Last week in honor of the Holiday Season and the upcoming New Year, my message had to do with accountability and the fact that it is exceedingly difficult to amass success in anything if you don’t hold yourself accountable; and that goes double for trading. I’d like to continue on that theme. Over the first few weeks and perhaps months the year is still new and you have an opportunity to make progress on any resolutions or you can maintain a “resolute” perspective and hone your focus just a little more. This makes it a great chance to initiate real change in what you are doing in order to go to the next level in your trading and your life. Change is ubiquitous.
As we look at change it becomes apparent that we must identify what kind of change we’re talking about. Change comes in all forms as in, a change in residence, a change in relationships, a change in body size, changes in health, changes in finances, changes in vocations, changes in trading strategies – styles – goals – and markets. Additionally, as time goes forward, we notice changes in our surroundings, changes in the community, changes in products and services, changes in demographics, changes in laws, and changes in the culture. Furthermore, as we view change it is also ostensible that we are always changing as well, either moving forward towards the things that we want or going backward; nobody stands still – even though it may feel that way. Another point that is important to consider about change is that since it is ever present you’ll want to design your change; that is, design your growth. Someone once said of institutions (private or public), “If the rate of change outside of your organization is greater than the rate of change inside your organization, then the end is in sight.” This can be applied to you and me. It is also essential to reflect on the “rate of change” as it is one of the most influential variables affecting you. Most people make more decisions affecting their lives in one year than their grandparents did in an entire lifetime. One thing to keep in mind is to be deliberate about “how” you are changing. You’ll want to exercise some control over what happens to you. Let’s look at a few of the concepts and principles of change and how to apply them to help you improve your sense of control and well-being.
- Recognize that change is not an option. Change is ubiquitous…it is always happening in you, to you and around you.
- Those who succeed and live fulfilling lives embrace change through personal leadership. They are deliberate about how and in what ways they are changing (growing). They have accepted responsibility for their trading results and of course, they hold themselves accountable. They practice methods, techniques, tools and strategies to handle their growth and development and to get a grip on things that they cannot slow or predict.
- You must recognize that skill-building is a necessary companion to not only your trading but your living. Skills are not innate. Even if you are fortunate to be born with talent, that talent must be honed, developed and expanded through skill-building. As you gain competence in your ability to manage the variables of your life, you will gain confidence along with a positive attitude in general that will serve you greatly.
- Focus on your choices. You can either be a victor as you manage your thoughts, emotions and behaviors or you can be a victim, falling prey to the whims of change. You must choose to be a leader and create your destiny. Take the time to assess your values and beliefs, then set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals to secure your path to success.
- Be aware of what drives change.
- The information explosion is a critical factor in the increase of the rate of change. It is estimated that the total accumulated knowledge of the planet is doubling every 2 to 3 years. This means that you must also increase your knowledge each year in order to remain competitive in the markets.
- The technology eruption accompanies the information explosion and powers the rate of knowledge growth. Just think of your present trading platform and the number of new software changes that happened just in the past year and that are making it both easier and in many ways more complex to use them.
- Competition and the globalization of the knowledge and technology blast means that you must continually hone your skills and increase your own knowledge in order to be competitive.
- Be flexible. Your ability to accept, adjust and respond is imperative to your ability to remain ahead of the curve. You must be adaptable to change and as well realize and recognize that your growth is a process and sometimes you must slow down to speed up. Your mistakes and your failures are lessons and opportunities.
- Use appreciative inquiry to continually question your choices. Ask yourself for example: Knowing what I know now are there any decisions that I’ve made that I wouldn’t make over again if I had it to do again? Are there any trade strategies knowing what I know now that I wouldn’t get into? If you find through inquiry that you have embarked on a path that is not serving you then you may ask: How do I get out of this situation and how fast? As you use these and other questions like them, you will re-evaluate your positions, markets, relationships, and protocols. Remember, whatever positive behavior has gotten you where you are today is not enough to keep you there. Getting outside of your comfort zone is a requirement for growth.
- Continually increase your self-awareness. It is imperative as you move forward to become aware of your improvables and your issues in order for you to successfully address them.
- Remember that challenges are opportunities. Change can be your friend; even changes that are stressful. You are built for adaptation and growth. This comes about as you both challenge yourself and are accepting of the challenges you are met with in life.
- Be proactive ways that will keep you poised to deal with challenges and preemptive as you anticipate what can go wrong and avert the issue whenever possible. As you grow in knowledge and skill, be sure to practice the tools and techniques that you have learned, early and often, in order to take control of your development as a trader and as a human being.
As the New Year progresses over the next few weeks, position yourself to burst on the New Year scene with a newly crafted resolve to hone your A-Game. Your trading is a reflection of your life. If you can’t keep commitments in your life, how can you expect to keep commitments in your trading? In other words, process mastery is not just for your trading. Set your sights for a new resolve in the New Year as you affirm to master your mental game. Also, get my book, “From Pain to Profits: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.”
May the New Year bring prosperity, joy, love, peace and happiness to you and yours.