Prop Trading Futures

The Diary – A Tool to Strenghten Character and Clean-up the Mind

A diary is useful during conscious, intentional, and painful spiritual evolutions. Then you want to know where you stand…

Andre Gide (The Journals of Andre Gide)

Successful speculation requires the ability to dissect the complexity that characterizes financial markets. It also involves a continual effort to fight against basic human instincts.financial markets

These two aspects demand character and to keep the mind strong and clear.

Today I want to look a bit into this subject, quoting some clever individuals that in their life studied and experimented journaling more than the average of us.


One the most repeated – but less practiced – word, especially by politicians.
Character means taking responsibility for one’s actions.
financial markets

The character has to be developed by living with discipline and (self) respect. If you are a trader, stop blaming the FED, the bear market or whatever.

Put yourself one step above. Accept what you can control and what you cannot control.

By focusing only on you and what you can control and let other things go you can learn to live according to higher standards.

As Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlem) said:

It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch [with yourself], and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves.

Character can be trained, developed, refined. It doesn’t have to be conceived as an innate and static quality of a human being.

Get a diary, start to get in touch with yourself and the rest will start to follow along.

Strong and Clear Mind

Learn how to remain indifferent to the flow of emotions. Wash away fear and greed before you sit on your trading desk.

When you trade you just want to be present and seeing what’s there in an opportunistic way.

Easier said than done, right?

Well, sure it is, but that must be the goal – maybe the most important goal in our lives. Set the stick 10 times higher of your wildest expectation of what you can achieve.

A strong and clear mind is often linked to meditation – and that is a subject of the next post. But today I wanted to exploit the power of keeping a diary.

Here is an excerpt from the blog of author Tim Ferriss talking about morning journals:

Morning [diary] pages don’t need to solve your problems. They simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.

Clean up your mind early in the morning is as healthy as it is spring cleaning for your house. Do it every day. Or, if not possible, do it before the market opens.

This will help you to release nebulous worries, expectations and emotions that can negatively impact your performance.

By writing down your fears and doubts you are putting them aside and free yourself to embrace the enormous possibilities (not without risk) that are showing up everyday in the marketplace.

Image: George Goodnight

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