Many retail traders started their trading adventure because of the financial potential. During their journeys through the maze of the learning process, however, that dream of financial freedom slowly fade away and often replace by setbacks and pains. The small number traders who rise above the others through difficult situations into consistently profitable traders do behave differently from the ones who do not. This is the second instalment on their little secrets in achieving their transformations.
The Learning Process Is Tough With Many Setbacks
Beginner traders often start with lots of enthusiasm in learning how to trade. After spending countless hours just to learn the basic mechanics of trading like the definitions of the financial instruments and the basic operations of their trading platforms, many traders are exhausted already. Yet, that has not even covered the actual material knowledge on good trading techniques. The long process to learn trading properly can wear people down with the initial attraction to the idea of trading being the route to financial freedom slowly dissolve away.
The truth is, everyone has to face the same learning process in trading. The difficulties is that trading cannot be learned from a one size fits all methodology. Majority of trading is about understanding yourself and choosing the trading styles that match your personality and character strength so that you can perform consistently. To figure out what works for yourselves can take a long time if you are not the type of person who is connected to yourself instinctively.
As time goes by, traders going through the learning process would fall off the wagon with fewer and fewer traders getting to the point of their critical transformation.
The Secret Is Having A Concrete Goal
From my correspondence with many traders, there is one thing that sets apart the traders who can last until the moment making the breakthrough and those who do not. That one thing is their clear visions of what they want from trading.
Unlike those who just take a dive into trading and sink themselves into the emotional swings in trading, those who managed to turn around their trading careers are the ones who, at some point in their trading journey, set themselves with very concrete goal of what they want from trading.
Thus, goal setting is very important. It cannot be just any goal. It has to be something you really want. It has also to be something you can envision that will bring joy and happiness to your lives.
The motivation from these concrete goals you have set for yourselves become the compass to carry you through the ups and downs in trading while you learn and mature into better traders. Because you have your minds anchored strongly towards the goals, all setbacks and difficulties you experienced become something much more tolerable. This type of goals also produce the exceptional drive in you to give your best in making sure you will get what you want.
Most important of all, a goal that you desire can force your ego to accept changes and sacrifices that you would otherwise never consider.
Focus On Money Is Not A Good Idea
One goal that I know for sure does not work well for most people is aiming for a specific amount of money. Surprising, isn’t it?
Well, it actually makes sense if you think about it. A large sum of money does not automatically translate into happy moments that you seek for. It only works if you have experienced before with spending large amount of money and you actually like the feeling of it. For other people, the goal has to be more direct and something they can envision easily.
That’s why setting the goal to a specific large sum of money works for traders who have made and lost that amount of money before. Their minds have the prior experience as their guidance. Hence it is a strong enough goal for them to fight their way back.
Connect To What You Can Envision
For some traders, the goal can be their dream house. Just the imagination of living in the house would bring happiness to them. It can also be the vision of seeing yourself owning some kind of luxury items you have always wanted. There is no fixed rule on what can trigger the strongest drive within you. It all depends on the type of person you are and what gives you the most comfort or pleasure if you can do better in trading.
Thus the goal can be non-physical items. Something you deem having financial freedom is necessary for you to be able to do. A good friend of mine loves travelling and he spent at least 3 months every year going to different countries. From what I learned from him last year, he has went to more than 100 countries already and there is no signs that he is going to stop his travelling soon. Trading is just the most flexible career for him to pursuit what he likes most.
One recurring theme of the goals that work for many traders is often about family – to be able to support their kids to go to better universities, to take care of disabled family members, etc. The power of love and the sense of responsibility to protect one’s family are very powerful forces that I witnessed many times being the catalysts in the transformation of these traders. I am not saying you should set your goal the same way but if deep down you have a similar desire and deep connections with your loved ones, it is the type of goals you can choose from.
Utilize Our Nature
Many people may not believe in what I wrote here. They would probably think that they do not need any special goal setting to achieve higher level of success in trading. The truth is, it is very uncomfortable for most people to dream anymore. Dreaming something big, something remote but desirable can be scary at the same time. They are scary because to get what you want it is likely to demand changes in you. Most people resist to changes hence the instinct to reject any such notions.
Some may even think that it is just the New Age thing of positive thinking. No, this is not those positive thinking meme at all. As I wrote in my other writings, I do not believe positive thinking alone can do anything useful. As an example, if you are thinking positively that you will win the lottery tonight while many others are doing exactly the same, the chance of you winning the lottery will not improve.
Setting a concrete goal that you want deeply (or badly) is all about human nature. Our decisions and reactions to the environment is driven by how we perceive the world. By putting a seed in our mind of what we want, we are guiding ourselves to put in our best efforts, consciously or not.
You can find first part of this series here, The Little Secrets Behind Traders Who Turned Around Their Trading Careers I