Common Mistakes: Lack of Discipline

Based on my observations of people on our planet I fully understand why this is a common mistake. A level of discipline is needed in anything you do if you wish to be great at it and not just good at it. It really is what separates the top 5% of people, in any field, from the other 95%. Discipline in trading however is not an option like it is everywhere else because it is the difference between success and failure as opposed to being the difference between the good and the great. Let’s look at some basic effects of discipline in life that will apply to everyone, then see how we can connect it to trading. The examples I will use in this article may offend some of you but there is nothing I can do about that, try not to be offended by facts, I mean no harm.

I believe in maintaining a healthy mind & body so my examples will start from something as basic and simple like having the discipline to eat correctly. It seems easy enough but if you look around you it is very clear that a large % of people are overweight. This is due to lack of education, greed and/or laziness overpowering the simple discipline of a healthy diet. The education system and the fast food industry certainly don’t help but a little self-education is all it takes to understand what eating correctly is. A little discipline is all it takes to lose the weight and/or stay in shape yet many people can’t even do that. If you had a medical condition that made you put on weight easier than others, once again a little education about your problem and some discipline would be all it takes to overcome it.

Sticking on that topic we can move on to exercise. I can see it is not for everyone just by looking around, but it is a requirement of life, taking care of your body is more important than taking care of your car and most people seem to do that. If you don’t maintain then it breaks down, if you wish to age gracefully then daily exercise is a must. So once again here is another example of everyday discipline that many people struggle with. Excuses of not having time are certainly popular but it only takes 40 minutes a day to remain very fit. A little education on the subject and a little discipline is all it takes to stay on top of your fitness.

Now it may seem that I am straying away from the subject of Forex trading but I am not. In fact I remember reading about Richard Branson talking about exercise; Branson was posed with the question, “How do you become more productive?” Branson leaned back and thought for a second. Then he said, “Work out.” He said that working out gave him at least four additional hours of productive time every day. This productivity time can be used to speed up the unavoidable learning process that you must go through to become a successful trader. This learning process requires knowledge and experience, both of which require time.

Transitioning directly back to trading; discipline in trading could also be worded as simpe as ”˜following your rules’. Of course, you needed the discipline to learn and create your trading plan in the first place so we can’t forget that, but after showing the discipline to learn properly before jumping in you now need the discipline to follow your rules. A correctly formulated trading plan gives you pre-planned actions to take in every situation and therefore it truly is as simple as following your rules. Surprisingly enough though most people will stray. Tomorrow I will write an article to continue this topic but focusing directly on ”˜following your rules’ and the resulting problems you will encounter if you don’t