Sunday, January 3, 2010

Unleash the Warrior Within

Most traders recently took a 1-2 week break. I hope everyone enjoyed their time off and is recharged for 2010. I read some books over the last two weeks including "Unleash the Warrior Within" (recommended by Jeff Quinto on his website.) The book is written by Richard J. Machowicz. Richard is a 10 year veteran of the Navy Seals, host of Discover Channel's "Future Weapons," author and propietor of the martial arts institue Bukido.

Reading this book I came across several of the same themes I have seen in trading books (and various other goal orientated writings). One of the main themes Machowicz lays out is as follows:

"We dictate our targets.

Targets --> dictate --> weapons

Weapons --> dictate --> movement"

Machowicz uses this across all processes: nuclear warfare, hand to hand combat, business development, overcoming phobias, etc... How does it apply to trading?
  • We all have targets/ goals. These are important. But how do we get to these goals? We pick a target: this can be one profitable trade, learning to trade a new product, limiting losses, working on timing, using a new indicator, etc...
  • What weapons will help us reach this target? Our front end, our co workers, our trading coach/mentor, our morning game plan, our after hours review, etc...
  • What movements do we take? Our weapons will dictate our movement. A trader may read about a new indicator, back test some data, seek out a mentor, write in and review a journal, etc...
All of this reminds me of being process orientated. Remember our post on Tiger Woods making the best swing he can. He is not focused on shooting 7 under par. He is focused on one good swing. We also saw this theme in the book "Lone Survivor." In this book Marcus Luttrell had the goal of becoming a Navy Seal (and later of staying alive). But he focused on his most immediate movements, dictated by his weapons at hand, to achieve his target.

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