The key to success is staying calm 80% of the time and not losing your nerve. Once you have a clearer mind, you can figure the rest out, but once you lose your calm, everything else starts falling apart.
Over the years, I’ve interacted and trained hundreds of traders but, when I first started trading my own money in 2007, I had no idea what was to come- none of us did.
I also joined dozens of trading workshops , the typical trainer tells students all the things about trading, the graduates throw their caps, take lots of photos, and everyone goes home happy after a two full days workshop. However, I decided to turn this typical educational route on its head.
In the world of investing, we will still do the studying and you still have to take actual risks. But I am not writing this to tell you all the things I’ve learned in my trading career. Today I will try to tell you what I learned in my biggest failures.
Throughout the financial crisis in 2008 that affected millions of jobs, I discovered a tremendous reservoir of resilience that helped me get me through this terrible time. I found resilience by overcoming the three Ps described by psychologist Martin Seligman- relentlessly , one by one. These include:
After losing most of my savings during the financial crash in 2008, I blamed myself for not noticing the symptoms of the impending economic collapse. Getting past this self-blame was the first step in building resilience.
For instance, Studies have shown that getting past personalization can actually make you stronger.
Unperforming Atlletes who believed they were capable of better results have shown dramatically improved performance. In other words, not taking failures personally allows us to to recover – and even to thrive.
Pervaviveness is the ‘ belief that an event will affect all areas of your life.’
I remember sitting at my trading desk full of flashing reds on the scree, staring into the free falling market. All I could think was , Where is everyone putting their money and how could this possibly happen?.
But then I got drawn into the discussion and for a second, I forgot about the losses. Why would I ever get upset about anything? Money can be made back. Something didn’t go according to plan might be for a good reason.
Permanence is the ‘Belief that the problem will last forever.’ For months, no matter what I did, it felt like a crushing grief and defeat would always be there.
I spoke to a friend who works on Wall Street and he told me in any kind of high-pressure situation, the key to success is staying calm 80% of the time and not losing your nerve. Once you have a clearer mind, you can figure the rest out, but once you lose your calm, everything else starts falling apart.
No matter what happens each day, I go to bed having three things to be grateful for. As gratitude and appreciation is key to resilience.
Failure is not durable. Even if I was not profitable when I first started trading, I would have learned so much by deciding to embark on this journey. That was the idea- I’m here to learn, I’m not here to win, I’m here to learn, because then I will win, eventually…
If your look through the ashes long enough, you will find the key to success in every failure.