Tao Te Ching (Chapter 41)
When the best seeker hears of Tao
he strives with great effort to know it
When the average seeker hears of Tao
he thinks of it now and again
When the poorest seeker hears of Tao
he laughs out loud
Tao is always becoming
what we have need for it to become
If it could not do this
it would not be Tao
There is an old saying,
The clear way seems clouded
The straight way seems crooked
The sure way seems unsteady
The greatest power seems weak
The purest white seems tainted
The abundant seems empty
The stable seems shaky
The certain seems false
The Great Square has no corners
The Great Vessel is never filled
A beginner may be clumsy
but after practice—what talent!
A large drum may sit silently
but when banged—what noise!
Tao lies hidden
yet it alone is the glorious light of this world
(By Lao Tsu, translated by Jonathan Star)
What You Need
“Tao is always becoming what we have need for it to become.” If you adopt a trading style from someone else, the Tao may oppose it because you need to develop your own unique trading style. If you enter a trade with an egotistical attitude, the Tao may give you a loss to teach you humility. If you are discouraged with your trading, the Tao may give you hope. “You can’t always get what you want . . . . You get what you need” (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones).
“The sure way seems unsteady.” Number of wins isn’t the main criterion by which to measure your trading. A few large wins can be more lucrative than a 60% win ratio populated by small wins. Although percentage of wins seems like a self-evident way of measuring trading success, it isn’t.
The Clear Way
“The clear way seems clouded.” Many times the market is shrouded in fog. The path through the mist feels like one to be avoided. But if you push onward, you may discover the Tao. “Tao lies hidden yet it alone is the glorious light of this world.” A light in the middle of the mist? Lesser traders may “[laugh] out loud.” And if it weren’t laughable, it wouldn’t be the Tao.