Last updated on November 4th, 2019
You need to have a high degree of persistence to perform at a high level in anything in life. Trading included.
To acquire the experience and ability to trade well and to maintain a consistent level of performance, is a tough task for many people who come into trading as the markets really are the ultimate competition.
Given that most people aren’t used to this level of competition and haven’t come from careers where they must consistently replicate certain results, when they start to trade they’ll soon be ‘beaten’ by those who have a dedication to their work.
To me, dedication is the spark which leads to action and accomplishment.
It encompasses three key facets to an individual’s efforts in any activity. They are motivation, commitment and discipline.
3 Sides To Dedication
I believe that we possess all the three constituent parts which make up dedication.
How to address, harness and amplify them to help you in your trading is another matter.
To ensure you have the correct motivation for trading, you must first understand what it is you are really getting into.
Liking the idea and the glamour and the money people associate with the markets is something that’ll fade very quickly. Why? Because that is not the reality for most.
You must learn what the markets are about and what work is involved in becoming successful.
Everything we do stems from some sort of motivation. Be it going to the store to get some food or taking a vacation, we are pushed into action due to a root cause.
Motivation in trading is the first part of dedication upon which all else has to be built.
If you just want to make a ton of money or you enjoy a challenge, the chances are you will struggle to remain committed to the cause. Think about how many top sportsmen or sportswomen state their motivation as the money they earn.
Sure, there are a few.
Most would say that they do it for the love of the game and to me, this is a must.
If you can’t love it for what it is (rather than the opportunity to make money) then you’re on the back foot right from the start.
Commitment is the time and effort you are willing to invest in yourself in order to attain and maintain the level of performance which will allow you to achieve your goals.
It’s about pushing to find and do those things (such as writing a proper trading plan and journaling) you know you must do to become competitive in a field of highly competitive participants.
Without strong commitment, isn’t it just a random path going in circles and perhaps a needlessly more expensive process?
Discipline is simply about doing what we know we are meant to when we don’t really want to do it.
Someone who has no self-discipline is unlikely to be able to put a plan together let alone put it into action. They’re not likely to take their losses. When they’ve had a bad day they’re unlikely to actually do the necessary work to analyze their performance.
Discipline is also about going that extra mile when things are rough.
Build A Commitment To Excel
Confucius said:-“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
This make a lot of sense.
If you love what you are doing you’re more likely to investigate, probe, study, question, and ultimately excel at what you’re doing no matter what it is. From the love of what you doing and the understanding of its nature, comes the ability to remain disciplined in the face of adversity.
The markets are a continuum of trading activity from which technical and macro context can be much better understood when you’re in the flow of things.
When you trade for just a day here, or a day there it becomes much harder to not only understand the rhythm of the markets but also build a rhythm in your own trading.
So an unsuccessful day here and there is still potentially beneficial to those who are willing to listen to what the market is telling them.
Discipline in many traders’ eyes is about being able to take losses and run winners within the confines of a trading plan. Understanding that one trade probably won’t ever make you, will help you to see that you must ensure that one trade never breaks you.
Some people would suggest that success is not about luck. I would say I mostly agree with this and creating a structure in order to allow yourself to have great dedication can go a long way to helping you on the path to trading consistency.