Looking back on my journey, I had and still do, have a big desire for what makes a person succeed or fail.
I searched and searched for the answers, while going on the trading journey. Part of the reason being that I started this journey fairly young and my life vision was not yet fully formed. So I had to not only master trading, but form a life vision, and figure out success principles and figure out people as well along the way. It seemed like a gargantuan task at the time, no matter how much money I had.
I did figure it out though. And in the spirit of Einstein’s words of “make things as simple as possible, but not simpler,” I have condensed it into just two reasons for this lesson. There are of course more elaborate reasons which can apply, but for this I have boiled it down into just two.
Reason #1 – Your Family, Friends, Co-workers, and Relationships
Other people, their thoughts, their attitudes, their philosophy, their ambition (or lack of it), their enthusiasm (or lack of it) all influence you to some extent. This is inescapable.
Where you end up in life, your personality, is partially dependent on the people in your environment.
What ideas and attitudes and philosophy you accepted from other people or did not accept.
Your inner circle helps to cause what happens to you in your life.
It is of course possible, with the proper actions to neutralize the effect of negative people in your life and still succeed. This certainly happens.
After all, Paul Tudor Jones made tens of millions and $80 million to $100 million in 1987, which was less than 10 years after his father told him to “Leave the gambling den behind. Come home and get a real job in a safe profession like real estate.”
Though, wouldn’t your life and trading seem so much more effortless and enjoyable with the right people around you?
All this criticism, discouragement thinking, wrong beliefs, and hanging around with losers, can manifest itself in different ways in your life:
For the trader just starting out the journey, it can mean the difference between committing to it or not. All that negativity and discouragement and intimidation can really cause someone to abandon the trading journey. They are whipped before they start. Trying to succeed and finding the good trading ideas and strategies, find the right books, reading them, interpreting them properly, putting them into habits, etc, is all really really hard if people around you are constantly telling you that the markets are a conspiracy, markets are random, or that traders do not add any value to the world, etc. It takes courage and a bit of brass balls to shield yourself from such false, disgusting and irrelevant ideas and beliefs. If you don’t yet have this type of courage and skin of a rhinoceros, then you can most certainly develop it.
I will tell you a story from my own journey.
When I first started, it was myself and many other people. We all got involved in the typical forex robots, and other things peddled by the people who didn’t know what they were talking about. I was doing it because well, that’s just what everyone else was doing! People like to conform rather than breaking away from the pack.
As Earl Nightingale said:
“There you have the trouble today: it’s conformity – people acting like everyone else, without knowing why, without knowing where they’re going.”
Eventually I realized that something had to change. So I broke away and went on my own journey. I limited time with such people, in some cases completely dissociating with them. I was determined to succeed or fail on this trading journey, 100% my way. And I went on the technical analysis journey, then the chart pattern and price action journey, and eventually onto the order flow journey and then global macro journey.
Some people may call this kind of harsh. They say it involves sacrifices, etc. That is one perspective of looking at it.
My way of looking at it is with the perspective towards a beautiful kind of change in your life. Do you want a beautiful kind of different in your life? Do you want to dump the false, disgusting and irrelevant ideas and beliefs and mistakes of the past and move towards a more beautiful future for yourself and your family? If so, then a careful examination of the people in your life may be in order. All I am asking is that you take another look. It can be a fabulous opportunity to meet more fascinating people.
There were some moments during my journey, where it really seemed to me a matter of life and death to avoid the criticism. Since I was the only person knee deep in all the details of what I was doing, I was best to know what progress was being made or wasn’t. It didn’t matter what anyone else said, I knew the truth and had access to the best information.
As Robert Ringer said:
“Constructive advice from the right party can be worth a fortune to you over the long term; ill intended criticism from the wrong party can do more to tear you down, damage your self-esteem, and prevent you from pursuing your dreams than just about anything else I can imagine.”
“Ignoring professional critics isn’t a matter of defiance; it’s an act of survival.”
Going back to what the wrong people in your life can cause for you.
For the trader already deeply committed to the journey, it can mean the difference between achieving some level of profitability and consistently in a few short years, or having a “lost decade” of their lives consumed with the low value and useless information, etc, and never building any solid foundation.
For the already successful trader who is in a drawdown, it can be the difference between finding those amazing trades that recover the losses and generate a large gain, or staying in the red for the whole year.
For the trader who is already having a stellar year, it can be the difference between making +50% or +100% for the year, or making +500% for the year.
As an example take the story from the Stock Market Wizards book about Mark Minervini:
“At one point during the summer of 1995, I was up over 100% year to date, which achieved my original goal for the entire year. I was seriously considering booking the year. A friend of mine asked, ‘What makes you think you can’t make 200 percent?’ I thought about it for a day or two, and said to myself that he’s right. I ended that year up 407 percent.”
What a wonderful friend! Suggesting the idea that Mark could make a lot more than 100% that year! And Mark went out and made +407% instead of just +100% for the year. That is the power of being exposed to amazing ideas, attitudes, from the right person in your life.
Would you like to make +400% for the year instead of +100%? Would you like to make +100% for the year instead of breaking even? If so, you have to cultivate your own powerful inner circle as you progress on the journey.
Some people wonder, but where do I find these people? A very fair question.
