“I feel my success comes from my love of the markets. I am not a casual trader. It is my life. I have a passion for trading. It is not merely a hobby or even a career choice for me. There is no question that this is what I am supposed to do with my life.” – Ed Seykota
The only way to be really good at trading is if your love it. You have to love the game, you must embrace the uncertainty, and you should be energized by the opportunity. Your love of trading can create the passion that will give you the energy to do the work required to break through to profitability. Trading is a professional undertaking like any other and requires getting the education before you make your money. The traders that come in looking for fast easy money will likely instead find that their own money will be donated to the traders looking for long term growth in capital.
If you look at trading as a game where you are trying to outsmart, out trade, and out last others it can be fun. If you never bet your lifestyle on any one trade you can be happy with the game. Trading can be done either full time as a living, part time as a passion, or for capital appreciation for building a nest egg. You have to be in the right segmentation for you. If you try to trade for a living with a small account you will have a bad time. Trading for rent month after month is not a path to much happiness.
You have to have a good quality of life as a trader and this requires being set up properly with the right amount of capital to accomplish your goals, a safety net if you are trying to go full time, you have to enjoy your life and be able to trade a system not trade out of the urgency to make cash for monthly expenses. Trading on a shoestring budget and trying to trade for an electricity bill is not a path to happiness. You have to know your goals and be on the right step in your process for your current level of knowledge. Do not try to speed up your learning curve the market will be there when you are ready to trade real money, trade for a living, or trade with a bigger account size. Stay with the level that makes you happy and advance to the next stage when you are ready to grow. Travelling your trading path too fast will bring on stress and unhappiness.
Keep in mind as you develop as a trader that your #1 goal has to be happiness. The best way to be happy is to be profitable. But even when you lose money you have to accept that it is just part of the game and you have to look forward to your next chance to win. If you are energized during your research, reading, and trading, then you will stay happy. In trading it is crucial to follow your bliss. Do more of what you like and less of what you hate. The things that traders really hate is usually big losses, holding a losing trade, drawdowns, regret about not following their trading plan, and a loss of discipline, the solution to avoiding these hated things in most cases is to simply follow your trading plan with discipline.
It is much easier to be calm when we are happy. Create the trading process that you like and trade inside a lifestyle that makes you happy. Filter your trading decisions through the question of “Will this make me happy. Ultimately our goal is not to simply trade but to reap the rewards that trading brings: fun, challenge, money, freedom, and independence. Our trading has to take us to more than just a place of financial freedom or wealth, trading has to deliver us to what our ultimate goal really is, happiness. If we are not truly happy then why are we even trading?
This is an excerpt form Chapter 13 of my book Calm Trader.