Change Your Environment to Promote Success

I ran into an interesting article about the environment affecting behaviour. From the moment we are born our environment acts like a mould, shaping our future self. I remember seeing an episode of Horizon discussing criminality, genetics and the environment. An example from the programme showed that a person may be genetically pre-disposed with psychopathic tendencies that could lead to a life of crime, but if that person was born into a loving and caring family then the worst they might ever be is a bit of an annoying control freak and nothing more.

In recent articles I have detailed my hardware set-up and the difficulty I have been having with my eyesight. Undoubtedly, sitting in front of a monitor all day and night is not a healthy activity. My eyesight has suffered and my general health too. I was a member of a tennis club until I decided to concentrate on completing my book earlier in the year. I haven't played tennis since the autumn of 2014 and so I need to think about joining a club again. As things are I get no exercise other than an occasional walk to the supermarket.

After getting my glasses prescription I realised that the glasses alone would not help my eye strain. The glasses are only good for reading and these days most of my reading is done from a screen with only a little book, tablet or Kindle reading. I decided therefore to change my working environment by setting the monitor further back, altering the monitor's brightness and contrast, changing the font size and trying to spend less time sitting in front of the monitor. It is too early to say if it has made any difference. I have thought about bifocal lenses but for now I won't get them.

The article I read on behaviour and environment, entitled The Most Effective Way to Change Your Behaviour and Improve Your Life goes further. Your environment affects the way you think, which I can vouch for after making bad trading decisions when hungry, angry or pre-occupied with thoughts not relavent to my trading activity and so on. This is what makes us human and why machines struggle to replicate human behaviour. A machine intelligence makes optimal decisions and then acts upon them. Humans are often "satisficing" (sufficing with decisions that satisfy a need) or thinking on the fly. That is why I use bots to trade with now. A bot doesn't get hungry or angry or worry about anything other than what you programmed it do. Just make sure you program the bot when your attention is fully focused on the task.

A quote I liked from the article was

We are often lazy creatures of habit, strongly influenced by the world around us. We don’t even use our leisure time to do what we really enjoy, we do what’s easiest. And without a prod we don’t do the ethical thing, we do what’s convenient.

I know that I can get stuck in a rut very easily. My rut can be very comfortable but if I don't get out of it then I know greater success will elude me. How about you? Do you keep promising yourself to learn to program but end up sticking to some simple half-working manual trading idea that only earns peanuts? Are you fearful of improving your mathematical knowledge because of a fear of failure?

This morning I realised that 20 years have passed since I graduated. There has been some hardship along the way, many bad decisions but also a number of successes. I decided to write down all the good and bad things over the past two decades. I won't share them with you as some of the things are rather personal but amongst them were things that I can be proud of. I need to create an environment that will promote more success and avoid  failure as best as I can. It is better to try and fail than not to have tried at all.