Motivational Story of the Uncashed Cheque

There was a business executive who was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him. “I can see that something is troubling you,” he said. After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.” He asked the man his name, wrote out a cheque, and pushed it into his hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.” Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a cheque for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

“I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed cheque in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed cheque. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the cheque and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man. “I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.” And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him. Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

How can we apply this learning in the trading ?

Most of trader are hoping for a one big trade which will make them millionaire overnight, easiest way to do is Buy  Deep OTM Call and Put Options and hope for some Black swan event  to take place and encash big profit. Such trades happen rarely.

Think of the present situation as the uncashed cheque that the businessman was given. He didn’t cash it – but the confidence that the cheque gave him was enough for him to devote extra energies into his business, and turn it around through his own efforts. Likewise, think of Trading as Business and work a lot on discipline, market will knock you and  every time you need to get up and work on yourself like a champion Sportsman.

The fact is that if you step up your activity levels, if you engage with your trading psychology and trading system , you will grow your business anyway

Get onto a higher level of activity now. Stay focused on your activity levels and forget about Black Swan events. Take one trade at a time and focus your energy level on that by following your system and discipline. Do this for every trade you take, without stopping.If you simply stayed focused on maintaining a high level of discipline and Trust on yourself and trading system, you will see that your trading profits has grown. You will see that you don’t need to hold you head in your hands and ponder your future.

Your self confidence is what gives you the power to achieve what you want, not the stock market.

21 thoughts on “Motivational Story of the Uncashed Cheque”

  1. I’d like to differ: The moral isn’t self confidence. It’s confidence that someone else is trusting you. Someone else is betting on you. Someone out there values you. Human beings are made to be loved- by some one else. Self confidence (self focused/believing upon one self’s talents) just won’t cut it, when you’re in quick sand.

  2. You nailed it.

    Yes, it is the confidence that comes from “money in the bag”; and that happens when one is adequately capitalised.

    Risk a minuscule percent of that in one trade, the outcome of that trade just wont bother you.

    If a trader understand the depth in your words, realise it and adopt it, his/ her trading journey will be quite enriching and entertaining.

    Thanks to Bramesh too.

  3. Thanks for the Good story.. In this volatile and cloudy atmosphere sitting and hearing stories are good.. otherwise we will be giving $5,00,000 cheques.. let us wait till the dust settle down

  4. Nice Story Bramesh….
    One doubt… In your last line of crux, you have told to gain expertise on your SYSTEM… Can you elaborate in a different article, what is a SYSYTEM, what are its constituents that make it good and few examples of good systems?

  5. Trading Just keeping Black Swan event in mind will never help a trader, it happens once in blue moon but if u trade on system with discipline going forward you would easily be able to caputre them. Crux is do not trade to make money trade to get expertise on your system money will flow automatically.


  6. Brahmesh, your article is great but the only issue is that you are suggesting people to ignore the black swan events…the reality is that the most successful traders in business today are the ones who profited massively from black swan events by hedging their portfolios…just suggest me your plan of action in a stock like SUNPHARMA which closed @948 on 20th July and made a low of 795.25 on 21st July( down more than 16.11%) and all this because the company issued a profit warning on the morning of 21st July…it requires great courage to ignore such black swan events

  7. Thank you Bramesh Sir for such a wonderful story. I hope you wont mind me sharing it on my wall for others also to benefit from the same. I always look forward to your daily posts with a lot of enthusiasm, thanks again!!!

  8. Thanx Bramesh……. one more gem from ur bag !!!….
    what this story also teaches us is how much a confidence money in the bag gives you. confidence to stay focused and sticking to the system. so if u r adequately capitalized and risk a minuscule percent of that in one trade, the outcome of that trade just wont bother you and you can stay disciplined and focused on the trade and not on the outcome

  9. Awesome, Rameshji. Excellent anecdote that is highly motivational.
    You are amazing as usual.


Leave a Reply