Mindset: I moved my own cheese
If my heading makes no sense to you, it refers to a book, about change, called “Who moved my cheese?”
Before we get started please don’t think that this will be a generic “You can do it” or “I believe in you” piece.
This article is quite overdue as it was promised a few days back, but I have probably rewritten and scrapped this piece about 5 times. An extremely simple concept or thought changed my attitude towards trading, and life in general, and I found it hard to explain in the form of a blog.
I’m also not very good at expressing my emotions (according to my girlfriend).
I have decided that this will be the final draft so I hope that, through all the scrabble, you can find some sort of wisdom or truth that can assist you in your trading career.
“These days you can start a blog, sell shit online, but if you’re a DJ you need one track. And if it’s real enough and honest enough, and if it’s made of everything that’s made you. Where you come from, who you knew, your history. Then you may have a chance at connecting with everyone else. And maybe that’s your ticket; to everything.”
A quote that has nothing to do with trading. The quote comes from a movie called “We are your friends” where an aspiring DJ faces hardships on his journey to success. Nothing special, but it helps me every day. What is my story, and how can I stay true to what has made me to be who I am today? I believe that it’s very import in business, some sort of underlying personal truth in your service offering. Without that, we are all just empty shells that are not truly adding value to anyone or anything. I personally can start any business in South Africa, thanks to our capitalist economy, but that doesn’t mean that I could add value. This further factors into our lives and careers, but boils down to one thing.
Your upbringing and circumstances, in my opinion, drive your passion and desire to achieve your goals.
So why is it that most people set themselves up for failure in trading?
You may not realize it, but you are secretly hindering your own progress due to your mentality.
Let me address the dream first;
Most people with a 9-5 job will enter the forex market through their belief that it is an easy way to make money or that you can get rich quick (due to our need for instant gratification). What they soon realise is that it can be a lot more technical than they first imagined and that the information available is never ending. So they fall into the deep dark rabbit hole that I have been a victim of myself.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with educating yourself, there is a self-destructive habit present in learning “too much”. This happens because theory takes away our ability to implement (something called analysis paralysis).
I call individuals like this “professional students”. They know a lot, but could never put their knowledge into action.
Not a popular opinion, but that is why the 80/20 rule and the domino affect are so important.
It would drastically lengthen my story, so I have rather attached two articles to read before moving on;
So what happens? Through the many examples that I have seen – people overcomplicate unnecessary processes. New traders will always be unhappy with simple strategies and will continuously seek “better” and faster ways to make money. Unfortunately this greed or quest for the “holy grail” ends up in disaster – with them blowing their accounts over and over again.
But no one looks at the process itself. How many hours would one need to contribute in finding such complex strategies, back testing them (if at all), and implementing?
Have you not essentially fallen back into the “rat race” that you once craved so desperately to escape?
The answer is; You have
You have contributed your savings, and all your time into something that has not worked out so you feel burnt out and you may decide to quit.
That’s the basic story of most retail traders entering the industry during the FX boom.
Why did they not follow the simple strategies provided that were tried and tested? Greed is the answer, mainly.
Any experienced trader will know what a good return looks like. That same trader will understand that consistency and mentality is the holy grail of trading.
I use the example of compounding interest on a daily basis to argue this point: If you invest $500 into a trading account and manage to consistently return 10% per month for 10 years (without touching that money) you end up with just over $ 40 Million.
The same scenario, with greed involved, looks like this: You invest $500 dollars and with your magic wand manage to make 100% per month, but decide to withdraw all your profits. You do this because, well, YOLO and you also want that watch or whatever. 10 years down the line, you still have a $500 account.
Why would you not be patient?
Let me provide my example;
I have been trading for some time now and, historically, I know that I can return between 8-10% per month fairly easily. Somehow I came across a theory, which I turned into a strategy, which returned 80-100% per month. The downside was that it required screen time from 7 AM – 8 PM (something that I had never done before). It’s safe to say that after 3 months I was completely burnt out. Everyone that knows me knows that I’m not very emotional, but for those 3 months I was like a liberal on steroids. One day I came to the realisation that my current daily routine did not reflect my objectives in life, and I came to a point where I considered quitting trading altogether. After all, if you’re not consistently working towards your objectives, then what are you really doing?
Many people do this and fall for the fallacy that being busy is the same as being productive. It’s simply not true.
Fortunately that cheesy quote changed my mind-set.
After hearing it I remembered what my true objectives were and where I saw myself in the next 10 years. It’s not a revelation but I would recommend it as practice at least once a month. I realised that I did not need to chase big returns and that 10% per month, over the next 6-7 years would put me in a very good position.
In a position where I would have everything that I wanted.
So I changed my routine.
I implemented my day trading strategy that requires 5 minutes of my day, literally. My stress levels have decreased and I am enjoying trading again. I now have time to educate myself on more concepts, or to focus on other projects.
Isn’t the whole point of financial freedom the actual freedom to do whatever it is you want to?
And that’s what caused a turnaround in my mentality. A simple movie quote by a fake character played by Zac Efron. Thank you Zac Efron.
I know that it may seem simple for some people, or maybe I’m over exaggerating but I genuinely believe that; if you stay true to who you are and what you aspire to be and if you find the simplest way to achieve that, then you WILL become successful.
It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are. Whoever had a “better life” experienced their own problems, even if they had a head start. Remember to stay in your lane and you will overtake those people without even knowing it.
I am by no means a motivator, but;
Change your mind-set and you will change your life.
Move your own cheese.