I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.
— Michael Jordan
For the holidays last year my oldest son got an iMac from his grandparents (yeah, they’re pretty cool…my grandparents loved me too and I barely got a Big Mac for Christmas). At any rate, he loves it… He has discovered the joy of games online and hasn’t looked back.
Given his age, his mother and I initially thought he would not be able to play the games and that he might get frustrated to the point of hating the computer. We were right…at first. He could not play the easiest games to save his life. Simple movements were beyond his capability and thus so were the games. We got nervous.
A couple of months after the holidays I stood behind him as he skillfully maneuvered a player through a pretty sophisticated obstacle course. I watched as he timed jumps to get extra points as well as jumped from one moving object to another. It was hard to believe that just a few weeks previous that very game gave him fits.
The same might be said of trading newbies… Your initial foray into trading (paper or simulated if you’re smart at all) can seem daunting… hopeless even. But slowly and painfully, if you stay with it and exercise some determination your jumps and timing begin to get better. Your score (did you think trading profits were anything else?) begins to improve. The darkness begins to lift just a bit.
The difficult thing is you can’t rush it. The desire to “win” immediately exists in us all… especially when we have succeeded in every other field of endeavor. However, maddening though it is, any attempt to rush the “trader mindset” is likely to lead to setbacks, frustration and, often as not, abandoning your journey to consistent profitability.
When the urge to quit taps you on the shoulder, be sure to think of my oldest son and other children just like him…enjoy the process of learning…of becoming a trader…ignore the passage of time. Before you know it, you will be viewing the markets through the lense of understanding, proficiency and, most important, the profitability.