Last updated on September 22nd, 2017
You know what people are great at? Talk. I know you’ve had conversations with someone who rattled on about doing this…doing that…….and they actually were pretty convincing.
You know what people are not great at? Taking action. I’m talking about the hundreds of hours (10,000??) spent diving headfirst into accomplishing a goal.
When I hear that kind of talk from most people, I find they confuse a strong desire to be successful, for genuine motivation to make a real go of something, like trading.
People want to succeed and they want to reap the potential for considerable rewards as a result. They might have a strong urge to find success, they haven’t necessarily found that considerable drive needed to achieve it.
What’s worse is that we live in an era of instant gratification.
The desire of success – NOW – is made even worse with the lifestyles we have the potential to become accustomed to.
- “Want to lose weight for the reunion this weekend? Wear this wrap.”
- “Want to turn your $5000 to $100,000 in 6 months? Subscribe to this newsletter.”
- “Want to attract the opposite sex? Wear this special pheromone oil”.
That type of marketing is pretty close to what you will see on the internet but if you are looking for instant success as a trader, you are going to be disappointed…and maybe broke.
Are You Really A Motivated Trader?
Desire for something is of course directly related to the motivation required to achieve success. But there’s a critical mass before it turns into that unshakable motivation – and desire can stem from several different sources, with each individual being spurred on by something that resonates particularly with them.
Some people want to achieve financial freedom for example, whilst others see trading as yet another challenge they would like to conquer.
There will be those that see trading as a way to spend more time with their family or to become proficient in something else.
The goal could even be more modest – a few extra hundreds at the end of the month.
No goal is better than the other as we all have different needs, different values, but we all have the same obstacles to overcome especially when it comes to trading.
Motivation: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
What Do You Prioritize?
If you really have a strong enough desire to motivate you to give trading your very best shot, then you’ll prioritize it over everything else.
- Work commitments
- Family life
- Personal routines
All of those should be worked around rather than acting as constant distractions. They will always be there, so it’s really important to recognize how they might affect your trading efforts and work to mitigate their impact.
But prioritization is also proportional to belief and the value you place on an activity.
The value people place on trading isn’t really too much of a question. Working from home is a huge plus regardless of the business but trading has the potential to be lucrative for the time spent actually trading.
But to take advantage of the value that trading offers, you need something other than knowing what trading can give you.
Belief In Your Ability
Belief in your own ability to succeed is an extremely important factor in maintaining motivation – if you feel that your efforts are being wasted, why would you keep trying?
You must have an unwavering belief that YOU, with all the positive and negatives you have, can succeed in whatever goal you’ve laid out for yourself.
There is no sense even beginning if you’ve already questioned your ability to make it happen.
How Determined Are You?
Determination is the resilience you have in the face of failure. That ability to take your losses, shake them off and move on to the next task.
The problem with trading is that taking losses requires far more emotional control than many other tasks in life. You’ll learn a great deal about yourself as you trade and it can help you to grow as a person.
But as you learn and face setbacks and go through a variety of emotional roller coasters, unless you are actually seeing some sort of return on your efforts it’s easy to find other things to do when you should be working on your trading.
Are You Prepared To Do The Dull Work?
This is especially true when it comes to work that you might find less exhilarating. Doing your daily preparation, maintaining a proper journal, analyzing your trade logs – whatever it is you particularly find boring.
Of course it’s easy to argue that none of these are actually boring and if they are, you can reinvent them to turn them into enjoyable tasks.
Nevertheless, there’s always a particular task that you won’t like very much. Whatever it is, a truly motivated individual will get through it in spite of not enjoying the task –
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” – Muhammad Ali
Live Examples Of REAL Motivation
Every morning, we see the same people in our trade room. Most are trading one of our day trading strategies while others are sitting in our trade room seeing how things are done.
Some of these traders have been with us for years. Through the up sloping equity curve. Through the draw downs and strings of losing trades we sometimes take.
They know it’s a long road and are immune to what the masses suffer from: the desire for instant gratification.
Not only that, their actions every morning show they have the strong belief that one day they will be consistently profitable.
That is our goal for every single trader who becomes part of our family.
Be A Honey Badger
This may be an odd way of ending a trading post but I think this little guy could teach us all a lesson.
A little while ago, I watched a documentary about a creature I hadn’t heard of before. Below is a clip from the documentary about the honey badger.
Stoffel, the little furball in question, is quite a character and it’s not just him. These creatures are smart, tenacious and nearly fearless (not to mention vicious – they’ll even go for lions!). They are always on the go, looking for food.
When they face a problem, they face it head on and give it their all.
If they don’t get what they want, they think about the problem and try a different approach – and they usually end up getting what they want. Honey badgers put many people to shame and I think there’s a lot to learn from these furry dynamos!