Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to be creative in building successful trading models and trading systems

Being creative is essential to building successful and winning trading models. Learning how to be creative can also help us succeed in anything we desire in our lives. If you are familiar with Monty Python’s Flying Circus you may remember Mr. John Cleese. Mr. Cleese played an instrumental part in the success of the show due to his energy and ability to be creative. Mr. Cleese also went on to become a very successful business entrepreneur after Monty Python. I recently read an article in which he discussed creativity and how to be more creative.

Mr. Cleese states that creativity is a way of operating--a mode of behaving. It is being “child-like” and having the ability to play. People who have this ability tend to think freely, explore ideas for fun, and find enjoyment in the process.

Mr. Cleese states that people operate in two modes, open and closed. The closed mode is productive, serious, and pressured. It is the mode that we are in when we are at work. It is purposeful, but not creative. In contrast, the open mode is relaxed, expansive, and less purposeful. It is a mode where we can be curious, participate in thought experiments, and think about “what-if” situations. Both modes are important, and the ability to switch between them is essential in order to be efficient.

There are five aspects to the open mode: space, time, time, confidence, and humor. The first is space. In order to begin the creative process you must make some space for yourself and seal yourself in from outside demands. Find a place where you cannot be disturbed.

Second, create a specific amount of time in order to be creative. He suggests an hour and a half. He also suggests smaller, frequent increments of time for creative thinking are better than longer, less frequent sessions.

Next is time again. Mr. Cleese stressed that he felt more creative when he “stuck to the problem” longer than others would. He would give it even more time. The most creative professionals are the ones who are prepared to play with the problem longer before resolving it. I believe this is the key point of succeeding at anything you do in life. In my case, building successful trading models took a long time and required discipline and a lot of perseverance.

The fourth aspect of being creative in the open mode is having confidence. Creativity feeds on itself. The more creative you are, the more confidence you will have, this leads to being even more creative. Mr. Cleese also stressed that when you are in the open mode you need to let the ideas flow. Play is experiment. Refrain from judging yourself or the ideas. Do not be afraid or fearful of making a mistake. Nothing paralyzes the creative, open mode more than fear.

Lastly, Mr. Cleese stressed the importance of bringing humor to the process. Humor creates spontaneity, it is essential to being playful, and can be very useful in solving problems. I hope this article helps you understand how to be creative. Now go and use these ideas to make money trading or to pursue anything else you desire in your life.

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