The Opposite Imperative

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

— Albert Einstein

My youngest son is borderline genius… But I dare say most 2 year olds are.  They seem to be born with an innate understanding of what they shouldn’t be doing.  My son is no different… In fact, he may be the king of “I know what you don’t want.”  He loves nothing better than refusing to eat dinner before leaning on a floor to ceiling mirror on his way to trying to go up the stairs alone where he will throw anything within reach back down the stairs.

But in his rush to annoy, Prince Pain In The Butt (his older brother is King Pain In The Butt) continues to reinforce a simple trading lesson… Very often we must do the exact opposite of what we want to do.  We must accept a small loss when we want to “give it a bit more room.”  We should always exit a profitable trade when we can… not when we must.  We have to force ourselves to only care about a series of trades as opposed to any one trade.  And, finally, more often than not, we should simply do nothing, as opposed to entering a low probability trade…boring, but true.

As in child rearing, a big part of trading is making the mental leap to doing what may feel unnatural.  In the case of Prince Pain In The Butt that means pretending to deny him dinner, “begging” him to play chicken with the floor to ceiling mirror, “refusing” to help him up the stairs and offering him large, hard objects to throw down the stairs.  All very difficult to do, but generally the most effective approach with toddlers…and trading.

Funny that yes?

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