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 a powerful feeling.
Try to remember…
If you were to put that feeling into one word, it’d probably be “mastery”, wouldn’t it?
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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?
That’s how we all 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 forefront 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, and so on.
On the other hand, the things that we do based on the attainment of mastery are usually healthy and they promote genuine and long-lasting wellbeing.
This is T H E one thing that defines good traders — they have understood the importance of focusing on mastery.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t aspire to make money in trading. We can and should have that aspiration in mind, but we should also understand that there’s a universal process that leads there. And it’s Mastery.
To master your mind is to master trading.
In trading, you might have an amazing a trading system or an uncanny talent to predicting market direction, but if you don’t spend time working on your mindset, these will be as useful to you as a $100 bill on a 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 not only profitability but also an amazing life.
So mastery in trading implies mastery of mind, and to the get-rich-quick prospector or the uninitiated, this might sound like a platitude. But approaching trading 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 this in mind: Mastery is analogous to building muscle. As one has to consistently exert force to grow bigger and stronger muscles, mastery requires that one consciously and consistently exerts effort, doing what is right instead of what feels good.
The mind cannot expand without that initial measure of discomfort.