Think back to your childhood, when you were learning something new.
Whether you were learning to ride your bike, or solve that Rubik’s cube you spent your time begging your parents to buy you, try to capture that feeling of first discovering the thing you loved so much.
You probably weren’t being paid to learn it; you were just learning it because you couldn’t help yourself.
It was intrinsically fascinating and intellectually stimulating. But more than that, there was a feeling of joy in conquering that which was challenging. It was powerful feeling!
If you had to put that feeling into one word, it was probably “mastery”, isn’t it?
In Daniel H. Pink’s book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, he argues that mastery is one of the great motivators of human achievement.
This is why we spend countless hours doing certain things, even though no one is paying us to do so. That’s because the satisfaction of mastery is greater than any monetary reward.
Good traders focus on mastery. Not money.
Have you ever seen a three-year-old who’s not curious and self-directed? I haven’t. That’s how we are out of the box, but as we grow up, we change. The pressures of society get to us. Money and social recognition go to the fore-front and they become the driving force for the things we do.
When we do things solely based on these two criteria (money and social recognition), these can sometimes have dangerous side effects — leading to unrealized expectations, stress, unhappiness…
On the other hand, the things that we do based on attaining mastery are usually healthy and they promote genuine and long lasting happiness.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t aspire to make money in the markets. We can and should have that aspiration in mind, but we should also understand that there’s a universal process that leads there. In a simple word, it’s Mastery.
This is THE one thing that defines good traders — they have understood the importance of focusing on mastery.
To master your mind is to master trading.
This sounds like a mere platitude for the Get-rich-quick prospector or the uninitiated. But it’s the truth, and there is no more worthwhile pursuit.
As amazing a trading system you might have, or as talented you might be at predicting market direction, if you don’t spend time working on your mindset, these will be as useful to you as a $100 bill on deserted island.
On the other hand, if you spend even a quarter of your time mastering your mind, you will have a master key that will unlock the doors of profitability and an amazing life.
Approaching your mind with the same mix of curiosity and flexibility of a three-year-old; that spirit of conquering and completion, this is what good traders are after. That’s what takes the forefront in their minds, not the money. The money is ONLY a by-product of that.
Those of us exploring our own mental potential are the next generation of people who are redefining what it means to be a trader – and the best part is, you can join us!
Remember that feeling you get when you master something. Use this as your fuel! And always keep in mind that Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. In trading or in any other fields. As Daniel H. Pink puts in his book:
Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon.