Sunday, September 20, 2009

A LESSON ON ATTITUDE

The most dangerous enemies of success are those that hide somewhere deep in your own heart and mind. Those who say that the want success and yet hang onto the attitude of failure are deceiving themselves. Almost all failure is generated within a person's inner self, through their thoughts and attitudes. Looking through some history, Aristotle warned Alexander the Great that the most immediate dangers confronting his success were enemies within his own ranks. As you may know, the Macedonian army was rife with disloyalty, drunkenness, carelessness, etc. On an individual level, these actions could have been prevented by having a proper attitude.

Let's fast forward to now. A few years ago, a survey was conducted by a life insurance company to determine why unsuccessful salespeople failed. Here were the results:

37% failed because of discouragement
37% failed because of lack of industry
12% failed because they didn't follow instructions
8% failed because of a lack of knowledge

This should come up to 94%, and all four areas are directly related to individual attitude problems. Discouragement is caused by poor mental posture. Lack of industry is cause by a general bad attitude. Failure to follow instructions means you're just lazy and have a lazy attitude. Finally, a lack of knowledge comes from a mix of everything above. Most of the salespeople failed because their attitudes broke down well before they even displayed their failures through their actions. It's all about attitude.

In war, morale is the first defeat in any war. One side always loses heart before they are actually beaten on the battlefield. The side that believes in their ultimate failure will fail, no matter what other circumstances exist. A negative attitude almost always starts small and as you cling to it and believe it, it grows like a virus. When this virus gets to become so strong, it will overwhelm you until you break down. Sometimes, the psychological effect is so great that it can actually breakdown the central nervous system.

A good attitude doesn't come instantly though. It does not come from solving one big problem in your life. It comes from solving a lot of little problems, proving to your mind and others that you can overcome anything. For example, if you are consistently losing on your trades, take it day-by-day and isolate each problem and solve it. You have to train yourself to believe in yourself that you can overcome the difficulty of losing. You will most likely lose if you think that you will lose on a trade before you even place the order.

The quickest way to go from a bad attitude to a good one is through taking positive actions. Theodore Roosevelt once told a crowd of politicians before a major vote in Congress, "If you want to be brave, then start acting brave." He didn't say, "have brave thoughts." He clearly wanted action. You've heard that action speaks louder than words. Well, that applies equally to thoughts that lead to success.

You must take action to become better. You can't make successful attempts without first beginning with a successful attitude, and only you can make that choice. Suppose that nothing goes right for you, still. Do you quit? Hell no. No matter what happens to you, you can turn the "bad" experiences to your good.

Some people wish they could always have things exactly the way they want. However, suppose you could always have your own way - you would never make a mistake, never be opposed, never know trouble or failure. And...you would never develop the strength that comes from opposition, for the feeling of exhilaration that comes from success. Problems can become your best teachers. Remember Edison? He tried over 5,000 times to make a light bulb that wouldn't burn out without success. He learned something from each failure until he eventually succeeded. Even Shakespeare knew about failure when he said, "The best men are often molded from their own faults."

Listen, whether something is a problem or not, it's all in your head anyway. You have to realize that your life (and trading career) can be whatever you let it be. You don't have to let every little failure be a total wreck. Instead, tell yourself, "If there's to be trouble, let it begin here, and let me be the one to handle it."

Apply these principles to your trading.

1 comment:

Scalpwiz said...

Good post dude. I love when you right articles dealing with psychology. I've noticed something about people though, you can give them the greatest advice and most of them will say "oh gee that's interesting" and then go back to what they always do. Ultimately success in trading goes back to taking action and a proper mindset. One thing that has really helped me in my own trading is this blog, there used to be a big difference between the way you think and the way I think, I wanted to avoid working and get rich at the same time (doesn't work!) Now I appreciate the screens, by far one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet. Your blog taught me a lot so thanks.