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Four Lessons From "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator"

I'm reading "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" and there's some absolute gold in the book. The author's attitude to what he's doing is broadly applicable to anyone in any probability-based endeavor that will sometimes fail and requires self-control to not go on tilt during -


It didn't take me long to realise that there was something wrong with my play, but I couldn't spot the exact trouble. There were times when my system worked beautifully, and then, all of a sudden, nothing but one swat after another. I was only twenty-two, remember; not that I was so stuck on myself that I didn't want to know just where I was at fault, but that at that age nobody knows much of anything.

The people in the office were very nice to me. I couldn't plunge as much as I wanted to because of the margin requirements, but old A.R. Fullerton and the rest of the firm were so kind to me that after six months of active trading I not only lost all I had brought and all that I had made there but I even owed the firm a few hundreds.

There I was, a mere kid, who had never before been away from home, flat broke; but I knew there wasn't anything wrong with me; only with my play. I don't know whether I make myself plain, but I never lose my temper over the stock market. I never argue with the tape. Getting sore at the market doesn't get you anywhere.

Be responsible for your passive aggression

On Alan's Journey

Men with debilitating passive aggression in their relationships usually find it's because of their inability to accept responsibility. This makes healing that much more difficult. You can't heal it if you think you're not responsible for it.

The best thing I did to help me 'get over' my PA behaviour was to make a conscious decision to accept responsibility for every emotional incident I was involved in, even if it seemed obvious that I wasn't and couldn't be responsible for it. I had to accept that I WAS responsible for it, even if I didn't know how.

You see, the most common trait of a PA is that they refuse to accept responsibility, always denying their responsibility and finding blame in everything but themselves.

It's usually true that if someone gets angry at you, then something you've done has contributed to them getting angry.

People don't just spontaneously get angry without cause, but those with passive aggression often think they do, because they can't accept their own responsibility towards it. They don't want to be responsible for someone else's anger because that responsibility is what they were punished for when they were a child.

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