3 Mind Hacks for Self-Control

by The Brush on April 7th, 2014 No Comments

3 Mind Hacks for Self-Control

With binary options trading, we talk a lot about developing self-discipline.  Discipline in many ways is the key to success—but what is the key to self-discipline?  If you have tried to develop it, odds are you have discovered it is quite challenging.  Not only that, but you may have noticed that the harder you try to build discipline, the more it tends to elude you.  This catch-22 can start to feel pretty aggravating at times.  Why is developing self-discipline so hard, and how can you steer around the pitfalls and achieve greater self-control?

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Recently I ran into an article published by the American Psychological Association (APA) interviewing a psychologist named Roy F. Baumeister on his studies on willpower.  Willpower is a pretty tough thing to define.  It is one part decision, and one part follow-through.  Paradoxically, you may find that you can easily make decisions—but have a hard time sticking to them.  You may also find that you have an easy time following through on commitments—but only if someone else made the decision!

If you have noticed this, you are not imagining it.  One of Baumeister’s findings was that making decisions can actually deplete willpower.  Willpower may or may not be a bottomless resource, but we do live in the real world and all of us need recharging from time to time.  Here is a summary of what Baumeister discovered while running his studies.  We can use the information he uncovered to hack self control and develop better discipline in our trading lives.

  • Willpower is depleted without breaks.  If you engage in one task which entails a large degree of self-control, and then you attempt to immediately engage in another (related or not), your performance will suffer in the second task and you will be prone to giving up sooner.
  • Making decisions also depletes willpower.  Ironically, if you have to make a lot of tough decisions throughout your day, you will deplete willpower in the same manner as described above.  This is why it is hard to follow through on your decisions once you have made them, even though you may have an easier time following through on decisions that other people make for you (like your boss at work).  You may be surprised to realize there is a scientific basis for why this happens, especially since it seems so counter-intuitive!
  • Glucose has a role in willpower and self-control.  When your glucose levels are high, you are more likely to perform well on tasks which require discipline.  When your glucose is depleted, your willpower tends to lag as well.  This is one of the reasons that a healthy breakfast helps you get off to a good start with your day, and on days that you skip breakfast, your performance tends to not be up to par.

These three findings can give us three ideas for developing more self control when you are trading binary options.  Right away, you may be able to recognize some of the reasons you may be struggling with discipline in your trading.  Here are some steps to take to achieve more success.

  1. Take breaks.

When you are trying to build a new business from the ground up, it is difficult to pull yourself away from your work.  And you should be dedicated, but this is why we also talk a lot about burnout.  Burnout is what happens when you push and you push and you push without giving yourself an opportunity for rest.  The studies carried out by Baumeister prove that you need to take time to relax and do something undisciplined between tasks which require self-control.  That means for example that when you get home from your day job, you need to take a little time to relax and enjoy yourself before you study binary options and practice trading.

It also means that during your study and practice time, you should take regular breaks to do other things.  Even just five minutes every half hour or so can make a difference in your self-discipline and productivity levels.  So ironically, one key to developing discipline is to take some time to be undisciplined.

  1. Externalize some decision making.

You will be making a lot of decisions while you are trading, but maybe you do not need to take on the full burden yourself.  If you have an accountability partner, consider letting that person make some decisions for you.  Talk about your goals and your needs, and try an experiment.  Let your accountability partner come up with a study schedule for you.  Try following it and see if you have an easier time staying dedicated when you are following a prescribed schedule than when you are trying to come up with one yourself.  You may very well find it is easier to work this way than forcing yourself to be entirely self-directed.

Trading with a team may also help you out if you have difficulties balancing decision making with follow through.  Every team has a different way of organizing tasks, but you may well find you perform well on a team where someone else takes a leadership role.  There is a reason that leaders are so important in society.  It isn’t just that they help us to stay organized.  It is that they help us to stay motivated by taking on part of the burden of our work by making the tough calls.

  1. Drink some lemonade.

Baumeister discovered that participants in his studies performed with greater willpower after they had eaten and restored their glucose levels.  He suggests that eating a snack or even just having a glass of lemonade can give you a willpower boost.  Whatever willpower may be on the mysterious level of consciousness, it does have a direct relationship to glucose in the brain.  That means that making the simple choice to feed your body the nutrition it needs can boost your willpower!

