After a lazy break abroad, lots of time for reflection, and filling out heaps and heaps of forms (that include the same data) I thought I’d spill a few thoughts…
Being incredibly focused and highly productive is important to success. Although, the somewhat paradoxical truth is that; all perspectives are needed to yield the most productive solution to any problem. In particular, successful trading.
Obsession: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
During my trading career, I’ve done it all. I’ve sat up until 2 and 3 am obsessing over market movements, screen recordings, historical data, traded volumes and even attempted to unpick what others have said to advance my edge. I’ve traded 7 days a week, daytime racing followed by evening cards. I’ve made money on one sport before flipping to another (and then back again).
To be completely blunt, I’ve spent periods of my life where I’ve been totally consumed and obsessed with trading. But what have I learnt from this? and how can it help you?
There are many good things to be said about obsessive focus, a strong work ethic and doing something you’re interested in. Without it, extreme success is unlikely. However, there is a darker unhealthier side of obsession. It’s something that many won’t talk about, or even make an effort to hide. Ironically, it doesn’t help your trading profits either (more on that in a moment).
The ugly side of obsession is when those around you that matter are set aside, when money supersedes experiences or when you waste considerable amounts of time trying to convince others (social media is particularly bad, having seen some accounts pitching their narrative 50+ times a day). How someone would even have time to do anything else, I don’t know.
Being aware of these extreme’s are extremely important. Firstly; being aware gives you a broader, fuller, well-rounded view. Secondly, the real measure of success isn’t money. There’s no value to being the richest man in the graveyard and all that.
The Lazy Upside…
If you’ve done any of the things mentioned above, you’re probably seeing a positive a break away brings already. Although there’s more!
I recall blogging about this a long time back [you can see the post by clicking here] but there’s an added upside for your trading when you take some time out. Putting my finger on it directly is extremely difficult, although a break in behavioural cycles, relaxation and reflection have a powerful impact on results. I’ve only been back a short while and already, my daily progress is way ahead of where it was a couple of weeks back. Loafing about has drastically helped the bottom line!
The final upside to mention is relatively obvious, although slightly more difficult to measure. When I started out trading, I was frustrated with my lifestyle and finances – I felt stuck. Having the freedom to do as I pleased, retire early and bin the alarm clock were all distant dreams. It’s easily forgotten as we track the daily numbers, but having these options are the real jackpot, not obsessing over the next £1,000 as another afternoon of your life drifts away.
A Valuable Life Lesson From 2020:
The last 18 months have been chaotic for many of us. Sport cancelled, businesses stopped, the government letting us down and more…
It’s easy to get caught up in the noise of day-to-day life, although it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Maybe I’m getting old but I think the trick is to work less and earn well, enjoy the little things and those around you who matter. Don’t waste your time seeking material objects!
Last year I wrote off my car whilst travelling to the airport for a holiday, the insurance didn’t pay out a penny. In the past this would have really upset me, although I enjoyed that break away more than any other. Perhaps it was one of the most profound life lessons I’ve ever had in recent times.
Build a low-stress life and enjoy what time you have, you never know when it’ll run out!