Trading Metaphors

Posted: May 10, 2011 in articles

Trading Metaphors

Recently I arrived at a coffee shop to meet with Mark van Straaten. As the lead elder at Grace family Church in Umhlanga, KZN, Mark is one of my ‘primary influencers’. I believe in the idea of having primary influencers who impact on how we live our lives.

Choose wisely but avoid not choosing at all.

Primary influencers should be people you respect. They would have characteristics you aspire toward. They will have done something significant with their lives. They have gone before you and dealt with so much of what still lies ahead of you.

A half hour conversation could, more often than not, be more relevant and applicable than whatever it is you learnt at University!

As it was on this particular day.

I arrived at a coffee shop bringing with me a mind spinning with scenarios I was facing. The challenges within those scenarios kept me in a state of tension, negatively affecting my perspective.

Soon into our meeting Mark began to reflect on the idea of trading. Through some experience and some conversations he had had, he began to explain about this tension that exists in a traders life which simply never goes away.

“That tension” he explained, “is brought on due to the fact that traders can simply NEVER take into account all of the probabilities. It’s simply impossible!”

“The 5% of traders who make a success of trading” he continued, “recognise that trading is in fact a psychological process.  The great traders are the ones who do it without FEAR.  They simply know that they have to and will handle whatever happens next. They act from a place of complete confidence despite the risks associated with the unknown.”

As he spoke he held up a mirror. The probabilities I lived by were causing fear and anxiety.

“Fear limits our creativity” Mark continued seemingly knowing what I was thinking, “keeps us thinking ‘in the box’ which robs us of what we most need when we face the unknown – a mind open and focussed on possibility.”

Then the clincher.

“It’s not about abandoning reason. It’s about making a decision and sticking to it!”

In a few sentences I had let go of my need to control and began to look my context through the eyes of a ‘trader’. Changing my perspective through this critical insight yielded a different experience of my challenges. The weight disappeared.

The lesson is not only in the metaphor but in who that metaphor came from.

Go forward without fear knowing others want to share in your story!

  1. chris says:

    I agree. Most times we battle to make decisions and change them easily. Should mostly be the other way round.

  2. […] running of future scenarios tends to keep us away from kicking off in the first place. (see trading metaphors […]

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