All traders, sooner or later, begin to realize that there is something more to trading than learning to read a chart, following an indicator or a trading system, or discovering a method or setup that will work a high percentage of the time.
If you didn’t fail early in your trading business, then you have probably been around long enough to realize that many of the problems you encounter as a trader are those that derive from your own individuality. Such problems are common among traders and, in fact, common among all human beings.
However, it is the nature and dynamic of this business to bring your human frailties and weaknesses to the front and center of your life. Trading brings you into a head-on confrontation with who you are, the deep-down "real" you.
At that point of confrontation, there are a number of choices you must make. I will list four that come to mind:
1. Admit defeat and give up trading.
2. Seek to overcome your human nature through deep introspection, using the strength of your own resources to confront and deal with who and what you are.
3. Seek the help of a professional, someone skilled in matters of trading psychology.
4. Seek spiritual help from a power much greater than your own.
Seeking spiritual help from a power much greater than your own is the area I address in "The Spiritual Side of Trading."
At this point I want to make clear that as an individual and as a professional trader, author, and educator, I believe with all my heart that the creator God exists. If you would like to see some of how I proved that to my own satisfaction, click on this link: Show me proof that God exists.
Also, after much thought and study, I believe that the book commonly known as the Bible is the "manufacturer's instruction book" that God has provided for us:
- to show us how to live the highest possible quality of life;
- to show us things we cannot discover or figure out by ourselves - information we cannot learn except by its being revealed to us.
There are many proofs that the Bible is the actual and inspired word of the creator God in written form. If you are interested in seeing some of the proofs that convinced me in my own belief, follow this link: Show me proof that the Bible is the written word of God.
You can spend a lot of money on trading systems and books on how to trade. You can spend even more money getting psychological help, buying books on trading psychology, and additional books on how to succeed, how to be a better person, how to think, how to become wealthy, etc. But because I was not charged for the spiritual information I received, I am passing it on to you in the same way.
Can anything free be of any value? Most surely the answer is "Yes." The word of God is freely given to anyone who is willing to receive it. I cannot charge you for the wisdom and truths revealed in the Bible. They are not mine to sell. The only requirement is that you seek to discover them. The Bible says: “Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you.”
There are many problems that plague traders. Some of these problems are fairly easily identified, and you may already be aware of them. You probably know that, relative to your trading career, you may experience any of the following:
- Fear and/or Feelings of Inadequacy — Lack of Courage or Self-confidence
- Selfishness and/or Greed
- Pride and Vanity
- Dishonesty and Lying
- Lack of/need for Wisdom
- Lack of/need for Virtues that foster Successful Trading
- Questions about the Morality of Trading
- Need for the Correct Mind set
- An Identity Crisis
Any one, or any combination of the above can result in a poor self image, which in turn affects the outcome of your trading efforts. I will mention only in passing that all of the negative characteristics of human nature derive from the spirit world; the spirit world the Bible labels as evil. All of the above are merely symptoms brought about by problems that run much deeper within your mind and spirit than you might care to believe. These problems, and others as well, are manifestations of spiritual problems that you are probably not consciously aware of.
There are problems that plague your human spirit that remain hidden. They reside deep in your memory, but you may have pushed them into the recesses of your mind. They are problems that come from bad things that happened to you even as early as the time you were inside your mother’s womb. They are problems that stem from events you want to forget. They are problems caused by real or perceived mistreatment of you by others. It can be something as simple as abuse from a family member, a label hung on you by a classmate, teasing, or a name you were called. The abuse may have been physical or verbal. It may have come from someone you loved and trusted. Whatever it was, because it hurt you, you have buried it deep in your memory and covered it over. Nevertheless, who you are and what you are from your own point of view — your self-image — has been tainted by those events and experiences that are hidden. They are indelibly etched in the deepest parts of your mind, and they will plague you as a trader until you dig them out, confront them, and deal with them.
Earlier I wrote that one purpose of the Bible is to reveal to us things that we might otherwise not know. The Bible is a book of revelations. It reveals to us that there is a God. If it didn’t tell us there is a God, how would we know that there is one? It reveals to us a law — a simple set of rules that we should live by. If everyone lived by the simple rules revealed in the Bible, life on Earth would be paradise even now.
There are many revelations written within the pages of the Bible — the fact that they are there is a very strong proof that the concepts revealed in the Bible come from a mind that is far greater than any human mind.
There is one piece of information revealed in the Bible that I have not found revealed in any place other than from those who have also discovered it in the Bible. It is: “There is a spirit in man.” Please read that again: There is a spirit in man!
What is this spirit in man? What is the Bible trying to tell us when it reveals that there is a spirit in man?
It is the spirit in man that gives man his superiority over the rest of the animal kingdom. The spirit in man imparts to him his intellect. It gives man his ability to reason, to imagine, to plan, to organize, to invent, to devise, to make choices, and much more.
The Bible reveals that anything man can imagine to do, he can eventually do! That in itself is a startling piece of news, but the truth of it is to be found everywhere. Man has learned how to fly through the air, to comfortably remain underwater for lengthy periods of time, to control the temperature of his environment, to move at speeds impossible for any other form of earthly life. Man has even figured out how to reach the stars. That’s pretty impressive. But do you know what man has so far not figured out how to do? He has not figured out how to live in peace, harmony, and contentment with other men or with the rest of creation. In some cases, he has not even figured out how to live in harmony with himself!
What is it that keeps him from finding the way to peace, contentment, and true happiness? The answer to that is also in the Bible. It is the nature of man coupled with influence from the evil sector of the spirit world.
The things that have happened to you, the experiences and events of your life that hurt you, are wounds to that part of you we call the mind. Those wounds can be ferreted out and healed. The rest of this manual is dedicated to showing you God’s way to successful trading. It is set forth to teach you the spiritual side of trading.
“For as a person thinks in his heart, so is he…”
Before anyone starts to plan his career as a trader — or anything else for that matter — he or she should realize the truth of the Biblical statement above. It is the best answer I have for where to begin. It tells all of us where we have to start, and how to continue our journey. It tells us how to start developing our values and vision, where we have to look closest in order to see the farthest and clearest. We begin by looking at how we think. We begin by having the right mind set. We begin by having the right thoughts. From the point of view of the human spirit, we are what we think we are. We are who we think we are. If our self-image has been damaged, that damage will be reflected in the results we get from trading. Additionally, the markets themselves can influence us as to who and what we think we are. Markets punish us when we make mistakes. Markets are unforgiving. Trading in markets and losing can do serious damage to our self-image.
Of course, the real truth is that we are who and what God says we are, but that is a topic for those who would like to have a much deeper spiritual experience than that which I am going to present here. (However, in due time, I will point the way for those who do want to pursue the deeper way.)
The markets offer us a gingerbread house of potential goodies. Break off some of the cake. Stuff yourself with as much as you want — and there is much you do want, so you step up to the gingerbread offering of the markets. You can probably make a list of dozens, if not hundreds, of things you want, and the gingerbread house with all its good appearance holds out the promise of satisfying your quest for the material things of this world. But within that gingerbread house exists something evil — individuals who want to satisfy their own desires at your expense.
Let’s face it, the markets are made up of nothing more than many human beings seeking to satisfy their own needs and desires.
What is currently contained on this website is an open book. Periodically new thoughts, ideas, and links will be added. Appropriate observations from others are invited, but we reserve the right of final judgment as to whether or not they will be included.
It’s time now to see what the Bible has to say about the virtues needed to become a successful trader as well as various aspects of human nature: