Trading Psychology: 5 Unique Insights from 10,000 Mantras

mantra practice prayer wheels 2ndskiesforex

4 hours in, sweat on my forehead, a sore left knee and one feeling of exhilaration, I completed the 10,000th mantra.

Yes, for over 240 minutes (minus the necessary 1 minute ‘loo break’) I chanted the same 9 Tibetan words 10,000 times in a row.

Personally, I thought it would be a tad easier, but the reality (and surprise) was much more challenging vs. how it appeared ‘conceptually’.

What I learned from sitting on my derrière, all 240+ minutes, reflected back some gems about trading and the mindset of breaking through.

Here are the 5 unique insights I got about trading psychology chanting 10,000 mantras in one sitting.

#1: 2,000 Punches & 1 Month of Meals

I recently started martial arts again (which I’ll be writing about in more detail soon), but am taking Wing Chun classes.

I am NOT taking martial arts because I want to be able to fight well, nor am I taking Wing Chun because I want to be Ip Man 😮

Photo of Ip Man training Bruce Lee
wing chun ip man 2ndskiesforex

I’m taking it as a mind-body training with the goal of elevating both to the next level.

In my first class, I was practicing the basic punch and it looked sloppy (that’s putting it mildly).

The senior student helping me (who is awesome) said this while working on my punch, “to really get this down, you’ll want to do a lot of punches, like 2,000 punches until the muscle memory is fully wired in.”

It is pretty easy to balk at feeling like you have to do 2,000 punches before you can throw that sucker well.

But if that is what it takes, I’ll do it, and I’ll use the One Month of Meals Method which goes like this:

If you were to walk into your kitchen right now, and right in front of you was all the food you’d eat for an entire month, you wouldn’t feel hungry.

The irony is, you’ll eat that amount of food every month, and already have been for decades. Yet done one meal at a time, it’s quite workable.

one month of meals method 2ndskiesforex

And that is how you should approach big projects which require tons of reps.

Trading is no different. I often give my students homework on what they should practice.

One such method is to practice a trading strategy, or even a price action skill to hone their trading and improve their performance.

For this, I suggest Forex Tester 2, which is like the driving range for traders. Below is a good video explaining some basic methods of how you can use Forex Tester 2.

forex tester 2

For those interested in getting a discount on Forex Tester 2click here.

Now consider the following – most professional golfers hit about 300-500 golf balls a day, either on the course or a driving range.

With that piece of info in your brain, how many reps and practices are you doing per day?

For a good article on what it means to trade like a sniper – click on that link.

Getting back to the practice, while doing my 10,000 mantras, I grouped them into 5 groups of 2,100.  This was much more manageable because I’ve done rounds of 2,100 before.

Why 2,100?

When you do a mantra practice like this with high reps, you have what is called a ‘mala’ which is like prayer beads you see in many religions. Below are a couple of mine.

my malas 2ndskiesforex

Normally in my tradition, they have 108 beads as do the two on the right (108 being a special number).

I have a smaller mala (blue one on the left) which has 21 beads on it. So for each round of 108 on my main practice mala, I turned the 21 bead mala 1x. Once I completed a full round on that mala, I knew I did 2,100.

Five rotations later, I did 10,500, but only counted 10K because I’m guessing I didn’t do a few quite so well.

If I was counting down, that would be like looking at an entire month of food in front of me.

But breaking it into smaller meals made it more digestible.

So whatever your goal is with trading, break it down into smaller bite-sized chunks, then shoot for those as they become much more manageable.

#2: You Must Challenge Your Self-image to Grow

Your self-image is the overall corpus of how you see yourself. It is the sum of your habits, attitudes and beliefs. It is essentially what you think it is ‘like you’ to do.

self image 2ndskiesforex

Think you’re good at playing basketball? That is part of your self-image.

Think you’re not the best dancer (as I certainly am not)? That is part of your self-image.

