Trading is a paradox. Everything about it goes against what we have been taught in school and by society. For example concepts like “it’s wrong to be wrong” don’t apply to trading. Trading is also, I am told, one of the most difficult skills to master. In fact, the most successful traders in history often put their initial success down to the fact that they were willing to keep learning and improving.
The three major concepts that will help traders achieve the success they are striving for are time, patience and perseverance:
Time is our most precious commodity. Once gone, it is gone forever. We often take the meaning of time for granted though, because we know that given time all things can be accomplished. So even though time is constantly working against us, it is only by applying ourselves over a long period of time that we can achieve any true measure of success.
We need to teach ourselves to worry less about tomorrow and focus more on the present moment. In trading you need to make a decision now and thus your focus needs to be in the now. At the same time, the journey to becoming a successful trader is going to take a long time and we must accept this fact.
In a sense this ties in with time very closely. It also means that sometimes we have to be incredibly patient with a trade. The best traders are often identified by being patient enough to wait for the right setup or the right trade to materialise before taking action. This means having the patience to sit around and wait for days for the right opportunity to take a trade.
We are taught that if we are not working we are not productive, and thus believe that if we are not actively trading in and out the market all the time we are not working. The truth is actually that most of this game is waiting for the right opportunity. In reality this means that we often have to show a tremendous amount of restraint to not take trades and exercise a tremendous amount of patience to wait for the right moment or predetermined set of circumstances to take action.
This is the ability to hold a course of action, belief or purpose without giving way to the forces of fear. I cannot stress enough how important perseverance is. 90% of new traders fail. Usually because they give up after having lost more than what they can bear.
I cannot tell you how much money I have lost in my pursuit to become a trader, or how many times I literally cried over how much money I’d lost and wondered why I ever chose this particular dream. I can however tell you how grateful I am to my friends and family who allowed me to live on their couches while I kept trying to make this trading thing work.
People ask how to become a trader and the answer is very simple: do not give up. It will take a long time, it will make you question your priorities, and it will make you question everything about life and yourself. If you stay true to the course though, I assure you that it will reward you. “Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure.”
Perseverance, patiently applied over time will make you successful. Not just in trading, but in all aspects of life. There is no easy road to becoming a successful trader. School fees have to be paid and single minded focus needs to be applied which is perhaps not what a lot of people want to hear, but it’s the cold hard truth. Personally, in my own development, I still have a lot to learn and a long, long road ahead. I am by no means as good as I could be and only by being cognisant of these three concepts will I have any hope of getting to where I aim to be.
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