Scientists have estimated that the average human makes 50 to 60 thousand decisions everyday, whether they realize it or not. This includes conscious as well as subconscious thoughts. That makes decision making one of the most important things you do in life (obviously). Everyday, you decide between happiness and misery, work and fun, success and failure. You make your own determiniation as to direction, speed, and destination. And, you decide for yourself how you’re going to get where you want to go.
As far as we know, humans are the only creatures on Earth that have the ability to make conscious decisions. Dogs behave as dogs have always behaved, by their nature. A dog does not have the capacity to decide to do otherwise, even though it may have its own quirks. The hive built by bees today is the same design as hives built by bees a thousand years ago. Nature conforms to a definite pattern, within each species, through birth, growth, reproduction, and death. There is little variation.
However, humans are different. They can change. They have the power to reason and think and to use information. It has been said that there is only one point at which all humans are alike and that is that they are all different. The reason is because each person can act independently. The biggest business of any life, then, is deciding what to do next. This is also the hardest thing to do. Why? Because it’s the place where success or failure is ultimately determined.
So what is a decision? By definition, you make a decision by making one side of an argument the victor over the other. To decide is to “bring an end to vacillation.” It is the “termination of doubt or controversy.” To decide means to “conclude” after careful investigation or reasoning. And a real decision implies a degree of firmness that enables you to carry your plans through a conclusion.
How does all of this apply to trading? Trading is all about making decisions. I make split second decisions all day long, some of which do not have the time for “thinking”. If you hesitate, you will lose or lose out on some ridiculous gains. We are not creatures without the ability to make decisions and only you can make them for yourselves. I know it’s difficult for most of you to “pull the trigger”, but trading is all about taking risks. You cannot get ahead without taking them. You must take chances and not be afraid. Are you just going to sit there all day and not make a move?
A lot of people confuse intention with a decision. That’s like confusing a blueprint with a finished house. Almost everyone wants (intends) to do successful things in their lives, but most never get around to it. You’ve heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If that’s true, then the road to failure is lined with billboards of good intentions. A decision is a mental state that is far more advanced and has far greater power than any mere intention. We all intend to make trades, but if you don’t actually make them, then what’s the point?
Make up your mind. Emerson said that “the world belongs to the energetic.” Very few things are as mentally and physically invigorating as a successful day at work (ex: winning like a mofo on your trades). Emerson also said, “Work every hour, paid or unpaid. See only that you work, and you cannot escape your reward. Whether your work be fine or coarse, plating corn or writing epics, honest work, done to your own approbation, shall earn for you the greatest rewards known to the senses.” Honest work earns the greatest rewards of success, but even industry must be preceded by decision.
Emerson might just as easily have said that “the world belongs to those who can make up their minds.”If you enjoy the content at iBankCoin, please follow us on Twitter
Love these posts.
I SECOND THAT MOTION!!
Usually, I only have positive things to say about CA’s posts. This one however, I thought was pretty lame. The basis of the analogy is completely flawed. Animals make decisions, especially if you use the definition of the word given in the post. Many of them are self aware. Nature does not always appear to move in the same path if you are paying attention. Behavior does change in the animal world. Many animals have the ability to change their locations based on resource availability, some better than humans. I know that getting caught up in the analogy is kind of silly but this one just didn’t work.
got research the back up your statements?
These are a few quick google searches for the decision making one. There are certainly better ones but I don’t want to put to much into this.
I retract my statement that many animals are self aware. I meant to say some (sorry about the typo), and these are our closest relatives. There are some examples that indicate other taxa are self aware too but I question how robust these claims are so I will not present them here. I did note that you say conscious decision in the post, then switch to simply decision, which is part of the failure of the analogy. It is difficult to design experiments that objectively assess conscious decision making abilities in animals. However, decision making is well supported.
The origin of species was published in 1859 by Charles Darwin. The theory of natural selection is predicated on change in nature (or stasis if selective pressure favors lack of change). You state that “Nature conforms to a definite pattern, within each species, through birth, growth, reproduction, and death. There is little variation.” If this was the case, species would not evolve. They would be subject to extinction based on even minor changes in the environment. Granted variation may be small, but small variations are better than drastic ones in survival in stable environments. And this is true with humans too, so it does not suggest a difference from animals as is suggested. Most people do what is familiar to them. Why do you think there are still people living in the Sahara of Africa. it is an extremely harsh environment. However, people there stay there because it is what they know. Those people have the capacity to change but the majority of them will not. It is because they are comfortable with their culture and they lack the resources to take risk.
