Successful people are passionate about what they do. They aren’t concerned with the outcome, but with the process of achieving the outcome. That said, it would be nice to avoid worrying about outcomes, but few of us have that luxury. It’s a little too idealistic, isn’t it? Unfortunately, most of us have to earn a living, so the potential to lose a great deal of money from trading is always on our minds. Whether we trade full time or part-time, unless one is independently wealthy, making money, or losing it, is always in the back of our minds, and has some influence on our actions. This concern uses up psychological energy. We worry about it just a little bit with each trade we execute. But if we could just forget about the money for a moment, even just occasionally, we would be free and creative. We would enjoy what we were doing for its own sake. It may be hard to do, but it is worth trying to cultivate such a perspective. The more you can focus on the process of trading, the more you can trade in an optimal, peak performance mindset.
Top-notch traders say they view trading as playing a game or competing in a sporting event. As with any game, when you focus on the outcome instead of the process, you choke under the pressure. It’s the same with trading. If you can just focus on the fun, enjoyable aspects of trading, you’ll feel a greater sense of gratification, and you’ll trade more profitably. So when you feel bored or frustrated about trading, remind yourself about what you think is fun about trading. Some traders enjoy developing trading strategies, for example.
They view developing a trading strategy as an intellectual challenge. For these traders, the outcome of a trade is merely an indicator of how well the strategy is working. They don’t feel frustrated or bothered when things aren’t going quite their way. It doesn’t matter whether a trade is going well or poorly. Indeed, when a trade is going poorly, these traders are happy to close out the position and study their method in more detail. They work especially hard at discerning what is going wrong and how to tweak their strategies to make them profitable. It’s the intellectual challenge that matters, not the prize.
Other traders enjoy the thrill and excitement trading offers. Although there are virtues to trading in an objective, unemotional mindset, some traders relish the thrill of putting on a trade. They have the temperament of an explorer. They can’t wait to see what happens once a trade is executed. It’s thrilling and it gives them a rush. They aren’t necessarily pathological gamblers in that they seek out thrills merely to get their adrenalin pumping, but they do enjoy this stimulating aspect of trading. Knowing the mere process of trading itself will soon reward them motivates them to strive for mastery.
Whether you are a long-term investor or a short-term trader, investing is fun and inherently enjoyable. The more you can focus on the process, and its inherent rewards, the more satisfied you will be in the long run. So try to focus on what you find the most fun about trading. You will find trading to be rewarding and enjoyable, regardless of the outcome.