Your self-image has boundaries whereby the lower and upper boundaries of your self-image determine your success in trading.

If your self-image was already setup to succeed in trading, you’d already be there.

To change your self-image requires it to be challenged, and it has to be done so via a new self-image which is in direct conflict with your current one.

If you haven’t had the experience of consistently profiting from trading, then currently it is not in your self-image to trade successfully.


expanding your self image 2ndskiesforex

How do you change your self-image? By challenging it, by finding its limit, by building experiences of going beyond what your self-image thinks it’s ‘like you’ to do.

If you think you cannot do 300 push-ups in a row right now, you’ll need to build up to that. Only until you’ve done it several times will your self-image think it is ‘like you’ to do it.

That is where testing yourself enters the picture.

The self-image will only grow (think expand) in terms of what it can do, through testing & challenging it.

Whatever thoughts enter your mind, whatever doubts, fears, worries, excuses, or moments where you want to quit – that is your current self-image resisting.

It will resist change and want to stay where it is, and this is what you have to fight against.

Hence the formula is simple – if your current self-image doesn’t fully know it is ‘like you’ to trade profitably, you’ll need to expand it till it knows it inside and out.

NOTE: For those wanting to learn strategies and techniques to grow a self-image for successful trading, check out my advanced traders mindset course.

#3: Concentration Oscillates, Coming Back is Key

mental toughness and concentration 2ndskiesforex

Go for any long run, or do 1,000’s of reps of anything in a row, and your mind will wander.

Shoot, let’s be honest here – how many paragraphs or lines in this article did you read before you got distracted and thought of something else?

This Sunday, while chanting the mantras, it became appallingly clear an imperfectly trained mind will result in an oscillating level of concentration.

During the 4hr chanting bonanza, my mind cycled across a giant spectrum of concentration, between a zen like focus while walking across a tight-rope 1,000 feet in the air vs. a monkey on crack after eating 9 tablespoons of sugar!

monkey on crack

And of course everything in between.

There were definitely periods of being highly focused while others of barely being there.

The point being – unless your mind is perfectly trained, your ability to concentrate will oscillate.

What’s important to note is, the periods of focus aren’t a problem. It’s when you are highly unfocused that the worries, fears and doubts creep in.

Your brain on average produces between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. If you aren’t focused or controlling that mental activity, then it is controlling you and coming from your unconscious mind.

Ever been in a trade you initially felt great about, yet all of a sudden, it’s only moved a few pips against you and you feel under a death grip of worry it’s going to stop you out?

That is your unconscious and limiting beliefs taking over your conscious mind, and if you don’t correct it quickly, or know how to deal with it, it will take you underwater.


unconscious and limiting beliefs controlling trading decisions 2ndskiesforex

The key lesson here is to keep coming back. If you have a plan to bring your mind back when it wanders, some sort of mental cue you engage, that method will pay dividends in building this muscle.

By coming back, you train your mind to develop stronger and stronger levels of concentration.

And make no mistake, the science is clear –  those who have greater focus and clarity form better memories and make more calculated decisions.

If you practice mindfulness meditation, even after a short period of time, it can re-wire your brain, and improve your concentration.

Better memories = greater pattern recognition while trading and the results from more calculated decisions are obvious to any trader.

Want to increase your edge and profits while trading? Keep coming back.


#4: My Ass Hurts & Why That’s A Good Thing

Ever sit on your rump in one place for 4 hours in a row, moving only once? Doesn’t feel good, eh?

At the end of the 4hrs of chanting mantras, my ass hurt, but in many ways, it was a badge of honor and a good thing.

There is a great story about a Buddhist master and his ass:


He was at a riverbank saying goodbye to his greatest student with whom he shared everything he knew, experienced and understood.

After a final embrace, he bid his student farewell, who then picked up his backpack, and walked away over a stone bridge to the other side of the river.

Just before the student was finally gone from sight or sound, his teacher called him back.

