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Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter

December 19, 2007 — Issue #352
  
Workshops

Van Is Teaching Workshops in Singapore and Australia

Article

Getting What You Really Want by Van K. Tharp

Education

20% Off on Van Tharp Core Products, But Only for a Limited Time!

Trading Tip

The Ugliest Word in Trading and Investing, Part II by D.R. Barton, Jr.

Melita's Corner

Over Planning by Melita Hunt

  
Workshops

Van Tharp is coming to Singapore and Sydney

(Note date change in Sydney Workshops from those posted last week)

March 1-2-3

Peak Performance 101

SINGAPORE

March 7-8-9

How to Develop a Winning Trading System That Fits You

SINGAPORE
March 14-15-16

Blueprint for Trading Success

SYDNEY   

Australia   

March 28-29-30

How to Develop a Winning Trading System That Fits You

SYDNEY   

Australia   

Click Here for a Full Schedule and to Register Now

 

Feature

Getting What You Really Want

by

Van K. Tharp

I used to do an exercise in the Peak Performance 101 workshop entitled “Getting What You Want”.  The exercise starts out with a question:  If you could have anything in the universe, what would it be?  Perhaps your answer might be $10 million dollars.  However, the exercise doesn’t end there.  It just triggers another question:  What would that get you?  So to carry our example forward, you’d now ask, “What would the $10 million dollars get you?”  Perhaps you might answer, “Security… I’d feel secure in my retirement.”

It doesn’t end with that answer.  The second answer merely triggers another question:  What would that get you?  And to continue the example, you now ask, “What would security get you?”

This process continues at least five times.  Each time you get an answer, the new question becomes, “What would that (i.e., the answer to the last question) get you?  At the end of five iterations, I then survey the class for what they have come up with at the end of their questions  What do you think everyone comes up with?  The answer is important because it really says a lot about you.  But before I give you the results, do the exercise for yourself.  Answer each of the following questions.

1) If you could have anything in the universe, what would it be?  __________________

2) What would that (answer 1) get you?  ______________________________________

3) What would that (answer 2) get you?  ______________________________________

4) What would that (answer 3) get you?  ______________________________________

5) What would that (answer 4) get you?  ______________________________________

6) What would that (answer 5) get you?  ______________________________________

I’m actually curious to know what percentage of you started out with "trading success."  Perhaps a lot of you, but I doubt if anyone ended up there.

There are some universals about this exercise.  With five repetitions of the question about 90% of all people end up with a mental state.  Examples of mental states include security, freedom, confidence, happiness, etc.  But we can take it further.  If you do enough repetitions of the question, everyone ends up with a universal mental state such as Oneness, Love, Ultimate Happiness, etc.  What’s interesting about the exercise is that it flat out tells you what you really want!  The final answer is always one of those universal mental states (and I’m not sure that they really are not all the same). 

Yet what do we do with our lives?  We spend it pursuing things such as money, power, career or perhaps trading success.  But that’s not what we really want.  And that’s true for everyone.

Now, what if there was a course that you could take that would give you as a result of doing the course, one of those ultimate states.  Would you want to take that course?

Well, let me tell you a true story about a man named Lester Levinson.  Lester had advanced degrees and was a very successful entrepreneur.  In that sense, he was probably a lot like most of you.  However, he was very unhealthy.  One day his doctors basically said, “Lester, there is really nothing we can do for you.  You are going to die in a few months.”  So Lester retreated to his Manhattan apartment to die.  But before he did so, he did an exercise similar to the one I just took you through and concluded that what he really wanted out of life was LOVE.  He looked at his life and concluded that he was the happiest when he was LOVING, rather than when he felt people loved him.

As a result, Lester started a series of mental exercises designed to help him be more loving.  And as he continued to do those exercises over the next few months, he didn’t die.  Instead, some remarkable things happened: 

  • First, all of the symptoms of his illness just disappeared.  And whenever something happened to his body he could heal it instantly. 
  • Second, he found that he could materialize whatever he wanted just by thinking about it.  He played with this for a while, soon materializing millions of dollars worth of real estate.  But knowing that he could get those material things any time he wanted them just by thinking about them, he soon lost interest in them and just gave them away.  Besides, what he really wanted was LOVE and he was getting that by being LOVING.
  • Third, he basically started operating in the world at the level of a very advanced spiritual being.

