Lessons from the Pros


The New Year is an Opportunity for a New Perspective

Before you know it, we will be celebrating a new year. It is traditionally a time for reflection and resolutions. This makes it a great opportunity 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 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. As we look at change, it is also essential to reflect on the “rate of change” as it is one of the most impactful 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 that to be deliberate about how we are changing is to exercise some control over what happens to us. 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 wellbeing.

  1. Recognize that change is not an option. As stated in the above, change is ubiquitous…it is always
    happening in you, to you and around you.
  2. 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 the results of their trading and their lives and 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Be aware of what drives change.
    1. 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.
    2. 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 are making it both easier and in many ways more complex to use them.
    3. Competition coupled with 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Use appreciative inquiry to continually question your choices. 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 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Remember that challenges are opportunities. Change can be your friend, even those 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.
  10. Be proactive in 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 comes, 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.

May the New Year bring prosperity, joy, love, peace and happiness to you and yours,

– Woody Johnson


DISCLAIMER This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.

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