I was asked the following question: “Joe, is it important to be creative in your trading?”
I’m not sure I can describe it in terms of importance. The creative process is somewhat of a mystery, even to scientists who study it, but that is only because scientists do not recognize the spiritual factors of our lives and consequently in our trading.
The Bible says: “There is a spirit in man.” Man is made up of body, soul, and spirit. In a moment we will look at how the spirit in man affects the soul of man and ultimately the body, but first we must understand what constitutes the soul!
The soul consists of three components: 1. the mind; 2. the heart, and 3. the will.
There are a few common characteristics that all creative persons possess, but for the most part, exactly how the creative mind makes earthshaking discoveries is through the impulse of the spirit. Those impulses come as “inspiration.”
A few prerequisites are necessary. The mind should be focused. New ideas need to flow freely through the mind, and there needs to be a wide range of ideas, so that they can be combined and re-combined in new ways.
New and creative trading ideas are important for a trader to be able to stay ahead of the crowd, so doing whatever you can to prepare your mind to consider new ideas will help to develop creative trading strategies that are essential to profitable trading.
Many great discoveries were made by what may appear to have been lucky observations. However, there is nothing having to do with luck about such discoveries. Those great discoveries are inspired; inspired is what we call the impulse that comes from the spiritual component of man. The word inspired itself means in-breathed. That breath derives from the spirit in man. Without a trained eye the observation might have been missed, but because the mind of the discoverer was continuously mulling over ideas, he or she saw something new in what might be termed an ordinary event. The discovery derives from inspiration, and inspiration comes from the spirit.
Discovering new trading ideas is the end result of creativity. You must get your creative impulses flowing in order to see a new idea. To get your creative impulses flowing you prepare your thinking processes, getting your mind ready to make a creative observation. But it is from your spirit that you get the impulse, i.e., the impetus that stirs your mind to creativity.
The spirit in man is what gives man intellect. It is the spirit in man that makes him vastly different from every other species on earth. No other creature reasons as man does; no other creature philosophizes. No other creature creates music, art, or literature. Man is the only earthly creature who can truly invent, plan, and organize anything he can imagine to do.
Animals operate on instinct. All spiders of a kind weave the same web. All bears of a kind hibernate. All animals mate by instinct, but man reproduces willfully and with pleasure. I could go on and on about the differences between man and the other creatures that inhabit this planet, but surely by now you can see that the difference is vast.
In some ways, your mind is like a water pump. You prime a pump to get the water flowing, and once it's started, it flows continuously. You must similarly prime your mind to get ideas flowing. It is your spirit that primes the pump of your mind. Various ideas in your mind are stored in a hierarchical structure. Information is stored together in various sectors of your mind, depending on its meaning. When you aren't thinking of a particular topic, it's hard to bring information about that topic into consciousness; it lies there dormant and hidden. However, when you make a definite effort to think carefully about a specific topic, or a closely related topic, and start running through the possibilities, new possibilities become apparent. Your mind scans various concepts and ideas, almost unconsciously. Suddenly this wealth of information combines and you see something new. For example, suppose you develop a trading idea about how you might make profitable trades by taking the breakout of reversal price bars. Once you get the basic idea in your mind, you unconsciously use your spirit to prime your mind to get your creativity flowing. For example, you begin looking at reversal bars in various markets and in different time frames to find support for your idea. As you look through the charts, the information you see will prime other related information. Other ideas will then come together, and you'll make an unplanned discovery that can serve as a basis for yet another trading strategy.
The main point is that you must set your thinking processes in motion to come up with a creative new idea. The more your mind is active, the more likely you'll make creative new discoveries. Knowing about the creative process and how your spirit sets it in motion gives you power. Some people feel dejected because they can't seem to think creatively. But with understanding of the spirit and with effort they can think creatively. They just need to know how to do it. Here are the steps:
- Be physically relaxed and get into a meditative mood.
- Be free of anxiety; allow your mind to wander, but do not empty your mind.
- Allow the thought processes to flow, that way you can allow your spirit to prime your mind in order to start the process. If you’re looking at a chart, ask yourself: “What do I really see here? What is this chart telling me?”
It takes a bit of practice, but soon you will see that the spiritual component of who you are will begin to inspire ideas into your mind. As your mind grasps the potential of the ideas, your emotions (your heart) will reflect those ideas. You will become excited and your body will find the energy and your mind will find the will to pursue your new discovery. You may even find yourself saying: “Why didn’t I see this before?”