Attachment is the Origin Of Suffering

According to Buddha, the basic cause of suffering is “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion).”

Every morning I watch and listen to a youtube video provided by a professional trader. I call him my mentor even though I have had very limited contact with him; mostly via twitter. His name is Morad and he goes by the handle “@futurestrader71.”

We are unable to let go of what has happened and to look at it for what it is.
You have to look at each day in its own discrete outcome.
Each day has a 50:50 chance of winning regardless of your historical expectancy.
Each new day is unknowable as we approach it.
Recognize that each new contact you have with the market is unique.
I am not defined by the next trade, a series of today’s trades, this week, month, etc.
Just trade your plan and stick to your risk rules.
This requires an incredible amount of self awareness and self discipline.

We spend a lot of time avoiding loss because we want every trade to be a winner.
We attach ourselves to the outcome of a trade.
Instead, we must look for a measured loss that is balanced with a profit target for every trade, and our job is to take every trade.

Focus on deliberate, repetitive consistency.
Is your execution in line with your plan?
What is your expectancy, as measured in ticks and not dollars?
If I were to walk by your desk right now and ask, “What are you working on this week, or today?” – You must be able to answer without hesitation.

This post sat in draft form while I worked on transitioning to profitable trading by way of focusing on my process. I have been successful.

Race Predictor

I’ve worn my new watch for a whopping total of two runs since I received it the other day and I found an interesting item under the menu of the computer that I am now wearing, a race predictor. Here’s the photo of what I am currently calling my “inherent ability”:

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I have a little more than a year to improve on those numbers with some concentrated and specific marathon training in my attempt to turn back the clock 15 years.

The fascinating thing to me about those numbers is that they were derived from my pace, heart rate, and running cadence, all of which the watch constantly measures. In the past I used to have to run time trials or races, competing with all the anxiety that those things bring with them (like a person who has test-taking anxiety). Then, after those time trials, I would come back to my computer and plug my numbers into a spreadsheet to come up with a predicted time at each distance. But I had to put in the work to justify running at those predicted paces.

I am under no illusion that I could run a 21-minute 5k right now. In fact I have a 5k race coming up next weekend (my first time trial) that I am not really ready for, and if anyone asks me what my expected time is I am going to say something like, “I hope to be done with this race before my lungs know what hit them.”

However, I do have a pretty good aerobic base built up over the past year since I finally conquered my chronic achilles tendonitis, so we shall see what we shall see. I have no anxiety about the race, but nonetheless I do want the best time I can achieve.

Angel Hair

An old man sits on his favorite bar​ stool at his favorite outdoor bar. He calls it his watering hole. It is the same every time he goes, just frequently enough that the servers all know what he drinks. He walks into the bar and the server says, “drink order,” as she plugs the order into the computer. The bar is filled with locals, and though there is banter among the usual customers, this usual customer is usually left alone to stare off into the distance as he enjoys his beer.

He glances over at his server as she enters another order into the computer. The sun is setting on this coastal town and it is screaming into the bar with an intense glare, making it difficult for anyone wanting to play on their smart phones. The old man focuses on her arm as she is about to walk away from the computer. He noticed something that takes him back to his youth.

The hairs on the server’s forearm were glowing like leaves on an aspen tree flickering in the warmth of the setting sun. The old man’s mind flashed back to Cathy. She was from Canada. Both were vacationing with family at the same Florida beach hotel. They introduced themselves and quickly became sweethearts over the week they shared in this beach town.

One day as they played in the surf together, the sun setting behind them, he caught a glimpse of Cathy’s arm just before she hugged him. She had goose pimples because it was chilly as the sun dropped into the ocean, and the hair on her arms reflected the glow of the sunset.

The image was gone as fast as it appeared, and the old man was left with another memory of what could have been.

He Didn’t See it Coming

He was cruising home on his usual running route, four miles into a six-miler, when he noticed an out of control car coming his way. He was adamant with friends about running on the opposite side of the road just for instances like this, so that you could see the trouble ahead of you and have a chance to react.

The car swerved right and then left. He reacted. The female driver began to lose control by going over into opposing traffic, and then she corrected herself and swerved back to the right. She overcorrected, and now she was heading right for the runner. He had seen the chaos and actually began to run as far off the path as possible, to his left and away from the runaway car. But it was almost as if the car wanted that runner dead; it seemed as if they were destined to collide. This was no collision. The car ran over the runner.

