Trading in the zone
Dynamics Of Perception
If your goal is consistent profitability you must be able to construe the market from an objective perspective without distortion. The best of traders do not perceive anything about the markets as dreadful; therefore no threats exist for them. Non-existence of threats suggests nothing to defend against. Nothing to defend against suggests that there are no grounds for your conscious and subconscious defense mechanism to be activated. Thus, you can participate in the opportunity flow perceiving the endless stream of opportunities.
To obtain this mind set, you have to redefine your relationship to market information so that there are slim or no chances to perceive anything as threatening. This new mindset shall allow you to remain absorbed in the opportunities available instead of tapping into emotional pain.
In an effort to debug our mental software we must have a comprehension of the nature of mental energy, and how you can use the same to change your perspective.
The trading process starts with perceiving an opportunity in the market. Hence, it is important to examine mental energy by breaking down the process of perception.
One way to understand the dynamics of perception is to think of everything that exists in, on and around the planet as a cluster of forces. These forces generate information about the properties, characteristics, and traits that make them exclusively what they are.
Everything that exists externally- all plants, animals, all categories of life, all planetary phenomena in the form of weather conditions, hurricanes, earthquakes, scorching heat, all active and inert physical matter; and all non-corporeal phenomena such as light, sound waves, radiation- yields information about the nature of existence. This information has the potential to act as a force on our five senses.
Consider a rock for example. It expresses itself in our senses hence causing us to experience and make distinctions about the nature of its existence. It has a unique texture, size, shape, odor etc.
Whenever we come across something in our environment that expresses its properties, an exchange of energy takes place. Energy from outside, in the form of the expressing object, gets molded by our nervous system into electrical impulses, and gets stored in our inner mental environment.
This culminates in a cause and effect relationship between ourselves and everything that exists in the external environment. As a result, our encounters with external forces devise “energy structures” inside our minds. The memories, distinctions, and ultimately our beliefs we foster throughout our lives exist in our mental environment in the configuration of structured energy.
If memories, beliefs, and distinctions don’t prevail as physical matter then they must endure as some form of energy. If this is the case, can this energy take on a specific shape? Can it be structured in such a manner that it reflects the external forces that caused it to come into existence? Are there instances of anything in the environment that is analogous to energy having shape or structure? Yes.
For example; thoughts are energy. Since you think in a language, your thoughts are structured by the limitations and rules that govern the language in which you think. When you express these thoughts aloud, you create sound waves, that are a form of energy. These sound waves created by your vocal cords coupled with the tongue are structured by the content of your message.
Anything that is energy has the potential to act as a force articulating its form, and that is exactly what our memories, distinctions and beliefs do. They act as a force on our internal senses, expressing their form and content, and in doing so they have a profound limiting effect on the information we sense at any given moment. Hence, making much of the information that is available from the environment’s perspective, and the possibilities inherent within that information, literally concealed.
At any given moment the environment is generating gargantuan amounts of information about its properties, characteristics and traits. Do we hear, taste, see, smell, or feel every possible distinction, characteristic or trait being expressed by everything that is within the physiological bandwidth of our senses? Absolutely not!
The energy that is inside us will categorically filter and block our awareness of much of this information. For instance, there are many ways in which the external environment can express itself that we don’t perceive merely because we have not learned about them yet.
Consider the first time you observed a price chart. What did you see, and perceive? With no previous exposure, the information presented in the chart was insignificant to you. Now, after much learning and exposure you see characteristics, traits, and behavior patterns that represent the collective behavior of all traders who participated in those particular trades. Initially, the chart represented undifferentiated information. However, over time you have learned to make distinctions about this information, such as trends, areas of congestion, support and resistance to point out a few. These distinctions now have meaning and significance.
Now, consider the first time you looked at a chart and contrast that to your current experience. Everything you can comprehend now existed then, and was available to be perceived. The difference is the structured energy that is inside you now, the enlightenment you have gained, acts as a force on your eyes and nervous system causing you to recall the various distinctions that you have learned about. Since that energy was not present the first time you saw the chart, all the opportunities that you now view were present but they were invisible to you.
“People see what they have learned to see, and everything else is invisible until they learn to counteract the energy that blocks their awareness of whatever is unlearned and waiting to be discovered”. (Douglas)
Consider the perspective of a successful trader witnessing a nervous beginner. Say the newbie trader experiences a series of losing trades, thus he is hesitant to take the next signal. The professional trader would consider the novice traders' fear as irrational as the existing opportunity has nothing to do with the last few trades. Simply put, each trade is just an edge with a probable outcome that is independent of every other trade.