Motivation and How it Can Impact Your Trading

I’m always hearing people talking about how much they really want to succeed. But when I hear this kind of talk, I also find people who confuse a strong desire to be successful, for genuine motivation to make a real go of trading. People want to succeed and they want to reap the potential for considerable rewards as a result. But whilst they might have a strong urge to find success, they haven’t necessarily found that considerable drive needed to achieve it. Are you really a motivated trader?

Desire for something is of course directly related to the motivation required to achieve success. But there’s a critical mass before it turns into that unshakeable motivation – and desire can stem from several different sources, with each individual being spurred on by something that resonates particularly with them. Some people want to achieve financial freedom for example, whilst others see trading as yet another challenge they would like to conquer.

What do you prioritize?

If you really have a strong enough desire to motivate you to give trading your very best shot, then you’ll prioritize it over everything else. Work commitments, family life, personal routines etc. all should be worked around rather than acting as constant distractions. They will always be there, so it’s really important to recognize how they might affect your trading efforts and work to mitigate their impact. But prioritization is also proportional to belief and the value you place on an activity. The value people place on trading isn’t really too much of a question. Belief in your own ability to succeed however, is an extremely important factor in maintaining motivation – if you feel that your efforts are being wasted, why would you keep trying?

How Determined Are You?

Determination is the resilience you have in the face of failure. That ability to take your losses, shake them off and move on to the next task. The problem with trading is that taking losses requires far more emotional control than many other tasks in life. You’ll learn a great deal about yourself as you trade and it can help you to grow as a person. But as you learn and face setbacks and go through a variety of emotional rollercoasters, unless you are actually seeing some sort of return on your efforts it’s easy to find other things to do when you should be working on your trading.

Are you prepared to do the dull work?

This is especially true when it comes to work that you might find less exhilarating. Doing your daily preparation, maintaining a proper journal, analyzing your trade logs – whatever it is you particularly find boring. Of course it’s easy to argue that none of these are actually boring and if they are, you can reinvent them to turn them into enjoyable tasks. Nevertheless, there’s always a particular task that you won’t like very much. Whatever it is, a truly motivated individual will get through it in spite of not enjoying the task –

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”
– Muhammad Ali>

A final thought

A little while ago, I watched a documentary about a creature I hadn’t heard of before. Have you heard about the honey badger?

Stoffel, the little furball in question, is quite a character and it’s not just him. These creatures are smart, tenacious and nearly fearless (not to mention vicious – they’ll even go for lions!). They are always on the go, looking for food. When they face a problem, they face it head on and give it their all. If they don’t get what they want, they think about the problem and try a different approach – and they usually end up getting what they want. Honey badgers put many people to shame and I think there’s a lot to learn from these furry dynamo!

Trade well.

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