The woman got out of the car, not a scratch on her. The front bumper of the car had the runner’s blood on it. He was lying in the grass, gasping for air. One of his lungs was punctured, and he was bleeding from a gash on the right side of his throat. The driver came over to the runner as he lay in the grass, in what looked for all passersby like she was trying to help. He was quickly dying as his blood drained from his body.

The driver stuck a finger in the neck wound of the runner as if to stop the bleeding. The runner looked up at her as if to say, “Don’t let me die.”

“Don’t worry,” said the driver, “I was in control the entire time. Breathe easy. You’ll be dead soon.”

The Seat and the Lid

I have noticed something peculiar about the bathroom through my travels over the years. Women often complain that men leave the toilet seat up after they are done with their business. Not only do I put the seat back down, but I also put the lid down when I am done. Perhaps it is a matter of evidence with me. Unless you can hear me on the other side of the bathroom door, I don’t necessarily want you to know exactly what I did when I was in there. I hope for your sake you were distracted enough in the other room that your imagination did not take you inside with me. I see that visit as a solo venture.

As for appearances I think it looks better with the lid down covering the seat and the bowl. Why else are lids attached to toilets? I will tell you why. It is because when you are giving a tour of your house or if you have guests over, you do not want their first thought to be, “oh, there’s the fresh bowl of water where their human waste goes.” Without the lid covering the bowl you might as well be at a bar or restaurant where there are no lids. In fact, if you insist on leaving the lid up, why not just go full convenience and put a urinal in there as well? This would end the worry that women have about men leaving the seat up.

I first started this practice of putting the lid down when I got two kittens. I didn’t necessarily think that one of them would ever drown in there, but with their very rough play with each other there was the possibility that one of them would be running around the house wet.

Mother Nature Takes it Back

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Sometimes… well, all the time actually, I laugh at the lengths and efforts we humans go to in order to bend or shape this planet to our wants and desires. I was careful not to say ‘needs’ in that last sentence because I do not think we need to save a particular beach, coastline or island. I certainly do not think we need a bigger, better beach so more locals and tourists can enjoy said beach.

Last year the state and local municipalities completed a beach restoration project in which they spent umpteen million dollars and several thousand man hours on the effort to expand the beaches at Honeymoon Island State Park. It was beautiful upon completion and the population at the park has increased as a result. But maybe it just seems like more people are out there right now because it is still tourist season. I frequent the beaches there all year ’round because I am a part-time beach bum. In fact, when I retire I think my professional endeavor will be to play in the Gulf of Mexico with water toys, boats, surfboards, etc. I expect to show no monetary gain from those ventures.

This winter Mother Nature said, “Fvck your beach. I want water right there.” We now have a lagoon and a sandbar where the “authorities” tried to restore the beach. Waste of money? You betcha. That’s how it goes with the authorities. You see, the best that mankind can do is work 2, maybe 3 shifts around the clock with limited funds at our disposal for futile as well as worthwhile projects. Mother Nature has unlimited time and unlimited amounts of power working around the clock to shape our planet according to her desire. The cost to her? Zero. Time is all she needs.

Adapt accordingly.

The 7th Inning Eternity

Harry-Caray

This is going to sound or read as unpatriotic, and if you are a flag waving baseball fan then you are going to have to get over yourself and this egregious delay of game that we have been subjected to since September 2001.

Baseball season started this weekend and I am a lifelong fan. I loved the Reds my entire life until this past offseason when they once again traded away good talent for some bullshit potential future that never seems to arrive. I have now moved the Red Sox to the #1 spot in my baseball heart. They resided at #2 since 1975.

Since we were attacked on 9/11, someone got the bright idea to sing “America the Beautiful” during the 7th Inning Stretch in addition to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” or whatever your home team usually sings for that delay. Red Sox fans sing “Sweet Caroline” in the middle of the 8th inning in addition to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the 7th inning, but it never seems to delay the game, at least not the few times that I have enjoyed games at Fenway Park.

Singing “America the Beautiful” made sense for the remainder of the 2001 season. We were feeling sorry for ourselves and needed some patriotic comfort. I get it, but enough is enough. We were bloodthirsty for revenge after the attack and that feeling has faded while we have languished yet again in another senseless war for more than a decade. You have heard of no-win situations, right? Vietnam? This? Singing “America the Beautiful” is another senseless act of patriotism that has overstayed its welcome.

It is time to dispense with singing “America the Beautiful” at baseball games. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves, and admit that you would like the game to move a little faster.