Now and it’s gone. Now and it’s gone Did you hesitate when you saw that trade, and now it’s soaring way beyond you and you’re empty handed? Did you pause when you saw that moment to take that profit or cut that loss, and now you’re upside down in your trade? Your body is overly hot or cold (depends on you), and your heart is sinking.
Now is, has to be, the moment of power, because now is the only time you can actively think, decide, or act. Of course, past thinking, decisions, or actions are affecting you now; and current thoughts, decisions, and behavior will impact your future. But change resides in the now. Now is the moment to change your course of direction or to hold the course steady.
Now is fleeting. It’s here and then it’s gone. Your perceptions, understandings, interpretations do extend over time, but what they are in the moment is what propels your concurrent decisions and actions. The actions can come too soon or too late which is critical to trading.
In trading and in life, we all know that opportunity passes like a cloud. You cannot place a yesterday’s trade today. You can, however, with a stop or limit order place a trade for fulfillment tomorrow or many tomorrows hence. If the train is pulling out of the station, you’d better board it immediately. If the bus is bearing down on you, you’d better get out of the way instantly.
The outside world—price action, news, random and planned events—are occurring now. This is the moment to respond or to delay response. Your power lies in deciding to act or not to act.
As a trader, you need to choose a time frame or chart that reflects your best response time. Some of us need to ponder and respond deliberately and slowly. Others of us best operate like lightning. We need to select an operating world (market, timeframe, and chart) that utilizes our natural propensities. And we need to remember that now is our true moment of possibility and potential.
Tomorrow is always a mystery. We know what happened yesterday if we’re being honest with ourselves. The present can be crystal clear or impossibly confusing.
Sometimes it helps to say out loud your description of what the market is doing in your timeframe. For example: “The market’s going up.” “The market’s going down.” “The market is going nowhere.” And you can even take your hand and trace the chart on your screen. In so doing you’re translating the visual into auditory and kinesthetic expression.
Where trader’s get into trouble is with their refusal to accept current reality and with their inability to respond in time appropriately. If you are having trouble in these areas, it’s time to assess your tendencies. Do you tend to be too early? Do you wait too long and chase? Do you simply sit there and do nothing? Do you do all of the above?
I know that in mentoring my clients, one of the major orders of my business is to assist them in learning to perceive and respond to current reality with inspired and timely action. They learn to let go, trust, and act. Money spent in coaching comes back exponentially in trading. Money not spent to correct your personal issues will continue to cost you inordinately.