Walking back to find out why, his teacher’s eyes were clear and penetrating while he said the following, “You being a special student deserve one of my greatest teachings of all. Make sure you cherish this one deeply and never forget it.”

With his student attentive, ready to receive such a great and profound teaching, the master turned around, pulled up his robe, showed his bare ass and said “LOOK!”

“You see this ass? The one with lumps on it from sitting and meditating all these years? You now know what I have gone through to realize what I did – all through persistence.

You need this mindset! This is the essence of what I have taught. Practice without stopping, and it is only a matter of time. Exert yourself with mental toughness and the no-obstacle mindset. Do this until you’ve mastered what you set out to do.”

master teaching his student 2ndskiesforex

The first time I read this story, my initial response was laughter wondering what this student was thinking when he saw his master lift up his robe and show his full moon.

But after that moment of humor and imagination, I realized any high level of skill I’ve built in my life has been through tons of practice.

Watch a professional athlete today and you’ll see them practicing more than they are playing. Football players play one game a week and practice for 5-6 days. Basketball players practice at least 3-4x for every game they play.

Discipline and an unrelenting practice builds mental toughness, along with a mind that only knows success. Do this and it is only a matter of time before you find the pot of gold waiting for you.


At the end of my 4hr session, my ass hurt. However, in my mind, that was a good thing as it was working towards my commitment and goal.

Hence the question has to be asked – is your ass hurting today?

#5: You’re Either Committed to Succeeding, or Quitting

The stats suggest about 7.5% of all traders accounts at the end of this year will be larger than what they started with.

That may seem daunting, and the number is not exactly enticing. I think one of the problems is there are many people telling you it’s ‘easy’.

Anyone telling you it’s ‘easy’, or portraying images of people sitting on beaches with their ever so light laptops, hands folded behind their backs as they smile with glee, enjoying the lifestyle of a professional trader from some remote beach isn’t being honest.

They are selling a dream, and targeting those of you who do not want to work for it, who want it easy. Essentially they are looking for (no pun intended) easy prey.

selling the dream of trading

Trading is a mental performance discipline, and by default will challenge your mind, brain and mindset to go beyond what it already knows and what habits you already have.

Anytime you push yourself to go beyond what you can easily do now, you’ll run into a little voice, and it’s often a naysayer type voice (negative).

It’s the one that tells you why you cannot, should not, and will not do it. It is great at coming up with excuses, finding reasons why you should take the next off-ramp, how there really is no benefit in crossing the finish line.

The difference between those who break through vs. those who break down, is the former group fights back against that little negative voice.


The latter individual listens to this voice, believes it, and gives into it.

I’ve never met anyone who feels confident about themselves, while continually NOT finishing what they started.

I’ll be completely frank, I had anywhere between 10-20+ moments of that voice popping up in my head, like a dude wearing lederhosen in the middle of the New York Stock exchange, clearly standing out, trying to get my attention.

And let me tell you, he did a pretty convincing dance.

But regardless of what that voice in my 10lb dome said, my mind was resolved from the beginning – that is part of becoming successful.

If you listen to that voice and believe what it’s saying, it will win.

And it is an expert at weeding out half-hearted commitments.

What it really comes down to is – you’re either committed to succeeding, or quitting.

In Conclusion

There is nothing easy about becoming a professional in any skill, let alone trading.

The path to a successful trading psychology and mindset come only through training.

My guess is if you incorporate some (if not all) of these 5 insights into your trading practice (and life), you’ll see the benefits to your performance and profits.

For those wanting to train your mindset, build up your self-image and learn how to pull the trigger, check out my advanced traders mindset course where I teach you how to do this successfully.

With that being said – is your ass hurting today? Are you committed to succeeding?

Please make sure to comment below and share this with anyone you know can benefit from it.

Buddhist, Trader and Philanthropist

I'm Chris Capre, Founder of 2ndSkiesForex. I help traders of all levels change the way they think, trade and perform. As a professional trader, I specialize in trading price action. As a teacher, my passion lies in showing you how to re-wire your brain for successful trading. Want to improve your edge right now? Visit my Price Action Course page.

