Ever get the feeling that you seem to be going nowhere? That you are just treading water, breaking even, not quite forging onwards? I'm starting to get that feeling with my trading. In a way, this is a sign of improvement. The boom and bust days of earlier this year are consigned to the past. I'm now in a period of consolidation and steadiness and I am consistently profitable. But it's not quite become the all-singing, all-dancing march to financial freedom that I had expected to reach by now. I know that I was shouting from the rooftops about the return of my focus in my previous post but 48 hours can be a long time in the ladders business! Tuesday was another excellent day profit-wise but today was a disaster.
A different issue seems to crop up every couple of weeks; lack of patience, bad money management, anxiety, slack professionalism, lack of focus............and now, we have a new contender! Actually, it's more a re-surfacing of an old foe, perhaps the one single thing that has always dragged me down the most in life - impatience. I found myself jumping into games too early today, trying to force things too quickly. It's as though I can't be bothered to wait for a solid opportunity, I just want to be out of the trade as soon as possible. I believe that the crux of this impatience lies squarely with one over-riding factor - passion. Or rather, a lack of it.
When I first started trading, I had an intense hunger and desire to learn about tennis and to be successful making money from it. Through all the rocky patches, I almost always woke up each morning with that same enthusiasm. But recently, I have lost some of that passion. I have blogged in the past about how I became jaded with football, to the point where I no longer enjoyed watching it and therefore could not focus when trading it. I think that in recent weeks, I've begun to feel the same way about tennis. This was my worst fear. Without that passion, I am going to struggle to enjoy what I do and to be successful.
This week, my subconscious aim has been to wrap up each match in super-quick time and that means getting off to a fast, winning start. I wanted to get out of each match with minimum fuss and minimal thinking. It was almost as if trading was becoming an inconvenient necessity, a nasty chore that needed finishing in order to get on with the fun stuff. But this wasn't how it used to be, just as it wasn't when I first got into football gambling. I absolutely relished learning all about the different leagues of each nation and enjoying the different styles of soccer. It didn't matter if it was the Champions League final, a crazy Copa Libertadores 2am special or a 9am Indian I-league match in front of a hundred locals and a dog on the pitch, I loved the variety.
I had that with tennis; the different surfaces, the 'soap opera' of the players and the rankings, the feel that each tournament has from a tiny 250 in Tashkent to Wimbledon. But lately, that spark for learning has dissipated. I need to view trading as a challenge, as I did in the early days. I need to view each game as an individual puzzle; one that has to be cracked using knowledge, experience and PATIENCE. I must look at each tennis match like a game of chess. That's one of my favourite games and it requires great focus and patience but ultimately, it's a fun challenge. If I can apply the same ideas when I approach my trading, maybe I can improve. I need to wake up each morning and act as though trading is the centre of my world until the working day is done. Each match should be viewed as a mini-battle, a puzzle that I need to unlock in order to gain access to the flow of cash known as 'the markets'. It should be a slow and careful process; I shouldn't just be marching straight into the melee with my queen, getting captured and then exposing my king by recklessly sending my pawns all into battle.
For the most part, I need to bide my time; send out the knights to scope the place out, prime the bishops for a stealth attack and release the rooks from their cul-de-sacs. And when one of my pawns gets taken, I shouldn't start panicking and sending in the queen for immediate retribution. I just need to re-group and re-think my strategy. The puzzle intensifies and with it, so should my passion to work my way out of trouble. This is how I'm going to approach each day now, like a game of chess - passion, puzzles and patience. Hopefully, my trading will be less stale-mate and more check-mate.