It helps if you become somebody even greater in life. That way it gets easier to get access to and be at various events to meet such people.
If you don’t have that yet -then one of the great things you can do is read! Expose yourself to successful traders of the past through reading and visualizing and playing out the scenarios in your mind. This “Theatre of the Mind” technique is described in the book The New Psycho-Cybernetics.
There is the sad state of reading around the world – not just in America. Not that many people commit to some level of lifelong learning.
Dan Loeb, a billionaire hedge fund manager said he liked to read self-help books, and he is in his 50’s.
Warren Buffett said he spends 80% of his day reading and he is in his 80’s. Now, you don’t have to take it that far and read for 80% of your day. You may want a bit more fun and adventure of the outdoors in your life.
The lack of purpose, lack of discipline, lack of focus in most peoples lives is truly astonishing. I know since I see it in people, but also because I used to be that like that as well. I can relate because I have been there and gone through that stage.
This brings me to different types of Friends:
“Fun Friends” and “Growth Friends”
If you are struggling and frustrated in your attempts to be a trader, if you are not where you want to be in life, the question to ask is: Do I have any “Growth Friends?”
Most people just have “Fun Friends.” Friends that they can have a laugh with and be silly and party with and not much else. This is a part of life because we don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. After all, we aren’t getting out alive.
However, the other part of life is achievement and financial abundance. And if you don’t have any “Growth Friends,” then that can be a major obstacle in your life. It is nice to be surrounded by people who can push you and challenge you in the direction you desire for yourself. As the saying goes, if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.
If you are ever feeling down on life or your career, then the appearance and addition of just one remarkable person, can turn things around very quickly. New relationships with amazing people can always be exciting. They don’t have to just be romantic relationships – they can be growth oriented friends or people with a loving and kind attitude.
Therefore, some effort has to be made in surrounding yourself with high achievers, people with positive attitudes backed by good ideas, etc. Surround yourself with winners.
If you are not where you’d like to be, and still hanging with the exact same crowd as 10 years ago, and they haven’t grown much, then you are kind of having the same type of conversation. There aren’t any new, amazing ideas injected into the conversation. Kind of the same old, same old. How are you going to get any new, profitable ideas into your life?
Therein lies your answer – in the people you are spending time with. Raise your standards of what type of people you should be spending more time with. If you still have only the same friends from childhood, something is wrong.
In fact, that is one of my theories about life. That some people don’t get ahead because they are afraid of dumping some toxic people around them. They are afraid of being alone for a period of time. They dread it. They constantly want to be around some person – any person! They haven’t learned yet that life is about being both happy with other people and being happy by yourself. There is both socializing and celebrating and partying and also spending quality time with yourself. Learn both.
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Reason #2 – The Information You Consume
Where you will be in five or ten years will depend on what ideas and beliefs and philosophy and strategies you are exposed to – today. You have to get ideas from somewhere. So you can then interpret them and decide which ones are useful for you and then take action on them. If you are never exposed to a certain profitable idea, then how are you going to implement it?
If you never think of something, never read about it, no one tells you about it, you never watch it on TV, never experience it, etc, then how are you going to be exposed to it? How is the idea going to come to you?
One of the scary days in my life came when I woke up one day and wasn’t sure what to do. I resolved that I never wanted to feel that way again. So I put in place systems for allowing various information into my life. Some of it from pre approved sources related to my type of trading strategy.
Which is why all around me are various files and papers and books and charts, etc. I never want to be without the amazing information to interpret in my life. Being plugged into the information flow is such a crucial and overlooked strategy that most traders do not implement. Charts are nice and all, but they are not enough. There is a lot more important information about a market than is reflected in a chart.
I also have information about topics unrelated to my core focus.
I remember one multi-millionaire saying that once or twice a year he would buy a dozen or so magazines he doesn’t normally read to be exposed to different information and ideas that he wasn’t normally exposed to. That’s smart.
Another great revelation I had in my early years was that most of what the aspiring traders around me were talking about was useless or low value. It was so far removed from the truth of what was needed for trading profit. I didn’t fully realize it in my early days. But I did have an inkling of it, some sense of intuition as some may call it. And as I went on the journey, I got closer to the trading truth. And the closer you get to the trading truth, your profits tend to go up, for your probability of catching the amazing trades go up.
The longer I live, the more I realize that there is a huge difference between the useless and low value information in trading, and the powerful information. When you have the powerful information, then you can capture trades such as The Apple Trade.
There is immense joy in learning and implementing – the electrifying and proper trading strategies that can actually grow your trading account. It feels electrifying because by finding the right information, you start playing out the scenarios in your mind of all the profitable trades and compounding of the profits. That gives you motivation and inspiration to implement!
The flip side of that is boredom, frustration, drudgery and fatigue in learning about and implementing the trading strategies that can never get you to where you want to go.
In fact, one happy day in my life came when I finally decided that I could unsubscribe from all the other useless trading junk that got delivered to my email, because I had figured out my own system that was working for me.
So that is the question you can ask yourself: How close to the trading truth is the information I am consuming and have consumed over the past few months?
For when you can align both the people and the information you consume, towards your trading vision, truly remarkable things start to happen. A transformation begins and speeds up.
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