In the spirit of being loving, Lester started to teach what he had learned.  As a result we all have that core process that Lester went through to heal himself and become happy and loving available to us through a series of five books entitled “Happiness is Free.”  Each book is a seven week course, so the series is basically a 35 week course on attaining happiness.  And if you do the course, I believe that you can attain a level of happiness that is way beyond what you experience today or probably what you’ve ever experienced. (We have a few of these courses available for sale, click here for more.)

However, I didn’t write this article to sell these courses, but more to convey some very important points.  Logically, if you decided, after doing the exercise, that what you ultimately wanted was love or happiness, then I would expect that we’d get at least 1,000 orders for the course.  Of course, you’d have to believe that you’d actually get “ultimate happiness” out of doing the course to order it.  And perhaps you don’t think you really want happiness or perhaps you don’t think the course will help you attain it.  That’s a personal choice.

Anyway, I was so impressed with this course initially, that I ordered a few sets and gave them to some very special people associated with my company.  Later on, I then ordered ten more copies of the course to sell.  And interestingly enough, we still have most (if not all) of them in stock.  Most people either don’t think that they want happiness or they don’t believe that they can get it simply by completing a course (i.e., doing all the exercises).  It’s rather amazing.  This is what people want but they are not likely to do anything about it.

I’m so fascinated by this process that I plan to interview each of the people I gave the course to just to see what they’ve done with it.  I haven’t done the interviews yet, but I think I know the results.  I’ll report the actual results to you later in another article for Tharp's Thought's.  And I’ll also tell you about the exercise that I just completed that motivated me to write this series of articles.

About Van Tharp: Trading coach, and author, Dr. Van K. Tharp is widely recognized for his best-selling book Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program - a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp at www.iitm.com.

Trading Education

The Van Tharp 20% Off Sale Has Begun

Let Santa know just what you want this year!

 Click Here for a Full Listing of Sale Items

Including...
Peak Performance Home Study 
and
How to Develop a Winning Trading System Home Study

 

Trading Tip

The Ugliest Word in Trading and Investing, Part II

by D.R. Barton, Jr.

“Without a measureless and perpetual uncertainty, the drama of human life would be destroyed." -- Winston Churchill

Wow!  The concept of uncertainty certainly touched a nerve with lots of folks!  And it should.

I received more e-mails about last week’s article than any other I’ve written.  Keep those notes coming!  They inspire my creativity and send me off to do more thinking and research.  The e-mail address is “drbarton” at “iitm.com.”

To send an e-mail, take out the quotes, insert an @ symbol instead of “at” and smash it all together. I had to do something to try to get around the e-mail scraping bots.  In addition to all of the wonderful e-mail I got from readers, I also got hundreds of e-mails PER DAY from folks insisting that I invest in the latest killer penny stock (a BIG no thanks), that I take up their offer for online casino membership (same thing as above penny stocks), that I get a new mortgage (like any bank out there is writing new mortgages in this credit crunch market!) and that I spice up my love life with various elixirs, pills, potions and machinery (fill in your favorite joke or one-liner here…).

But back to uncertainty.

Why does this beast arouse such a universal response?  I think there are many reasons that a discussion on uncertainty gets our collective juices flowing.  Here’s a quick and by no means comprehensive list, in no particular order:

Uncertainty scares us to death - individually and collectively.  Think about uncertainty for a minute; for most of us it represents a lack of control.  And we fear what we cannot control.  It’s interesting that almost all of the e-mail responses that I received, at their core, were about dealing with this fear.

Uncertainty delights us deep down in ways that we don’t quite understand.  The Winston Churchill quote at the top of this page is quite insightful. Countless books have been written about a future when society has, through various instruments and techniques, tried to eliminate uncertainty.  We all turn into automatons and while fear is gone, so is delight and joy.  Deep down, we get a thrill from “not knowing” and from the anticipation of the unknown or unknowable.  This is the reason that many people keep trading and investing even after multiple setbacks.  (For more insight into this joy of anticipation, see the article linked below entitled “Trading and Christmas Presents”).

Uncertainty drives our competitive nature.  Very few people watch ballgames where one team is clearly overmatched.  This is true of pro sports and at the lowest level of little leagues.  And we also get bored with problems that have very certain outcomes: paying bills, washing dishes, etc.  Ah, but trading, call it what you will, is rarely boring. (Actually at the highest level of trading, I’ve often heard people say that when things are going best, when everything is really clicking, that trading is boring.  This happens at times where things are going well and uncertainty, for a time, seems to be have been overcome.  But it never lasts forever.) By our nature we love tackling problems and jumping in to the fray.  And trading offers unlimited opportunities to “jump into the fray”, whether that is by researching, back testing, or actual trading.