Applying these lifestyle habits will boost your binary options success as well.

Trying to develop self-discipline so that you can follow through on your tasks and stick with your decisions is challenging.  It is probably one of the single greatest challenges that the majority of binary options traders face.  Learning to trade is only partly a matter of understanding technical and fundamental analysis and how to apply them.  The harder part of the equation is actually applying what you learn.  But you do not need to flounder in self-doubt.  There are real, concrete steps you can take right now to improve your willpower, which in turn will empower you to succeed at trading!

Making Risk Your Friend

by Always Bets High on March 27th, 2014 No Comments

Making Risk Your Friend

is it safeWhat emotions do you experience and what thoughts go through your head when you hear the word “risk?”  Responses to risk vary widely.  Some people are risk-seekers, and the idea of taking a risk fills them with excitement.  These people will dive right into risky activities like investing without a second thought.  On the other end of the spectrum are people who abhor risk.  Risk-avoidant personalities will do anything in their power to avoid ever making a leap of faith or doing anything which could entail a possible negative outcome.  The idea of risk fills these types of people with fear.

There are a lot of areas in the middle where personality profiles can fall, and many traders are somewhere in this middle ground rather than on one extreme end of the spectrum or the other.  The majority still lean either toward risk or away, however.  Both of the extreme attitudes toward risk are likely to lead to unhealthy decision making and unpleasant outcomes.  Some of the attitudes in the middle may as well, being based on one of these extremes.  But there are moderate, healthy ways of looking at and interacting with risk.  Healthy attitudes are key for binary options trading success.

Risk and Binary Options

Binary options is a risky business, and there is no getting around that fact.  A lot of brokers promote binary options as if there is no substantial risk.  The exact phrasing that is typically used is, “Your risk is fixed.”  On some level, this is true.  Your risk for each trade is determined in advance, and you can easily calculate it.  Though there is no fixed amount of risk overall, since you can invest (and lose) as much money as you want.  Companies that try to promote binary options as a risk-free way to make a lot of money fast are often unscrupulous.  The majority of these claims are made by binary options affiliates trying to make a quick sale.

Other binary options companies actually have a prominent risk warning on their sites, which is commendable.  Usually these companies state somewhere in their warning something like, “Trading binary options is a speculative activity which involves a high degree of risk and which can result in you losing your entire investment.”  The warnings go on to state that that you can lessen your risk exposure if you trade with intelligent risk management procedures and knowledge of the market.

While those companies with warnings like that are commendable please beware to watch for binary options companies with slippery terms and conditions.

Unhealthy Attitudes Toward Risk

Earlier I mentioned that extreme attitudes toward risk are unhelpful.  Why?

  • Risk-averse behavior.  The problem with risk-averse behavior is fairly obvious.  Anyone who actually is risk averse knows just how much this attitude can hold a person back.  If you shy away in the face of any risk, and you refuse to take the leap to make your life better, you are likely going to go nowhere in life.  You may not take a fall, but you are not going to rise either.
  • Risk-seeking behavior.  The problem with this type of behavior may not be immediately obvious to you if you are risk averse.  You might think, “It would be great if I were actually excited by risk!”  The trouble with being a risk-seeker however is that you are emotionally attached to taking risks.  The idea of winning and the idea of losing are both compelling to you.  You will take no steps to mitigate your risk, because you are more excited by the thrill than you are by the prospect of winning.  Riskseekers run out into the field of battle without a shield, and usually end up shot full of holes.

Another thing can be said about both these types of behavior (in particular risk-averse behavior).  And that is that while you are taking an unhealthy attitude toward risk, you are actually exposing yourself to it unconsciously.  For the sake of argument, let’s say you are a risk-averse person with a moderate income, and that in theory you have enough money to invest.  You may avoid risking any of that money, because you are scared to lose it.  But meanwhile, real life is catching up with you.  Maybe your boss comes into the office in a bad mood one day because his coffee was bitter.  He fires you, and you find yourself unemployed, losing money hand over fist.

