, you need to identify what you can’t control and to stop giving a fuck about it.
“The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience” And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience”.
You know where I’m going with this, right? We all want to be successful traders, for which we must have winning trades. I’ve written blog posts in the past that talk about this subject but I still speak with traders today who have read my blog posts and still give too much of a fuck about elements of their trading that they can’t control. What’s the obvious thing about trading that you have no control over? It’s price – short and simple (unless you’re a trillionaire with enough funds to move price). You so desperately want your trade to be a winner, to prove to yourself (and perhaps others) that you’re a great trader – price doesn’t care. You might spend much of the day doing positive affirmations and doing visualisation exercises, but price won’t give a fuck about that either. When your trade ends up as a loss, you find yourself obligated to commit hara-kari or drink a crate of whisky to drown your sorrows, rather than to learn from the loss and move on.
We can control when we enter a trade – we pick the time, the entry price, the stop loss and the target price (target price should always be your first decision, by the way – not a random entry because some squiggly line indicator flashes a signal on your screen, as most trading noobs look for and most scammers sell you). So, we give a fuck about our trading choices – if we didn’t, we’d blow our trading accounts in double quick time.
We can’t control what price does once we’ve entered a trade – we have to not give a fuck about the outcome of the trade because price doesn’t care. If you give a fuck about what price does, you will do stupid trade management actions in an attempt to prevent a loss because you give too much of a fuck about losses and too much of a fuck about wins. There are plenty of examples of ‘give a fuck stupid trade management actions’ but the main ones are: -