At the Van Tharp Institute work is our mission of transformation through a trading metaphor.

When I trade, I want to win, I want others to lose and I want the cleverest, best traders to be wrong and I want me to be right. If I have a trade open that is losing. I want more than anything to be proved right by keeping it open and having the market move in my favour. I absolutely do not want to close it, admit I am on the wrong side of the market and then have it make a fool of me by then moving in my favour – after I am out of the game. When I have a trade open that is in profit, I dammed if I am going to let the market make a fool of me by taking profits away so I close it. Sometimes, when I am in profit on a short position I get so excited – thinking that I have picked the market top – that I keep the trade open and fantasise about all the profits I am going to make because I was right and stayed short while everyone else was still buying the dips.

This is a perfect formula for losing money and lose I certainly have.

In terms of Lester’s six steps, this mindset proves that I want the world more than I want freedom. If I am right, I am safe – so my mind tells me – and I am definitely safe if I am right while the other big swinging dick, masters of the universe are wrong. In fact, I want to be right more than I want anything and that is what my trading losses have taught me.

This is why I am using trading as an essential tool in my six steps to freedom. Each morning, between 8:30am and 11:00am, I sit down and trade. All I have to do is follow instructions, but that is not what happens. Instead I do crazy things and break all my own rules because my ego is out of control. In neurological terms, my amygdala has usurped the prefrontal cortex and that means aggression followed by apathy, short term thinking and delusions of grandeur.

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