In life, and in trading, what is easy and entertaining is usually not what yields the greatest reward. In almost all aspects of our lives, we usually know what we should be doing. But very rarely we do it to the degree that would lead us the results that we want to achieve.
In university, we know that studying a few additional hours would definitely help us get better results. We know that by exercising for only 30 minutes daily, we could get in shape faster. Usually, we don’t do these seemingly beneficial things and we prefer to meet our friends for a some drinks after work, watch the latest episode of Lost or just browse the web for hours.
In trading, the same principles take effect. We know that we should some more time during weekends to write a trading plan and do some market research. We know that keeping a detailed trading journal and studying our past trades would help tremendously. And even though all these things would only take a short amount of time, we still don’t do them.
Why do we like to procrastinate? – Direct reward vs. delayed reward
Watching our beloved TV series, going out with friends or just watching funny clips on the internet is entertaining. After engaging in such activities, we get an instant reward and a feeling of satisfaction. On the other hand, going to the gym or studying, does not provide an immediate reward – it’s ‘boring’ and it requires active effort. The positive effects of these ‘tedious’ tasks also take longer to show up and, thus, we initially do not see them as valuable the moment when we make the decision what to do. However, the rewards of the actions that require active self-overcoming largely offset the things we normally do, and we know it.
The same applies to trading. We prefer to read in trading forums to hunt for new trading methods that promise a lot of money fast. Trying a new EA or trading robot is thrilling and you don’t need a lot of expertise to download an EA and get going. Thus, most traders spend their time going after these instant-rewarding activities, that have little benefits for their long-term success as traders. We even suppress the fact that following a disciplined approach, writing a trading plan and keeping a regular trading journal will (almost certainly) help us improve as trades, because we don’t want to put in the ‘effort’ that comes with it.
How to overcome your weaker self?
Unfortunately, there is no easy way out and no secret exists that we can provide that will all of a sudden make all those tedious tasks effortless and enjoyable. You just have to do it. Nike knew it all along.
Check yourself and be honest to yourself:
How long have you been trading? How is your development so far? Do your actions reflect your goals, or are you still following the get rich quick path that has led you to where you are now? Where will you be in 1 or 2 years if you just keep doing what you are doing? The following graphic confronts you with the most common mistakes and areas where traders procrastinate. Although it might seem confrontational at first glance, it is the fastest way to get a clear understanding of your current status and to correct your path.
The time will pass anyway and it is totally up to you to make it count.
What do you want to do next?
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