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  • Guillem

    Hey Chris,
    Great mindset articles you are writting lately! The buddhist master story was so funny

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Guillem,

      HA – yeah that story of the buddhist master cracks me up.

      Glad you liked the mindset article.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • SpacePip

    ​1. I really like the idea of a dominant self-image and challenging the self image that you have.
    2. 10,000 is an impressive number, no matter what you count so cool ability to withstand such repetition.
    3. The red cloth under the ‘mala’ reminds me of china. wonder if it is chinese.
    4. The concept of ” small winnable games” was introduced to me on this site. A very good read.:

    quote: ” Basically, it goes like this. The world has gotten a bit complicated; lots of people no longer do manual/physical labor. Their work is mental. It is also — typically — large, fuzzy and unclear in scope. They don’t have the simple satisfaction of “making widgets”. They aren’t getting the “win” that comes built into the completion of a small physical task. Think about it — you put food in the microwave, you input the cooking time, you start the cooking, DONE — you win! Boom, boom, boom, boom, WIN!
    And this doesn’t just apply to jobs, it applies to daily life. How do you win out of “Get taxes done”? “Learn Japanese”? “Finish manual translation”? “Write dissertation”. ”
    5. I have done judo for 6 years and skateboarded/snowboarded for 7+ years and I would have to say that the body mind connection for me is ultimately strong. Basically on a skateboard or snowboard you have to focus 100% and even 1 mistake can result in a big injury so the body- mind connection always has to be 100%. That is why with surfing many also experience total union with the sea waves and live 100% in the moment. Really recommend these sports as they are also fun and a good break from all the “serious” stuff.
    6. Lol @ 9 tablespoons of sugar
    7. “Timothy Leary – How to Operate Your Brain” is a cool video that shows how much in chaos the brain is. Im sure you have seen the vid. 50-70k thoughts per day? wow. chaos it is

    • Chris Capre

      Yah the brain is quite impressive at 50-70K thoughts per day, which is almost 1 per second.
      And the mind-body connection is important. It seems like we train in this less these days, yet it is highly valuable to our health and well being.

      Thanks for sharing amigo.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Andy

    I love the article Chris! Well timed for me in my journey.
    Thank you

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Andy,

      Glad the article was good timing – hope it helps amigo.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Jim

    Hello Chris.

    Your “succeeding or quitting” and the picture of the SEALs reminded me of a really good mindset story I once heard.

    I think it was in 1979 that I met a man who asked the following question to a SEAL who was his brother-in-law.
    The man’s question to the SEAL was, “How far can you swim?”
    The SEAL’s reply was, “How far do I have to?”

    Great article sir.


    • Chris Capre

      Awesome story!

      Will remember that one for sure.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Alastair

    Hi Chris,

    Another amazing article which really hammers home, to me anyway, that nothing good in life comes without dedication to what you want to achieve, committment and significant effort. Having returned from an overseas holiday recently, I spent two weeks practising the skills that you have taught in the Advanced Traders Mindset Course, and when I say practised I really mean practised with feeling and vigour. This translated into the results I wanted to achieve for that period, and that really stuck in my mind. Undoubtedly, it has done great things for my self image, and dare I say it, amazingly good things have happened to my golf as a by product!

    You are just the best teacher in every way, trading is just one element of it. Please keep up the good work and may you go on many, many more decades to bring your teachings to those who want to learn!

    Well done!


    • Chris Capre

      The ATM course helps with your golf game? HA – I might have to work with golfers now :-)
      Good to hear you’ve been working hard on the ATM strategies – they will pay dividends.

      Appreciate the positive comments muchacho.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Tom

    What’s your thoughts on hypnotherapy or NLP for self-image/confidence? Maybe you could create something for trading :)

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Tom,

      Never did either, however they seem to take a slightly different approach to the mind and improving the self-image.