The very fact that you can train a dog indicates that animal behavior can change. You can train a goldfish to swim through a hoop. Mountain lions and other hunting predators have been shown to expand their ranges based on prey availability.
People are all different in that they are the sum of their genes, both expressed and unexpressed. The same can be said of animals. This is a similarity not a difference.
Dope city. I call out people in my life who can’t make a decision and encourage them to do so. One of my best qualities is that once i decide to do something, it’s done, my word is gold.
But thats irrelevant and the character of Chris Brown doesnt belong anywhere on this board.
I can’t wait for your stocktwits time slot. Its tuesdays @ 10, right?
oh yea, forgot to mention that.
I will be on Stocktwits TV regularly on Tuesdays at 10PM “Charts Gone Wild”: http://www.stocktwits.tv/schedule/
Looking forward to charts gone wild, was all fired up and tuned in for it last night, but then saw you aren’t starting til next week.
yes, I start next tuesday
Good post, thanks. Nice thing to read, starting the day.
nice post addict!
Thx Phil! See u Friday
Thank you for the post CA!
Anyone looking at CIT here?
GREAT post. Inspiring for those who are indecisive.
I can’t decide if that was a great post or not.
Love your humor Purdy.
lol good one purdy
Bought BPOP @ 2.78… no sellers seem to be around
HBAN at 4.77
Bought APT, watching CVGI closely.
Watching BDSI, accumulation AH yesterday.
Sold BPOP @ 2.83
Any interesting plays out there? Seems like the comments section is pretty slow today ..
IMOS (penny spec) just finished extending their senior notes due in 2009 to 2014 and added $10M to their cash at the same time. Bank debt was restructured in 4/09 so they should now be able to continue as a “going concern” with a hot market in LCD for their services … very thinly traded right now so nibble when appropriate … do your own research to avoid being kicked down an elevator shaft by the likes of King Cock aka The Fly!
ChipMOS and its subsidiaries provide testing and assembly services to a broad range of customers, including leading fabless semiconductor companies, integrated device manufacturers and independent semiconductor foundries.
DAC @ 4.95 earlier today.
APT @ 5.70
Back in BPOP @ 2.84… feels like another leg up coming
wow, great post
Sold BPOP @ 2.88
Just added to NAVI swing
..and back long overnight in TZA and SRS …there’s something wrong with this market.
CA – are you going to start a group on Stocktwits Desktop?
I should, shouldn’t I?
Hmm… decision making? =)
It would save everybody from having to frequently refresh and you tweet your trades anyway.
Gio set one up but not much activity.
Thanks for all your awesome posts.
Been busy lately – entering a longer term spec trade.
Scaling into a short /CL (crude oil) for a move back to $68-ish. First entry at 70.37. Next entry would be around $72 (upper trend line from 8/25).
Long some Euros from 1.4603 – keeping this position as a hedge with a 50% target around 1.4720. 2nd half would sell at TBD price prob. around 1.4800.
Long term trade – will hold this through contract expiration if needed.
closing Euro long hedge 1.4634 +.31 pips on /CL move below $70.
will open the hedge again is /CL moves back above $70.
sold the Euros just in time & /CL sold off overnight, now +.70
what a nice morning.
the decision to decide is a tad sophomoric so I agree..Mr Lee presumes he is faster than most on his feet but that’s just his ego talking…I think he means well..trouble is he thinks that thru sheer pluck and hard work he is prepared for ANYTHING..truth is, one will get their ass reamed at some point – it just comes with the territory..I think the post should talk about the biases we use when deciding , the conscious versus subconscious, the tools we can use to help the process…can’t we just stick to trading here and leave the preachy stuff to Rev Fly? Just love CA…
Watch the Euro today (/6E) for a break below 1.4500 – would be a market killer.
I don’t think it will be easy to trade below that number but a 1 hour chart does not look good.