I’ve read two articles recently that can be applied to any aspect of life but can also be directly applied to trading. They both deal with the willpower, determination, negativity and overall struggle we face to achieve something we desire. Starting with a small account and becoming a millionaire is huge mountain to climb but one that is possible if you learn to use failure as motivation and negativity as fuel to succeed. Below are both articles and the excerpts I found most helpful.
I am currently only focused on studying and am not planning on trading until I am confident I am fully prepared (see why here). When I go back to trading I will be using both these articles as motivation to succeed and I hope they can help you as well. I have lost a lot of money, faced a great deal of negativity and thought about throwing in the towel more times than I can count, but it’s now those negative feelings and failures that are driving me to succeed.
You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question
If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.
A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.
Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.
What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.
If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.
Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?
That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.
Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.
This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”
This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.
ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD ON HOW FAILING CAN MOTIVATE
As soon as you’re hoping, you’ve already lost, because hoping means you’ve lost control. If you’re relying on luck, you’re no better than a Chihuahua, a quivering, helpless little dog. An astronaut isn’t helpless before his fate—he checks exactly what could go wrong during a rocket launch. In my book, I call that the power of negative thinking.
Self-help gurus are always advising us to think positively and envisage success, but it’s about as helpful as thinking about cupcakes. Just thinking about them isn’t going to help. It’s more important to think what could go wrong with a mission. Visualize failings, not success. That’s what’s essential to survival as an astronaut. I was an astronaut for 21 years, but I only spent six months in space. The rest of the time, I was looking into every detail that might have gone wrong during a mission. Once you’ve understood all the potential risks and you’re forewarned against them, fear no longer plays a part in your thought process.
I never experienced any fear when I got into a spacecraft— not because I was brave, but because I’d practiced solving every problem, thousands of times. Being well prepared makes all the difference. It minimizes any fear and gives you confidence.
Doesn’t negative thinking make you depressed in the long term, though?
Hang on a minute! I’m not saying you should give up all hope. The main thing is to visualize failings, not defeat.
In other words, don’t let your fears be an excuse for you to hide under the blankets all your life.
Get rid of the fears and make your dreams come true.