      I’ve seen many programs with them, but haven’t seen them work with anyone.

      FYI – I already have a program for building up the SI/Confidence. It’s called the Advanced Traders Mindset Course.

      Check it out.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Stan/Fxtrader

    Hello Chris,
    Another great article!!


    • Chris Capre

      Hola Stanley,

      Thanks amigo – and good mantra!

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Haig Gocherian

    Hi Chris,
    Could you please be kind enough to share with us your Buddhist “Mantra ” in words, as spoken or pronounced.
    Thank you very much

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Haig,

      Since I am not an ordained lama, I am not allowed in my tradition to give away mantras, let alone mantra practices that are specifically given to me by my lama.

      From what I’ve seen, there is one mantra which is freely given, meaning you do not need it passed down from a Lama/Teacher.

      It is the Om Mani Padme Hung, often carved into the prayer wheels.

      Here is an image, and here is a link to it via wikipedia.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • spacepip

    “And the mind-body connection is important. It seems like we train in this less these days, yet it is highly valuable to our health and well being.”
    – Yes, can not agree with this enough! Very important to train in this IMO

    • Chris Capre

      Indeed amigo – I think we all could benefit from this type of training, it really only has upside IMO>

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • icoaty

    Love the article Chris. Its a great reminder that if you want to succeed in any skill based endeavour its 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Love the sniper article as well, especially the idea of letting your system and signals dictate how many times you trade not some hard and fast number. Thanks for all the insights in how to succeed.

    • Chris Capre

      Hola Ian,

      Yea – hard work is mandatory, there is no way around it.

      The sniper article was a fun one to write. And yes, there is no number whereby you are ‘over-trading’. It’s based upon your plan, and that could be 5 or 50 trades in a day.

      All the best.

      Chris Capre

  • Diablo

    Hello Chris,

    I like this article. Particularly how you put them in such a way that it flows together nicely.

    My favorite part from the article is how you said “You need this mindset! This is the essence of what I have taught. Practice without stopping, and it is only a matter of time. Exert yourself with mental toughness and the no-obstacle mindset.”

    Thanks and this will be remembered.

    • Chris Capre

      Hola Diablo,

      Yes, I love that part of the quote from the master and what he was really trying to teach.

      I think we can all benefit from this mindset.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Haig Gocherian

    Hello Chris,
    I thank you very much for sharing the Mantra, and the link to the image and to Wikipedia for further information. Much appreciate it.
    Best Regards,

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Haig,

      Just getting back from my meditation retreat, but glad you liked the mantra and link to it with the information about it.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • Elkin

    Excelentes todos los últimos artículos que has publicado. Muchas gracias por compartir tus experiencias y manera de ver la vida.

    • Chris Capre

      Hola Elkin,

      Gracias para tus sentimientos positivo.

      Que tengas suerte

      Saludos Cordiales
      Chris Capre

  • Ivan Vandev

    Hi Chris,
    Amazing article that puts it all together.
    1.Do large sample sizes of reps to build a skill set but break the big goal down into small managable and achievable steps.
    2.Expand and make my SI grow.
    3.Train my C mind to be fully aware and concetrated as it is the defense to the UC limitting beliefs that impair my performance.
    4.Persistence and quality of practice is the key to acquiring any skill
    5.Commitment is what makes me stay strong during periods of challenge and doubt.
    Thanks for that one!
    Kind Regards,
    Ivan Vandev

    • Chris Capre

      Hola Ivan,

      Yep, good summation of some of the key points so well done.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  • prem sahajblessed

    Great article chris. thanks for all the support

    • Chris Capre

      Thanks amigo – much appreciated.

  • Gloria

    How did you keep count, or was someone keeping count for you? I’m curious!

    • Chris Capre

      Hello Gloria,

      I actually say how I kept count in the article in the paragraphs above the picture with all my malas.

      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre