Understanding discipline- a new perspective (Part 1)

Discipline as we know it may conjure an image of a boot camp in a military training facility.  To some, it may be an image of their parent’s stern look.  These are just example of discipline being imposed from the outside.  On our own, discipline becomes a difficult subject most preferred to avoid.  Why?  ’cause discipline is one of the most difficult endeavor to master on our own.

Allow me to venture a thesis of why it is so.

While we, as human beings, are at the top of the evolutionary chain in this earth, our primal essence is not dissimilar to the chest thumping gorilla.  Why the chest thumping gorilla, you may ask?

First of all, despite our small size compared to the wild animals out there, human being is the most fear predator in the animal kingdom.  Unlike the lion or tiger which has four powerful legs and the mass to go with it; human beings, having only two legs, go by the way of the gorilla.  To survive and to dominate, human or gorilla, must show the “presence of force” that cannot be ignored.  The chest thumping gorilla expresses strength and a fearless demeanor.  The vibe generated from this chest thumping exercise is very palpable.  It can induce fear in other predators.  Of course, the chest thumping gorilla is also inflated with a supreme confidence that it can take on any predator that cross its path.  This confidence is definitely felt by other predators.

Guess what, human, being in a higher evolutionary chain than the gorilla, refines this chest thumping maneuver into a much higher level even the gorilla will have to abandon its chest thumping exercise when encountering the human “chest thumping” tactical maneuver.

It began with loud noise, then crude weapon and graduated into fire power.  In other words, human inherited the “presence of force” tactical maneuver gene from our chest thumping gorilla.

In a manner of speaking, we ALL have a chest thumping gorilla inside us.

What does all this has to do with discipline?

Take this: imposing discipline on our own is like trying to control the chest thumping gorilla inside you.  How can you control your own essence?  Exercising discipline on our own is like restricting your own essence to be yourself.  It is just not that easy at all!

To be continued.

Good hunting!



Categories: Trading philosophies and thoughts

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3 replies

  1. disciplines come in all shapes and sizes,depending on which mastery,one goes after,on their own of course.outside, instilled disciplines, from cradle to adulthood, are also a good primer for one to go seek his own mastery. we certainly do go through a “chest thumping” stage as we get better at what it is you do.thats the natural progression of things in life,no. good piece zen.

    • Very true. The key point you brought up is that each has to “seek his own mastery”. Any one who want to succeed in trading must have the desire and motivation to “seek his/her own mastery”. Without it, your chest-thumping gorilla will always rule the days. And in the arena of the trading world, it could mean your early demise.

      You are also correct that discipline come in all forma and shapes. In the trading world, discipline needed to succeed for short-term trading is night and day different than the discipline needed to succeed in long-term trading.

      Different in discipline can also apply to the type of market you are trading. The trick is to find the “comfortable” trading style that fit your personality and then seek to master the discipline needed to stay true to your trading style.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Regarding your comment “we certainly do go through a “chest thumping” stage as we get better at what it is you do that’s the natural progression of thins in life”.

      This is definitely very true in the non-trading world- from business to athlete to artist; but in the trading world, chest-thumping can lead to illusion of grandeur that will eventually destroy your portfolio.

      When someone win big in trading; the feeling of being invincible can be very powerful. Unchecked,it is at this moment that discipline is being shelved and grave mistake is made.

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