Trading: focus required

Petri RedelinghuysImprove Trading, TraderPetri

focus tradingSome time ago I started one of these blogs with a battle scene between a warrior and a dragon. Not only do I think that I should get back to that kind of creative writing, because hey… it’s fun, but I also want to rehash the point that I made.

In the midst of battle against the dragon, our hero warrior got a distracted by a cute, cuddly, fluffy kitten. I mean, who can blame him? It cost our warrior his life, though. The story didn’t specify that at the time, but it happened. The dragon bit his head off, let out a small burp and then used his sword as a toothpick.

The moral of the story was that you need two types of focus in order to trade successfully. One is an in-the-moment type of focus. You are absolutely focused on the market and nothing else. No phones, no text messages, no Skype chats, just watching the market. The second type of focus is the lifestyle type of focus. You essentially gear your entire life around staying as informed as possible about what is driving markets.

You have to become a master of both of these disciplines – not just for the sake of your trading account, but for your own development. In trading, the work you do on getting to know yourself has a direct impact on how much money you make. The more self-aware you are, the better your ability to make rational decisions, the more money you can make.

We often don’t realize that the background things in our lives are in fact draining us emotionally and distracting from our focus. Let’s say that you are dealing with a sick parent that you can’t really help, or a close married friend confessing that they’re in love with you, or being involved with a new girlfriend while you’re actually not over your ex-girlfriend. These types of things weigh on you and influence your ability to make rational decisions.

If there are things that are heavy on your heart, you can’t possibly be in a position to make rational emotionally neutral decisions that are in your own best interest. In other words, you can’t trade, or even attempt to trade if you are trying to deal with the kind of stuff that makes you feel anxious or stressed or just confused and sad.

You have to take the time to deal with those things first, and then get back to the trading. It might not be a cute, cuddly, fluffy kitten distracting you, but you are still distracted. And unless you want to be eaten by the dragon, you better make sure that you don’t step a foot onto the battle field before you are ready to fight with everything you’ve got.

Happy trading.

Petri Redelinghuys

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