|Feature Article |
|Motivating Images |
contemporary society, we are bombarded with media
images. We see luxury cars, designer clothes, and exotic
vacation spots and picture how blissful we would feel if
we had these prizes. If we could just get rich quick, we
could have it all: Wealth, possessions and happiness.
Images are motivating. If we could make a series of sure
wins, we couldn't wait until the markets opened. Trading
is not a sure thing, however. It's challenging. It takes
skills, skills that aren't developed overnight, but
after years of experience and hard work. Many traders
are initially attracted to trading with images of
wealth, but they soon find that trading isn't easy
money. Images that were once motivating are now
frustrating reminders of how elusive financial success
could be. Winning traders carry images that motivate
them to persist and overcome seemingly endless setbacks.
What images do you hold while trading? Do they motivate
you in the right way?
If you think only
about the profits you'll make as a trader, you'll be
distracted. Winning traders don't focus on profits as
much as the process of trading. When you focus on
profits, you suddenly start thinking that you "must"
make profits, and when you feel that you are obligated
to make profits, you put too much pressure on yourself,
so much pressure that you crack under the strain. It's
useful to find other less threatening images to motivate
can seem a little boring at times. Some traders make it
a little more exciting by imagining they are on the
floor of the exchange. They hear floor traders yelling
out bids. The frenzy of action is exciting. Who cares
about profits when you see so many people enthralled by
what they are doing? A winning trader isn't swayed by
emotions, but during those times when trading seems like
nothing more than staring at squiggles on a screen, it's
useful to recall the image of an exciting trading floor
to remind yourself that you are part of something big.
While the jazz
and excitement of the markets may motivate some traders,
other traders are motivated by the intellectual
challenge. To many traders, the quest to capitalize on
the market action is a game or a puzzle. Who will win
out? Will it be the bears or the bulls? Just like a
tennis match, it's fun to see what happens next. Can you
anticipate what your opponent is going to do next? Can
you respond with the right winning strategy at the
opportune moment? Other traders may imagine themselves
as a detective looking for a clue to a mystery, or
similarly, a scientist trying to discover the secrets of
the universe. Rather than focusing on the profits, it's
fun to enjoy the process of trading, the joy of
discovery or sense of mastery over a challenge.
traders, the sense of competition is a motivator, the
joy of winning the game. It can be fun to compete for
fun and see if you can be the winner. As long as you
don't put too much of your ego into winning, the thrill
of competition can enhance your motivation. If you look
at trading as merely sport, you can trade more calmly
and make winning trades. That said, focusing on
competition isn't for everyone. It's more useful to look
inward and follow your own standards for success, rather
than feel you must beat out others. But to the extent
you see trading as playful and fun, you'll be able to
take setbacks in stride and persist in even the toughest
of market conditions.
How we think
about trading dictates how we react. The images we carry
around with us can have a profound psychological impact.
Different people have different images that motivate
them. Sports and competition motivate some people;
trying to master intellectual pursuits motivates others.
Discover what motivates you? You can look at trading
from a variety of perspectives. Choose a set of images
that you find personally motivating. The more motivated
you are, the more easily you'll be able to trade day in
and day out, and achieve enduring financial success.
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