My kids love Pokémon. They’re not obsessed, but they have a few decks of cards, and they enjoy chatting about it and reference it quite often. I know nothing, let me repeat, squat, nada, zilch, nothing about Pokémon. I hear them talk about it, I hear them reference it, and all I can tell you after all the conversations is Pikachuuuu.

I’m not really into fantasy games. Board games I love, but all the fantasy games don’t seem to appeal to me. But fantasy games carry a theme - which is fantastical names and creatures that have no context in the real world. So, if I’m not into fantasy games, I have no mental framework to put all these creatures and powers and whatever else into. So every conversation my kids have, my brain simply can’t do the work to sort it in a way that makes easy sense, and instead I just end up forgetting it all.

Our brains use patterns and familiarity in order to make our everyday lives easier. We process millions of bits of information every day, and the more times we use certain pathways, the less time it takes for us to intake, process and sort through information. Now this is not unknown, we know practice and time learning make things easier. However, there is the method of practice that matters too.

Imagine you’re trying to learn something specific with respect to technical analysis. (Not hard given you’re here, but go with me). But for the life of you, no matter how many times you hear it, see it, learn it or are told, you simply can’t process the information in a way that makes meaningful sense - i.e. in a way that you can actually use. This can happen easily because for some reason, your brain still doesn’t have the framework with which to put that information. And since it doesn’t know how to use it, how to store it, and how to process it, it easily thinks it’s not important, and can then let go of it. I recently found notes from a forex technical analysis course I did over 10 years ago. When I look at the notes now, everything makes perfect sense, and falls right into place. But when I did the course (twice) I remember finishing and thinking “I have no idea what I’m supposed to do now”, and eventually I forgot about it until years later.

What can you do to make remembering easier? Anchor it. This is where life experience, analogies, stories, interaction all come into play. We need to normalize data in a framework we already have, or we have to build a new framework. Either way, finding ways to make the information processing and sorting faster into our brain, will help us learn faster and faster.

How do you learn? Do you create stories and narratives around what you’re learning? Do you need fundamental context, broader pictures in order to see the minutiae? Perhaps you just love straight facts, hard core numbers and nothing else matters. Maybe you have another hobby that can anecdotally be applied to trading? Gardening, cooking, engineering, psychology - any and all of these have analogies that can be applied to trading in order to make your framework easier.

Gardeners know they have to plant seeds in good soil. They know various plants thrive in completely different environments. So too do some setups thrive in differing environments. Engineers know structure is the core for development, so too does the structure of a move create the space for different trade setups. What framework do you already have that would most easily help you to learn what you want to know, so that you can process, sort, store and retrieve the information you want that much more quickly?

And no, I will not be learning about Pokémon. But if I were going to, each one would be a ticker.