Second Chances

I know there isn’t a person reading this letter who hasn’t made a mistake (intentional or otherwise) and wished they could start over again. Often the guilt we bare debilitates us and holds us back from achieving our goals.

As traders, as parents, as friends ……. we may trade too big a position with little or no research, we might lose our tempers, or we may simply say or do something we regret. This is part of life, but it affects us and as much as we might try to forget it the stain remains within our psyche/soul. Feeling bad is important as without the discomfort there will be no energy driving us to change. What if I told you a way to always get a second chance.

The 12th century Spanish Jewish philosopher Maimonides provided us with a simple formulae to correct the mistake and return (teshuva) to the person we were before our transgression, some may argue we return as a greater person than before:

  1. You have to verbally confess your “sin”. Say what you did wrong aloud, even if it is to yourself. If the transgression was done to another person, tell them you are sorry.
  2. Promise yourself in your heart and mind that you will never do it again.
  3. At this stage the scene is set and you have done the prepatory work but repentance is only complete when you are faced with the exact same situation and you don’t make the same mistake, at this point you have returned.

I see it all the time with traders and I see it in myself. Trading has many similarities to gambling, often disguised within the cloak of sophisticated research, we read and know of stories how peoples lives are destroyed by gambling their livelihood away and many traders see these “ugly” gambling tendencies in their trading. If you feel you are making mistakes that make you ashamed of yourself then keep following the 3 step formulae until you break the habit.

Good luck there is always a second chance, and in some cases a third or fourth …. if thats what it takes.

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