I’m sure we all know individuals who breakdown and quit when a task becomes too difficult. To be sure, after an individual deems a task too difficult they are usually hesitant to retry that particular task again. In short, they shy away from tasks that have proven difficult in the past. If you read some of the popular texts on the psychological aspects of trading you’ll find a litany of desirable traits that each individual ought to possess. I get a real chuckle out of that; if I had a personality that contained all those traits I would be designing rocket ships, not e-mini trading.
No, and 30 years I’ve never been able to completely disassociate my emotions from my trading; the best I have been able to do is realize what emotion I am experiencing and not act in a rash fashion based on that emotion. One popular book suggests that you play soothing music while trading. I don’t really like to sit in a quiet room listening to soothing music while staring at 8 screens depicting two forces (bulls and bears) and constant battle. To make matters worse, I can’t stand soothing music and would prefer to listen to Nine Inch Nails at maximum decibel tolerance. Yes, I know that I am a bit touched; but I can trade.
There is however, one tangible that cannot be measured but can be readily observed. Not many people have resiliency as a predominant trait in their life. In my world, resiliency is the key to trading success.
If there is one individual in this world that I will never quit on it is the guy or girl who refuses to give up and keeps working and working towards a very difficult goal. It’s a rare thing to find a trader who is willing to be repeatedly dashed down the rocks and tormented by the market and still has a smile at the end of every day and can’t wait for the next day’s trading. Give me five individuals who are resilient and you have the core of a dynamic trading group.
To go a step further, it is my belief that in order to succeed in e-mini trading you must possess a premium amount of resiliency. I don’t waste my time with all the psychological mumbo-jumbo that you can find and any one of 20 books on trading psychology. Bad days cannot turn into bad weeks and then bad months. Every trade to a resilient trader is a new and exciting adventure that begs to produce a profitable trade, hopefully one of some substance. You can’t teach resiliency, but it’s easy to spot individuals who are lacking in resiliency. They give up easy. They can’t learn the material. They rationalize their losing trades. They fail to correct and proper trading technique. These individuals are not resilient and generally do not succeed. I’ve been wrong once or twice over the last decade, but a highly resilient individual is the guy/gal that I am looking for to trade. If you’re the kind of guy/gal who loses and then wants to take their ball and go home, you better stick with your day job because learning to trade is no bowl of cherries and can be frustrating to the point of near insanity.
Resiliency. It’s hard to put define a resilient person but I know them when I see them and I seek them out because resiliency is the stuff that tends to know where off on two other people. That’s a good thing.
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