Finding Your True Passion
In the movie, "Wall Street," Charlie's Sheen's character, a broker about to be indicted for insider trading, is counseled by a senior broker: "When you look into the abyss, you see your true character." Think about the sentiment of this sage advice the next time you find yourself worrying about wiping out your account balance. If you lost it all, what would you do? If you're like most seasoned traders, the answer is, "I would do anything I could to get back into the game."
A perusal of "Market Wizards" reveals an interesting theme about passion for your true calling. Many of the "Wizards" started out trying to find any job they could in the financial industry. They needed to be around the action. Some of them gave up promising careers in other professions. That's how much they loved the markets. Many imply that they would trade the markets even if they merely made a living wage. In "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator," Jesse Livermore couldn't stay away from the markets. It was almost like an addiction. He had a strong passion for the markets. People need passion in life. Life can be tedious and boring. In his book, "The Drama of Everyday Life," Professor Karl E. Scheibe argues that humans are in such need of passion and drama that they seek it out in many different ways. According to Scheibe, the markets offer drama to many people. A select few people are not content to passively put their money into a mutual fund. Traders are fascinated by the dynamics of the market, the inherent drama that unfolds with every minute. It's not very exciting to leave investments alone. Instead, they seek out excitement. They enthusiastically go to work every day, try to beat the index, and add more drama to their lives.
When you live a passionate life, you single-mindedly enjoy the process of living. If trading is your passion, it is not about the money. It is about honing your trading skills, building up your knowledge base, and enjoying the process of trading. When you face setback after setback, in the back of your mind, you must believe that you are living for a higher purpose; you must feel satisfied knowing that you are living up to your potential and trying to be the best you can be in your chosen endeavor.
It's vital for your motivation to know what you want to do for a living. A wishy-washy attitude toward trading isn't going to help you when you are making losing trade after losing trade. A lack of commitment isn't going to force you to put in the extra effort you need to search for winning market opportunities. When you're tired and worn out, you won't pick yourself up and fight if you truly wish that you were somewhere else and doing something else. You must dedicate part of your identity to becoming a winning trader. It's not about the money, the glory, or the fame. It's a calling. You have to enjoy the process of trading, the intellectual challenge, and the inherent rewards. If you trade with passion, the rest will come naturally.