That Secret Ingredient called Gut-Feel

Birds fly. And, they fly in flocks. When a flock turns, it does so in unison. There seems to be a connection between each bird in the flock. It’s as if each can feel the others in its gut. Each bird is in the “Zone”.

Heard one about a famous artist. He was asked by a rich businessman to paint a rooster for a hefty fee. A year passed. Upon no word from the artist, the businessman got fed up and went to collect the painting. Seeing the artist basking in his lawn with not a care in this world, the businessman enquired about the painting. “Oh, you’ve come to collect your rooster, is it?” asked the artist casually. He then lay out his canvas, painted the perfect rooster, and handed the painting to the businessman, who was stunned and demanded an explanation. Which is when the artist took the businessman into his huge study, the walls of which were laden with hundreds of paintings of roosters, some not so perfect, some nearing perfection, and then, some perfect. In one year’s time, the artist had ingrained the rooster to such a degree into his brush-strokes, that he could dish out the perfect rooster at will.

Remember seeing the opening ceremony of the Beijing olympics. The performing masses were one unit. Such unison was drubbed into each cell of their bodies and minds. It came from practice, practice and more practice. Mind over body.

There’s a particular order of the Samurai where one passes the Master’s final test by first being blind-folded. The Master then stands behind the disciple with a sharp dagger, which he will bring down in a swoop upon the neck of the disciple when he (the Master) pleases. The disciple has to sense his movements, whenever they happen, and has to move out of danger in time. If the disciple succeeds in doing this without injury, he or she passes this ultimate test. And, if my information is correct, all those who have been allowed to take this test by the master have passed till date.

These are a few examples of gut feel. Although logically inexplicible, there’s a mechanism common in all the examples. It is the mechanism of how gut-feel functions at levels of perfection. First, there is repeated failure, whereby there is constant practice going on. Then there is practice, and further practice. Ultimately, the process gets ingrained, and comes naturally. By intuition. That’s gut-feel.

Knowledge is mud if it is not utilized. The battle-hardened market player has been through this process. He or she has seen repeated failure. By hanging on, and learning from mistakes, ultimately, market movements start striking a chord. The overall picture emerges as a whole. After even more practice and experience of market ups and downs, the player enters into the “Zone”, where he or she feels market movements in the gut. The player in the Zone has the capacity to turn with the market.

It’s true. It happens. As surely as the above stories. I’ve seen it happening.

So, be in the market. Fail, fail, and fail again. But do so with small amounts. Then pick yourselves up. Keep hanging on, till you get the hang of things and enter the Zone. And, after you’ve entered the Zone, there’s no better time and place to up your stake.