Saturday, September 3, 2011

Who Knows What it is Good For?

An early morning trip leads to the opportunity to witness a gorgeous sunrise, replete with pastels of yellow, orange and red. Unexpected outcomes from the most unlikely of places and times.

My dad used to say the phrase in the subject line, a lot! Who knows what its good for? He used to say it in ways and at times, it was the last thing I wanted to hear. I can now say, I believe the frustration I felt was only an expression of the little to no understanding I had of what he meant or what the phrase actually represented. Funny how that is. All that stuff that your parents and other authoritarian figures in your upbringing said and lectured and lived, it all actually had some basis. ;-)

It is said, there is being lucky, and there is being prepared. I'm not sure it's prepared.  To me, it is more like being inviting, open and indiscriminant to outcomes. A form of expectation management. Who knows what it is good for merely means that at any time, with any particular event, and within an infinite time and space frame, there is NO way of understanding the full value of any particular event into the future. You can certainly assess the immediate value at the moment of occurrence.  But little more.  There will always be the potential for a range of outcomes, each with their own probability. As in trading, seeking the most likely outcome is often the goal. 

In trading we protect ourselves on either side of the trade (the goal). i.e., we know our target, and we know our stop, and we have accepted that particular range of outcomes. And we position ourselves accordingly.  Managing expectations.

Our anticipated outcomes shape our decisions, in the sense that we generally take action towards our furthering our goal, ones that we believe will help advance that goal. In trading we use trade management.  Adjusting for circumstances (i.e., position size,  price averaging, trade duration) as they unfold.  And just as in trading, we never KNOW the final outcome of the position we took. Just as the accident you had in 1982 occurred and really put a screw into any immediate plans you might have had.  The event also indelibly changed your view of similar circumstances to which you apply those lessons in future (similarly perceived) events. The lesson in trading is the refinement of your edge, maybe the refinement or creation of another 'rule'. In our lives, the lesson is in building a repertoire of behaviours and outcomes, those that please us and those that frustrate us. Out life experience gives us a perspective that no one else has. Each is entirely unique from the next.  Another of my dad's favorite sayings was "you're allowed to make as many mistakes as you want - just try and not make the same one too often".

Who knows what it is good for is like an instruction to be open and accepting of the events as they occur and gives you the choice of how you will perceive them - and therefore how you react to them. As with anything in our conscious world, it is not important what happens to us, it is important how we react - and even better? How we react is what under our own control. You ALWAYS have a choice.  The choice is a decision on understanding and accepting consequences.

The absolute value of any event is debatable because the true value may not be realized immediately. In trading, blowing up your account is a bad reaction to what the market is telling you. In life, I have yet to find a circumstance where burning a bridge with anything has brought more 'value' into my life.  Manage how you react, and you will feel intimately more connected with your life and your decisions.  I believe stillness and peace come from choices, and choices come from acknowledging that you have one - a choice that is

The only limits there are to what you can achieve are those limits you place upon yourself. Be aware and fully conscious of what limits you place upon yourself, manage them in alignment with your values, and you turn opportunities into paths.  Instead of reacting to a circumstance in a traditional manner, ask yourself, what is it good for?  (And now I have completed the circle - I am now fully and undeniably .... my father - LOL!).  Thanks Dad! :-)

Watching and Learning.  Walking and Trading On.

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