We will continue to dig into uncertainty and look at quantifying it, ignoring it, transferring it and living with it.  And I would love to hear your stories on dealing with uncertainty.  If you’ve had an experience dealing with uncertainty that provided a great learning, a vexing question, or just a good belly laugh, please forward it to me:  “drbarton” at “iitm.com.”  Let me know if I can use the story (either anonymously or credited) in a future article.

Since this is the holiday season, I’ve appended one of my favorite articles for you entitled “Trading and Christmas Presents.”  It’s seasonally appropriate (of course), but it is also directly related to our discussion on uncertainty.  I hope you enjoy it. Click here to read it.

Great Trading!

D. R.

About D.R. Barton:  A passion for the systematic approach to the markets and lifelong love of teaching and learning have propelled D.R. Barton, Jr. to the top of the investment and trading arena where he is one of the most widely read and followed traders and analysts in the world.

He is a regularly featured guest analyst on both Report on Business TV,  and WTOP News Radio in Washington, D. C., and has been a guest analyst on Bloomberg Radio.  His articles have appeared on SmartMoney.com and Financial Advisor magazine. You may contact D.R. at drbarton@iitm.com.

 

Melita's Inspirational Corner

Over Planning

by Melita Hunt

Last week while I was working, Mum was invited to go out with a friend for the afternoon, no plans, just to get together and find something fun to do. I thought that that was a nice idea and assumed that we would meet up with one another later in the evening, back at my house.

“Enjoy yourself” I said as we parted, but then suddenly she barraged me with questions such as “Well what should we do? What will I wear? Where should we go? What will we talk about? How will I meet up with her? How will I get home? What if it rains?" etc…  I was shocked for a brief moment because this was coming from my mother who is quite capable of holding her own in any situation, and then it dawned on me what the problem was. She was in a foreign country, outside of her comfort zone, and she needed all of the answers for every possible outcome before she would even embark on her little journey.

She had to know where she was going, how she was getting there, what she was going to experience, how long it would take, what time to come home, and she was probably already thinking about what to make for dinner that night.

The dutiful and protective “planner” in her had kicked in.  And sometimes that planning part of us can really take the fun out of a spur of the moment event. It is always one step ahead of us, planning our next move.

I reminded her that she was missing the whole idea of the afternoon.  Who cares what she did, where they went or how they were getting home? The whole idea was to just live in the moment, have an afternoon together and see what eventuated. When I reminded her that she wasn’t in a third world country and could call me at any time, reality clicked in, and she realized that maybe she was getting a little worked up about nothing. So she let it go, headed out and had a great time. She stayed in the present moment and enjoyed her afternoon, rather than living hours ahead of her time, constantly thinking about getting home and making dinner.

How many of us do it?

Day in and day out, our minds are always one step ahead of where we actually are in that very moment. Take an average working day: When we are getting showered and dressed in the morning, we’re thinking of the traffic.  When we’re in our morning commute we’re thinking about work. When we get to work, we’re thinking of lunch. As we each lunch we are wanting the day to end. As we finally commute home, we want to be OFF the train or out of the car and at home having dinner. When we’re eating dinner, we’re talking about the day that has just passed, or we’re wondering what to do with the rest of the evening and what time to go to bed.

How often are we “in the moment?”

So as these holidays approach, I would like to encourage you to let the planner part of you have a break for a while. Thank it for always being so diligent and having you organized. But for the holidays, why not try something different?

Instead of having the whole holidays completely planned out, why not just go with the flow and be spontaneous? Do what you want to do with your time. No rushing, no time limits.  Just relax and enjoying every moment. Sleep when you want to sleep, eat when you want to eat, play for a while and drive to see the relatives at a time that suits you.

Even if you find yourself out of your comfort zone, delayed in an airport or stuck on a busy road, vow to enjoy the experience. Do something spontaneous, find out something new about your family, talk to new people or look around and see new things. It’s the planner that gets uptight in these situations because they think “plans” are being ruined.

Really think about that…

Missing a plane here or there really doesn’t matter. There will always be another plane to catch. 

Missing the “moments” in your life and worrying about the things that you can’t change is a much sadder proposition.

Enjoy your holidays! Every last moment of them!

Melita

 

Melita Hunt is the CEO of the Van Tharp Institute. If you would like to keep up with Melita’s progress regarding her recently diagnosed lung cancer. Please feel free to read her blog at www.myleftlung.com.

You can contact Melita at mel@iitm.com

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Copyright 2007 the International Institute of Trading Mastery, Inc.

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