In the example above, you did not necessarily do anything to cause your misfortunes.  In fact, you were probably going about your life, doing nothing to attract unnecessary attention to yourself or cause any other turbulence.  But misfortune found you anyway, and soon, you may have no money to consider investing at all.  Whereas if you had invested, you might have spared yourself from this situation by getting yourself on track toward a secondary stream of income.  From this example, we can draw the following conclusion:

Risk and misfortune are not intrinsically tied together.

Yes, they often go hand in hand.  Risk after all means that misfortune is a possible outcome.  But just because you are exposing yourself to greater risk than you would be if you did nothing does not mean you will fail.  And if you do not take risks, that does not mean you will not suffer misfortunes.  In fact, you are probably doing nothing to prevent them from taking their full toll on your life.  Why?

Because when you are risk averse, just as you are avoiding the possibility of failure, you are also avoiding the possibility of success. 

Establishing a Healthy Attitude Toward Risk

Just by thinking through the information above, you should already have a healthier concept of risk.  Risk is not just a fact of binary options trading, but of everyday life.  Each of us risks by getting up in the morning.  Many misfortunes are in fact completely unpredictable and have nothing to do with our own personal choices.  Your job is to become a risktaker without becoming a riskseeker.

Here are some ingredients in a healthy risktaking mindset:

  • Realize that risk is unavoidable and a part of life.  Hiding in a corner will not make it go away.  You can still lose everything even if you personally risk nothing, because you cannot control the whims of fate.
  • Understand that risk is a double-edged sword.  When you take a risk, you invite the possibility of failure, but you also invite the possibility of success.  Those who are unwilling to take reasonable, calculated risks are choosing not to pursue success.  In a way, this is actually a choice to give up control.  If you do not choose your own fate, it will choose you.
  • Risk is not a toy or a game.  If you consider risk to be “fun,” you may want to think again.  This is your life you are playing with.  You should not deliberately increase your risk exposure beyond what you have to in order to pursue success.  Instead, you should seek to mitigate unnecessary risks and take only the risks you have to.  Most of the binary options traders who have gone broke while trading could have avoided it had they simply not plunged so willingly and recklessly into trading.  If they had practiced more before going live, and stuck to a system, they would probably still be in the game today.
  • Practice makes perfect.  You put yourself at much less risk if you practice trading with a demo account before you trade for real.  Doing so allows you to learn without taking unnecessary risks.  Make your mistakes in a safe environment, and then move onto trading for real when you are ready.  Another benefit of doing this is that it also helps you develop the confidence you need to deal with risk rationally when real money is on the line.  Once you know you are capable of success, it becomes much easier to create success!
  • Risk can be mitigated.  With risk management, a trader can reduce his or her exposure to risk while trading binary options.  By cutting out unnecessary risks, you can take only the risks you have to in order to give yourself the best chance at success.

And that is ultimately what risktaking is really about, and why risk can be your friend if you cultivate a healthy relationship with it.  Your first thought at any time in your life should not be whether you are avoiding risk or embracing it.  It should be to find the path which gives you the best chance of succeeding.  Sometimes that path will take you away from risk, but other times it will take you toward it.  As an investor, you will likely be making decisions in both directions on a regular basis.  Risk can be your friend, as long as you keep it within a smart context.

7 Ways You Can Profit With Binary Options Trading

by Always Bets High on March 11th, 2014 No Comments

7 Ways You Can Profit With Binary Options Trading

When we talk about profiting at trading, we are usually talking about making lots of money. This is of course your number one goal with trading. Otherwise you would probably be doing an activity which does not involve financial gain. One thing you may eventually discover however is that money by itself is unlikely to make you happy. It is great to make lots of money, but you will always want more, and to some degree, your greed will probably be an insatiable hole inside you. How do successful people deal with this? Those that come to this realization usually look for other ways they can win while doing what they enjoy. And if you enjoy binary options trading, there are a lot of other ways you can win. Trading can help you to become a better person.

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1. Become more disciplined.

