The Difference In Trading Between Passion & Being ‘Interested’
Many people come to the forex market with ideas of trading successfully, visions of traveling to postcard beaches, and having all the free time they want. But many do not make it and usually give up before getting to their pot of gold.
Week in-week out I hear from developing traders who say something like, “I really want to be a successful trader, but I’m not finding consistency in my trading. I’ve taken so many courses, read many books, traded so many hours, but I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”
Anytime I hear this, I ask the following questions;
1) Do you have a trading plan?
2) Are you filling out your journal every day?
3) Do you have set trading times?
4) Do you have a pre-game mental routine where you prepare for your trading day?
5) Using proper Risk Management?
6) Are you filling out your performance journal regularly?
In about 8, maybe 9 out of 10 cases, I usually get the following response, “No, I haven’t been doing any of that.”
For the record, your’s truly has started several things that never culminated in any sort of success, growth or happiness. A great example would be going to the gym regularly 🙂
I definitely understand this experience many of you are going through.
Recently I read a blog article by James Clear where he talks about focus when you feel bored. He had asked a coach who trained thousands of Olympic athletes about what they do differently.
The coach responded, “it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts over and over and over again.”
James goes on to share his take on this:
I think many people get depressed when they lose focus or motivation because they think that successful people have some unstoppable passion and willpower that they seem to be missing. But that’s exactly the opposite of what this coach was saying.
Instead, he was saying that really successful people feel the same boredom and the same lack of motivation that everyone else feels. They don’t have some magic pill that makes them feel ready and inspired every day. But the difference is that the people who stick with their goals don’t let their emotions determine their actions.
First off, James makes a crucial point here how successful people stick with their goals, regardless of the emotions they experience. They do not let their emotions dictate their work, practice, and training.
One of my students shared a great video of Floyd Mayweather Jr., and you can see the resilience in his mindset. He is a winner and sees his training, practice and work to the end.
Imagine if regardless of the successes or failures in trading, of feeling confident or doubting yourself – that you still did the work, and filled out your journal day in day out. That you still kept your risk management tight, went to bed early so you could wake up on time. That you still prepared mentally and did all the steps regardless of the losses from yesterday?
What would this do to your trading mindset?
Imagine how your performance and mindset would change around trading. You would no longer be dependent upon the next win or loss to determine your level of confidence, skill, or how you felt about yourself. This would take you off the roller-coaster rides emotions carry you on.
In all aspects, you’d likely be a different trader, and have a different experience of trading. Food 4 thought.
One thing I do feel James misses, is his assessment on passion and motivation. Yes, successful people in all fields experience some sort of boredom at one point, and they keep working regardless of this boredom.
However, the reason why they stick with their training, work and discipline, comes from their passion and motivation for the process. The coach was saying they have an unstoppable passion – it’s unstoppable because in the face of boredom and the difficult emotions, they use this passion for the process to keep moving forward, to not skip the little details in trading. This is how they don’t let their emotions determine their actions, which is the link I think he misses.
But this is the difference between being ‘passionate’ about trading, and being ‘interested’. This is what Kevin Spacey was talking about On Being Successful. Pay attention to where he talks about desire.
People who are passionate about trading will not skip the little details, will make the adjustments over time, will move towards being uncomfortable. They will not be deterred by their emotions, nor let these emotions define them, or their experience. At the end of their trading week, they will be reviewing the tape.
However, people who are ‘interested’, will work hard when it’s easy, but will skip the little things when it gets hard. They will pass over filling out the journal, will not maintain proper risk management, and will let their emotions define their experience. And they will rationalize not doing these things.
The key to being passionate is falling in love with the process, with the challenges you face, is moving towards the areas in trading which make you feel uncomfortable. One could venture to say it’s getting excited about those challenges, realizing what lies beyond that obstacle to your growth.
Going back to our student in the beginning, they weren’t doing any of those things. Turns out they were exhausted from their business, and were trading at random times throughout their day. I asked them how could someone be a good basketball player if they never do the drills, practice free throws, passing, shooting, blocking, etc. He knew the answer, and the same goes for trading.
After making the adjustments with his business and schedule, he was able to finish the month green – his first in many.
There is one crucial point about doing all this extra work and what it does for you mentally, however, I will share this in another article.
But find out where you are on on this scale between being ‘interested’ and being ‘passionate’. This will likely tell you why you are performing the way you are, and how much you are progressing.
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