There were many books that I wish I read earlier in life, since they changed my life in such a big way.
Both trading related books and non trading related books.
One of the non-trading related books is called: The Success System That Never Fails by William Clement Stone.
This was actually one of the many books that saved my life to be honest. Truth be known, it was sitting in one of my book piles for a few years before I read it.
And that is something to remember:
If you are ever feeling down, not doing as well as you had hoped, there may be a book or piece of information sitting somewhere in one of your book piles or somewhere around your home, that can contain the answer you seek, if you are able to go and take the time to read it and interpret it.
They can give you the inspiration and courage you need to keep pushing forward and not giving up and bringing you to a new level of understanding and awareness.
You can use a good book, a good person at a crucial moment in your life, no matter how much or how little money you have. Whether you just have $5,000 to your name, or $5 million.
Three Components According to Clement Stone:
Activity Knowledge: gather the information that you need to succeed. It could be from speaking with another person, from books, articles, videos, etc. Be dogged and persistent in going after the knowledge that you believe you need. Personally, I have gone back and found, even paid good money for old articles and magazines from the 1970’s, 1980’s, etc. Such was and still is the depth of my persistence in getting the information I believe is valuable. I remember Ray Dalio even said once that he had gone back and read old newspapers from periods of economic crisis like the Great Depression. You never know when you will find that one insight, that one strategy, one quote that will infuse you with enthusiasm and light your whole face up.
Know How: Having knowledge is not enough. You require KNOW HOW. There is only so much that you can learn without actually doing it yourself. Some things can be learned from books. Some other things can only be learned by the doing of the thing. Go out and apply the knowledge and strategies you learned in the previous phase. Know how is the proper application of knowledge. Convert that knowledge into the techniques and daily habits.
Here are two quotes to better help you:
As Walter Russell said back in the 1940’s:
“If you want to do anything, start doing it. Start at once doing the thing you wish to do with full awareness and full comprehension that there is nothing that can stop you from doing it.”
If you think that is a bit too dated for you, then take a look at what George Soros wrote in the 1990’s in his book Soros on Soros:
“I used to do a lot of philosophical speculation as a young man. I wasted a large part of my youth regurgitating certain ideas. Then I discovered that one can learn a great deal more through action than through contemplation.”
Inspiration To Action: after you gain the knowledge you need, and convert it into know how, then you need the motivation and inspiration to put it not just into ACTION, but into consistent action. There are some people who could do amazing work, could make so much money, for they have so much talent and knowledge, but for whatever the reason, they do not have that passion, that inspiration to action.
As Lenny Kravitz once said:
“I’m thankful for being disciplined. As they say in the Bahamas, there are a lot of talented people living under the bridge. A lot of folks driving cabs, fishing and working in the streets can act and sing better than people getting Oscars and Grammys.”
It’s A System
What this book did for me was to get me to begin the process of thinking in terms of systems. A formal process. My daily habits as I call them.
The reason I say begin, is because you don’t just start thinking in terms of systems and develop the perfect one right away. It is a gradual process as every year you make improvements and it gets better.
The book led me to start making plans for the various things in my life. I remember one personal development speaker said something like: “If you want money, get a money plan.” “If you want health, get a health plan.” Etc.
That kind of stuck with me.
So I set out to develop a money plan, a health plan, etc.
To systematize things as best as I could. So I could tell myself: “Look, if I do these things during the day, during the week, then I will get these results, etc.”
To get it down to as close to an exact science as possible. With financial markets you can never be 100% right, and you don’t have to be. Though you do try to break it down into principles and a process and proper inputs as much as possible.
As B.F Skinner said:
“All our actions can be measured, trained, and changed, if only we pay attention to the inputs and the outputs.”
And how do you do that? Through making mistakes and new knowledge. There is nothing wrong with mistakes, as long as you extract the new knowledge from them.
As George Soros said:
“Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.”
“My approach works not by making valid predictions, but by allowing me to correct false ones.”
Paul Tudor Jones Develops A Planning Process
One of the fascinating things I read about was the trader Paul Tudor Jones progression from being a gunslinger, trading mostly on instinct, to developing more of a planned process.
He talked how about Tony Robbins helped him during a rough path in the early 1990’s. He says:
“I had been a trader for more than 17 years. But I really had no road map as to how I made money for my clients. I thought it was mostly instinctual, but it isn’t…. That planning process alone has added 5% or more to my returns every year.”
Even he had to learn the importance of developing some kind of system, some kind of process.
The Important Things In Life
In life, there is the grand importance of a few things.
One of them is the development of a life vision, which is something much more than just “goals.”
Another is personal development, in order to help you achieve your life vision.
In speaking with a high school teacher and what he said was that most students he saw lacked focus and discipline. Far too many people carry that lack of focus and discipline into adulthood and the rest of their lives. This is something not really taught in school. So you can either wait years and decades of your life and try to pile up enough experience and hopefully you get those personal development insights along the way, OR, you can read some books to help speed up the process.
The bottom line is this: Whatever you decide to do, put as much of it as you can into a process, into a system.
If you would like to know the trading habits I use, that can help you get on the path to trading success, then click here.