This week has been one of reflection brought on by observing various friends and acquaintances in various stages of their lives. This scrutiny has reinforced in me one of my core beliefs and that is that everybody, barring some major catastrophe eventually gets what they want out of their life. Want a shit relationship chances are you will get one, want to batter your body with food and alcohol till it no longer functions then that can be organised. Want to make an endless series of poor life choices ranging from that tattoo of your F grade footy side winning a premiership in 1983 through to giving your first born a bogan name that has a silent F in it followed by a tilde over the only vowel in it. And then being surprised that you are not running BHP. Then that can be arranged as well. More importantly want to be a shit trader – then that can also be organised. In fact it will be as inevitable as night follows day.
Here is the harsh part about all of this – most of the time people dont know the consequences of the path they are on either though simply not being smart enough or completely lacking in self awareness. This is particularly true in trading because trading is an endevour where for the most part success depends upon psychological mastery. Yet, this is the one point traders seek to ignore. The rationale for this avoidance is probably two fold. A misunderstanding as to the role and importance of psychology coupled with a desire to avoid any form of self analysis. It is hard to look back at ones life an assign blame to where it really belongs. It is much easier to look at failure as an externally driven event and this is something poor traders are masters at. The list of excuses traders come up with is both long and creative and for some it is never ending. I understand this point well because nobody comes to trading with their psychology fully formed. It is always an evolutionary process but only if you are willing to learn from your mistakes by confronting your role in the generation of those errors.
You can see this lack of willingness to confront the root cause of issues in peoples use of words, people betray themselves with their vocabulary. For example the expression I cant seem to trade is one where the emphasis is on the external. The use of the word cant is reflective of an external power, there is something outside of you that you cannot overcome that is driving your lack of success. The correct expression is I wont do the things necessary to become a good trader. All of a sudden the focus is now internally directed. There is an admission of the role of the individual in the circumstances they find themselves in and from here lessons can be learnt that change the trajectory of your trading career. However, that’s not what people want to do – we will do everything in our power to avoid being responsible for ourselves.
There is an often quoted expression -be careful what you wish for, However, most people only quote the first part, the complete expression is -be careful what you wish for, lest it come true. The complete expression represents the truism of experience but the hard part is that most people dont understand that by their very actions and inaction’s that they are wishing for something and it generally does comes true.