Jim is a hard-working father with two children. He loves his wife and enjoys the time he spends with his children. But when it comes to his job, it’s not the centre of his life. It’s just a way to pay the bills, so he can spend quality time with his wife and family. Indeed, Jim hates his job. He can’t stand going to work, and when he gets there, he can’t wait to go home. Such an approach may be satisfactory for some occupations, but trading isn’t one of them. Trading requires commitment and persistence. One must build up skills to the point that a trade can be executed effortlessly, with precision, over and over again. It is essential to enjoy trading and trade because it is your passion. The profits should be less important than the fulfilment that trading offers.
If you view trading as just a way to make huge profits, you’ll never achieve profitability. It is ironic but true. You’ve got to want to trade with a passion. If you worry about profits, you’ll never make them. You will want to leave the game before you’ve really started. Sure, you can make a few winning trades, but it’s trading consistently, and over the long haul, that really matters. And that requires commitment, the kind of dedication that is rare. Trading must be a calling, a life’s mission.
That doesn’t mean it must be the centre of your life, but it has to rank up there as an important part of your life (It is vital that you maintain a balance between work and your personal life, for example). If it isn’t, you’ll get discouraged easy. Setbacks are the rule, not the exception when it comes to trading. Unless you are ready to put in a heroic effort, you’ll never be satisfied. When you face the seemingly endless setbacks, you’ll start to think, “I don’t really like doing this. Why don’t I just give up? I’d rather be doing something else right now.” And when that kind of thinking begins, you will not be able to continue trading with a peak performance mindset. You’ll start making trading errors, and soon, your account balance will begin to suffer.
Another potential problem is that you’ll start imposing your will onto the markets, instead of accepting the market action effortlessly and naturally. Since you have a strong desire to make profits, and secretly want to be doing something else besides trading, you will want to see the markets behave in ways that are consistent with your expectations. And when the markets don’t conform to your expectations, you’ll be upset and easily discouraged. That’s why it is necessary to cultivate a passion for trading.
Rather than considering how trading profits can change your life, focus on how enjoyable the process of trading is. It’s fun; it’s challenging; and when you devote enough time and energy to it, it can be fulfilling.