Berikut adalah tulisan menarik dari Stockbee tentang proses perubahan “orbital”. Mohon maaf sebelumnya bila ada bagian yang kurang berkenan. Menurut saya isinya cukup menarik untuk dicermati.
Making real progress in life or trading is like a orbit jumping process. Your task is to jump from lower orbit level to next higher orbit level in terms of understanding of markets, trading method, your own self efficacy belief, and your profit levels. Certain amount of energy and effort is required to jump from one level to the next. “Orbital changes” are changes which push you in to next level of orbit in terms of success or competency. These are very significant changes, requiring changing major set of beliefs and assumptions and freezing that new change and belief.
When the shuttle is launched 80 to 90% or more of the fuel is spent in the lift off stage in first few minutes. Same way if you want to jump orbits, you need significant effort at beginning. Small progress is easy. Significant progress is difficult. If you want dramatic change in your life or trading , you need to change your current set of beliefs, assumptions and world view dramatically. That is what most people at beginning of new year want to do , so they make resolution. Resolution is intention, but to achieve the intention something inside your mind has to change. If you want orbital change in your life then not just one or 10 things need to change but 1000’s of things need to change.
Mental models are deeply held mental images, beliefs, and assumptions. The mental models play a very important role in dealing with world around us. We interpret the world according to our mental models. Mental models are coping mechanism for the complexity around us. So we simplify the world around us and form certain beliefs and assumptions about the world. This creates our own inner world. Our own interpretation of how the world works. That reality we create is based on “assumptions and beliefs”, it is not necessarily based on logic or scientific fact.
Two people with different mental models react and interpret same data and same situations differently. Mental models include what a person thinks is true but not necessarily what is actually true.
All religions are based on mental models. The mental models are extremely easy to understand in the context of religion. All religions basically manipulate the mental model of followers (followers do not see it that way). Once you start “believing” in a religion, world get simplified, because you adopt a mental model. So hard core believers in any religion be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism or any other “ism” hold many irrational beliefs. More than that their behavior flows from their mental model. That is why people do extreme things, kill and torture people, punish themselves once they become believers. Religious leaders understand this very well and if you study religion very closely and the tools they use, you will see how the religious pyramid scheme is like Amway, designed to indoctrinate and reinforce everyday and every moment a certain mental model.
Successful leaders also manipulate mental models. Leaders change followers mental models. Followers cannot do it on their own, that is why they follow a leader. The entire process involved in leadership is about changing followers mental model through communication. That is why you will broadly find two types of leaders, the ordinary leaders and the transformational leaders. Ordinary leaders are like marketers, they just study the existing mental models of followers and reinforce certain things in it, or talk about things that followers want to hear. They understand trying to change the mental models significantly is risky and will require tremendous effort. The transformational leaders do the difficult task of creating a entirely different mental model in their followers. They bring about radical change. They are real visionary. Because people are uncomfortable in making radical or “orbital change” , in most cases they choose safer leaders. While we aspire and hope for transformational leadership, when it comes to actually choosing them, we don’t want to go through the effort of changing our mental model , and we choose safe leaders. Politicians know this very well and so they calibrate their message very carefully to promise enough change but not radical change.
From a practical perspective, on individual level, if you want to change your life, you need to change your mental models. If you want dramatic change in your life, you need to change your current set of beliefs, assumptions and world view dramatically. That is what most people at beginning of new year want to do , so they make resolution. Resolution is intention, but to achieve the intention not just one or 10 things need to change but 1000’s of things need to change. But because our mental models are hard coded and we have built entire structure to reinforce them, change is difficult. Once the mental models get hard coded, it is difficult to change it. The reason for it is cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one’s beliefs. In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one’s beliefs. In detailed terms, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where “cognition” is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions. Experiments have attempted to quantify this hypothetical drive. Some of these have examined how beliefs often change to match behavior when beliefs and behavior are in conflict.
Social psychologist Leon Festinger first proposed the theory in 1957 after the publication of his book When Prophecy Fails, observing the counterintuitive belief persistence of members of a UFO doomsday cult and their increased proselytization after the leader’s prophecy failed. The failed message of earth’s destruction, purportedly sent by aliens to a woman in 1956, became a disconfirmed expectancy that increased dissonance between cognitions, thereby causing most members of the impromptu cult to lessen the dissonance by accepting a new prophecy: that the aliens had instead spared the planet for their sake.
Self directed orbital change is difficult
So any significant personal change involves change in your mental model. It is difficult because we have invested so much in our existing mental models.
If it is self directed change, it is even more difficult. If you understand this, you will find that most of the time “orbital change” is precipitated by some extraneous event or major change in life situation. A divorce leads people to question long held beliefs and assumptions and then they make orbital changes to build better life afterward. A death on near or dear one leads to change. A disease, surgery, treatment experience leads to change. Change in geographical location leads to change (especially true of small town people going in to large towns). You fall under the charm of extremely influential person, teacher, mentor or boss. You handle a very big assignment, which was beyond your capabilities. In trading this can happen if you blow up or make ton of money in a year. Now these kind of things are accidental.
Self directed mental model change is the key
What you are interested is self directed change in mental models. If we want to do it as a self directed process, you need some sort of template. It is easier to accomplish some of these things in facilitated encounters.
Successful people in all walks of life have the capacity to change and reinvent their mental models several times during their lifetime. That is why they continuously keep moving in to new orbits. Mediocre people in most walks of life get stuck with a mental model and spend their entire life in a orbit, never managing to climb to next orbit. Time to launch your trading career in to next orbit in 2010.