Self-discipline is one of the hardest things in the world to develop. Even people with natural self-discipline struggle with it. They may have the ability, but it still needs to be honed and focused. Most people start out in life with very little in the way of self-discipline or focus. And even when you do develop it, it is not always an easy thing to live with. This is one reason we often turn to outside authorities to direct us and tell us what to do.Having real self-discipline can be very rewarding, however, and not just for trading. With it, you may succeed at trading binary options and making more money. You may also find out that the same self-discipline you develop while trading can be useful in other areas of your life. If you have a day job or another revenue stream, you may become more successful with that aspect of business. You may also become more dedicated to your other personal projects and goals. When you set your mind to it, you can achieve much more than you believed you were capable of. Trading is one of the best ways to bring yourself that advantage.

2. Become more confident.

In order to trade successfully, you have to learn how to become confident (without becoming conceited or overconfident). You may look around at other people and think that confidence comes naturally to others and not to you, but the reality is that the majority of people with confidence had to develop it, just like self-discipline. Confidence you acquire trading binary options can make you feel better about yourself and change the way you present yourself to others. When you believe in yourself, you have self-esteem, and you treat yourself with more respect. This can transform your entire life, not just the balance in your trading account. Click here for other essential qualities.

3. Make new friends.

Another wonderful thing about binary options trading is that it introduces you to a broader trading community. You need to put yourself out there and introduce yourself on forums in order for this to happen, but if you can get out of your shell and start having conversations about trading, you have the chance to meet like-minded people. A lot of binary options traders share some core traits in common. They may be more open to taking measured risks, and may have their sights on bigger goals in life than the average (non-trading) person. These people can help you, and you can help them. They are there to help put your trading and your life in better perspective, and to share in your journey.

4. Keep your mind sharp.

The sad reality of modern life is that after school, a lot of people let their minds languish. Think how many of your friends and family members get home from work, turn on the TV, and do not move from the couch until four hours later when they go to bed. While there is nothing wrong with leisure and relaxation, it is a good idea to fill at least some of your free time with an activity which requires thinking and smarts. This is more and more important the older you get. You have to use your brain in order for it to continue to function at its best.

Binary options trading is a perfect choice. When you plan and execute trades, you are working on a variety of skills including critical thinking and analysis, logic, fast decision-making, intuition, and self-awareness. These same skills will come in handy with other activities, and you will keep your brain in tip-top shape.

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5. Become more courageous.

Starting something new is always an act of faith, and requires a leap of the same. You need to be courageous in order to trade binary options. It takes courage to get started, and to keep going. In a way, every day that you place a trade is your first day. You can never really get comfortable or rest on your laurels. You are embarking on a new stage of your journey with each trade. That means that with every trade, you are testing your courage against the unknown.

6. Challenge yourself.

Do you enjoy a challenge? If so, binary options will present plenty of them to you, and each of them will test your intelligence, adaptability, resolve, and focus. A lot of traders enjoy trading because they like facing that test and passing it. You will learn about how to accept your failures and discard them, taking the lessons with you as you go on. You will also discover that succeeding at something difficult can be its own reward. Coming out on top when others fall behind is incredibly rewarding, and will show you that you can believe in yourself.

7. Get honest with yourself.

While you are trading, you will discover that you must be honest with yourself in order to become profitable and stay that way. There is no way for you to excel at trading if you are constantly hiding your mistakes from yourself. As you learn how to look at your face in the mirror, accept what you see for what it really is, and work on improving yourself, you will probably start noticing other flaws in other areas of your life.

It is never easy admitting when we are making mistakes, but once you do, you can start making things right. You may very well learn more about yourself on your binary options journey than you ever did during any other time in your life. When you shine that light of scrutiny on yourself, you have the opportunity to grow and discover who you really are. This empowers you to change your life for the better.

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Making money is probably always going to be the primary reason you are trading binary options. But these other benefits of trading can also be reasons to trade. A lot of traders, rich and poor, are trading in order to hone their skills, sharpen their minds, challenge themselves, and become more confident, disciplined, courageous, and honest individuals. Binary options communities are also great places to meet others who share these goals and values. Enjoy the journey and all the ways you can profit along the way!