Right now I have challenged myself to write for one hour straight. It’s an exercise that I am trying out. I believe or hope that it will allow me to get over writers block. Not writers block in the sense that I have nothing to say but in the sense that there is so much that I think about I find it hard sometimes to narrow down the subject and make the post concise. As I do this, I notice commonly miss-spelled or typo’d words in my writing like receive, exercise among some. It’s been six minutes already and I have already got up to get a new bottle of water. I can also tell you in another fifteen minutes I’ll be up again.
I always want to write about something personal and on a subject that many people can relate to. The older I get the more I realize that as much as I think I am special, I am not. Well I am but I’m not as unique or one of a kind. More and more I tend to see that the way I think is not all that uncommon to many people. In turn, I feel that my feelings and thoughts are not all that different than various people I’ve never met. In my previous post I wrote about going to the University of Toronto (U of T) to take a behavioral economics course. I guess that is why this subject of thought and behavior is on my mind. I am always interested in the mind and why it has quirks, like a self sabotaging inclinations.
I’ll use a recent example of this self sabotage in the hope that it’s not too far off from common. I have started to do usability and website testing and have been fortunate to work with some great clients. Recently I was invited to work on my biggest one yet, Nike. From what I can tell you without breaching my non-disclosure agreement is they instituted some changes to their website. Not all that uncommon, think a re-design. When I got this I started to think “Awesome, They’re a great name to add to the resume and I hope they pay really well. I’ll work like a dog to make sure I can have more income and leave a great impression” I also started to mentally spend that income, on bills, debt reduction and other fiscally sound outlets.
It was a shiny new toy and I was going to make sure I played with it as much as I could.
This perceived gain gave me a visible (to myself) lift in expectations. This made the reality of the situation all the more humbling.
Yes they are a great name to have on your resume, which I do now (check) but what I did not anticipate was how quickly they needed to have things completed. This drastically reduced my timeline from four weeks to one. Gut check time
The difference between what I anticipated and what actually occurred was that my expectations were wrong. Basically, the only correct assumption I made was the effort of work I would need to put in.
So now that it’s been twenty seven minutes, I need that “water” break and I will continue on my realization that I’m never going to be a hundred percent correct. I am still fighting the need to be right and one way I fight that sabotaging thought is by watching and wagering on football games.
Another one of my interests is the financial markets, I have a futures website that will receive a variation of this portion of my post but in order to reduce my appetite for risk I wager on the outcome of football games. Not every weekend but occasionally I will take five dollars and place two separate bets. One will be on with lower odds, teams expected to win. That way I can cover my initial wager and one on more risky outcomes. Upsets which pay higher odds.
Recently, I have started to test forex platforms and have been doing so for about two weeks. Out of the data I have thus far I am doing well. That said, am I sabotaging myself? No, I have set a three month testing period. If at the end of that time I am still profitable I will continue. So what does this have to do with football?
On my charts I use candle sticks to show price action. Sparing the tedious detail of price action and candle sticks let just simplify it and say that they take anywhere from a week to an hour to form. You can choose which timeframe to look at and I use three but they are all long term. The fact that these candles take so long to form means they can be look like one formation in the first hour and completely different in another
This is similar to wagering on the outcome of games. The game is 90 minutes long and can look very different during the game. Teams can score, people get injured, Lights go out. Needless to say no matter how badly I want to be correct (which means money in my pocket) I cannot control the players and their actions. The only thing I can do is make an educated guess on odds, team depth, player performance and previous meetings. You always hear this in financial markets previous performance is not indicative of future results.
What this has allowed me to do is realize the elation of a goal in my favor and the angst of one not. In my forex training and testing I recognize these emotions and understand that I’m not in control of them. I can only watch and reassess if needed. I have tended to opt for a set it and forget method but I find myself drawn to check in occasionally so that way I can modify my profit targets. I never touch my stop loss because when I am wrong I am wrong. Sometimes though I may be too greedy and have overestimated my profit target. In those instances, I’ll reassess and evaluate if my current target will still be hit.
Needless to say, I am learning to let go of my need to be right and learn that I cannot control as much I’d like. As I approach my last minute of writing time (I’ll edit this later) I feel that it’s been a learning post. Self reflection and self evaluation are always important and the adage “those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it” applies to our own personal lives. Having a method to look back and evaluate I think is essential for success.
Hopefully reading this post you’ve thought of yourself and maybe realized we share similar habits or ideas.
If you have post them below in the comments section.