Whilst learning to trade currencies it quickly occurred to me that success lies in mind, and only through action as a derivative. We can observe our cognition and make steps towards higher levels of control, through meditation and neuro-linguistic programming. Meditation is a very broad topic, and one which deserves to be covered in isolation, and finer detail. The second factor, neuro-liguistic programming, has provided some very insightful ideas. NLP, as it is referred to in open discussion, is the use of anchors and repeated patterns to re-enforce positive behaviours & modes of conciousness. While meditation and NLP provide some very useful tools in gaining control over our present mind-state; they also reveal areas of lifestyle-egineering, known as ‘life-hacking’. The capacity in which I have been working specifically, is what few people know as ‘directional-motivation’. Directional-motivation is the concept that we can divide motivation into two subcatagories; pursuing/forwards & evading/backwards. Backwards-motivation is where we are motivated out of our tolerance for discomfort/anxiety. Forwards motivation is the active pursuit of goals, not out of fear, but out of personal development and discipline.
A good illustration of this idea would be revising for exams. Both people are motivated, both dilligent students; however pupil-A revises because they are scared of failure and the anxiety of sitting an exam when underprepared. Pupil-B, on the other hand, revises because they have a specific grade that they have set as their goal - they may or may not be as bright as pupil-A, but are determinded to take a strategic approach to acheiving their goal. Pupil-B is not scared, and their driving force is not a humming anxiety.
Whilst in our example, both pupil A and B may acheive their goals and even get the same grades, pupil B would have suffered much less becasue of their mind-state and direction of motivation. This carries through to many examples in real life. In distinguishing between pursuing/evasive, I am not saying one is better, or that either type of person is someone lazy. But pursuing/forwards motivation can acheive the same results, if not better, with less anguish because of the adoption of an empowering approach to goal setting and self-discipline.
The prerequisite for improvement is assessment; this can be observed in every flutter of excellence. Every chess champion, championship fighter and CEO all have attained their goals by using a specific approach to personal assessment and development, striving for higher levels of human performance in their chosen fields. This is also true in the creative arts; Steven Pressfield, author of ‘The War of Art’, cites the most important factor as ‘showing-up’. By setting our goals and ‘showing-up’, we can begin to observe the output of our efforts. This may be the quantity and quality of work in a given period of time, or it can be the growth of your projects. By taking an objective approach to our lives, and seeking to improve in every aspect of our lives; raising our bodies and minds to higher levels.
This is a form of mindfulness, a practice which has grown in popularity since the groundbreaking clinical work done by Professor Mark Williams and his team at the Oxford Mindulness Centre. We can strive to be mindful in two planes; this moment, the present, which is concentrated on for therapeutic means. The second plane is that of output; what is the sum total of your day’s efforts? By remaining present and taking proper time to assess our actions and progress, we can move towards our goals more more effectively.
It is worth noting that one should avoid dualistic thought. Whilst most people will be skewed in one direction or another, we can expect to observe a combination of both evasive and progressive motivation. One of the most common forms of evasive motivation can be seen in fitness. When people choose to eat healthy and exercise out of fear of being fat or unhealthy, they miss a large spectrum of enjoyment. When we approach fitness with a specific goal, or even just out of sheer enjoyment of the activity, we garner many more positive effects. We experience less anxiety through less resistance; and as a result the act of exercise gives us much more enrichment rather than the evasion of being fat.
To put this idea into action, try to establish where your motivation is coming from. Are you evading pain, or are you working towards your goals. One final thing to hold in mind, is the Japanese idea of incremental improvement, known as ‘kaizen’. If we are making incremental improvements in our approach to goals, then we are on the right path. This removes some of the anguish people feel when they are struggling to acheive a goal. Don’t focus too much on the absolute state of things, but rather concentrate on the momentum of progress.
If you have any questions about directional motivation, and applications in real life situations, feel free to contact me at JWTRADINGFX@GMAIL.COM.