Teach yourself to trade – DESIRE (part 1 of 6)

So as Napoleon Dynamite says “You gotta have skills, man” and that’s exactly my approach right there. However, what you aren’t really taught in school is how to actually learn. I believe if pupils were actually taught from an early age how to learn for themselves then we’d all have an entirely different outlook. To be completely honest, by the time I left school I was entirely sick of sitting and learning.

It took me a long time to realise the value of the education I received and to understand the importance of adapting by being able to teach myself new skills.

Since I realised this (now, blindingly obvious) fact I’ve nearly doubled my income just be refusing to be in a position where I don’t know how to do something. Need to understand some program? Buy a book and go through it. Need to learn how to manage projects? Again, there are many courses and sources of information about this subject.

However, the challenge with trading is that it’s not linear (not even close) and doesn’t follow the usual do ‘x’ get ‘y’ result path that most skills have. If, as I’ve done, you want to improve your fitness then the steps are relatively easy.

  1. Figure out your starting point
  2. Figure out where you want to end up
  3. Sort out your diet
  4. Commence and exercise plan
  5. Rinse and repeat until you reach your goal…

Now, writing it down like that makes it look easy and improving your physique relies on a simple formula involving effort, calories and the frequency of exercise. Now compare this with the sheer volume of people trying to tell you how to improve your physique or catapult your trading results into the stratosphere! It is indeed a confusing and distorted picture. Hopefully this handy guide will hopefully shorten your learning curve and provide a framework within which you can teach yourself to achieve greatness.

Essentially there are 6 components

Desire – Why do you really want this goal?

Focus – How are you going to keep yourself pointed at this goal?

Chunking – What are the smaller steps to reach this big goal?

Learning – What do you need to learn? What’s your plan for learning?

Feedback – How will you measure your progress and course correct?

Rewards – How will you reward yourself as you move towards your goal?

So let’s not hesitate and jump straight into the first part…


Let’s be frank about this – you gotta want it. To become an expert at anything means you’re really going to have to put the time in consistently over a number of years. Now, I’m aiming for a level of expertise that means I do achieve the much sold dream of being able to trade from a beach with a laptop and an internet connection. Personally I don’t like beaches but it’s that level of freedom and independence that really appeals to me. How you think about it is completely up to you. How you dream about it working is completely up to you.

Again, you have to really, really want it. If 35%-10% of traders are consistently taking money from the other 65%-90% then I want to be in the top 5%. All the rewards go to the people with the most skill. If you’ve attended any events or trading training it’s always the people who are so darn good doing the talking. They’re excellent presenters who know their subjects because they’ve been doing it for 5,10, 20 years. And they are still learning…

Are you able to make that level of commitment towards freedom and independence? Will you ever give up? Most of the people I was on a traders course have already. For me it’s a constant battle to keep an eye on what the markets are doing because my work situation right now is just bonkers. Am I going to stop? No. Am I trading as much as I’d like? No. Can I give up my job and just trade? Hahahaha… No… so I’m figuring out ways to work around it. All the obstacles possible will appear and have a good attempt at stopping you pursuing your dreams.

At this point… in the fine tradition of ‘self help’… an analogy 😉

Approximately 5 years ago, for a number of personal reasons I was unfit, getting fat and not very happy. So I began running. In the beginning I could not even run 5 minutes without  essentially coming to a stop and trying not to throw up a lung. Running when you’re extremely crap at it and looking like s**t is an embarrassing experience. However I persevered and a few years later managed to complete an ultra-marathon (yes, it’s crazy) then started going to the gym because I still wanted to look better, fitter, more muscular etc. Now, in the first year I did ok but didn’t really know what I was doing. Second year? Improving but not by much – generally frustrated by the whole experience but still working out 2-3 times per week… This year? Changed my diet totally, recording everything I do, lifting far more than ever, reaching for big targets. EASY!!

(Still not quite 100% there yet but now I’m completely sure that I will get there – eventually)

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that doing something with desire and not giving up for a consistent period of time means that there is a certain inevitability to success. All you need to do is want what your aiming for and not give up. You will get there. Just don’t give up!!

I know I should probably write more about my personal ‘why’ regards trading but I’d rather you thought about your own reasons than read about mine. Concentrate on something hard enough for long enough means you also have to relax about the time-scale and accept you need to enjoy the journey, the process. Writing about the process is also interesting for me so keep an eye out for part 2 coming soon about how to keep Focus on your goal…

Now, I’m off to the gym 😉


One thought on “Teach yourself to trade – DESIRE (part 1 of 6)

  1. Pingback: Electronic life management… « robertsweetman

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