Light The Fire

It is a constant and exhilarating journey knowing each day I will be put to a test, a subtle, almost intangible challenge of calm and control, focus and consistency, awareness and optimism. Each day I continue to commit myself to learning more about these skills of concentration, attitude, managing pressure, staying motivated, monitoring energy levels, thinking right, and all the while enjoying it. Each day the same challenge exists to choose excellence and reject what’s always easier: mediocrity. The ultimate test in trading is always to accept the gauntlet of the ultimate challenge: self-control and self-mastery.

I love this quote. I have it in one of my ‘quote docs’. I don’t remember where I got it from or who wrote it, but each time I read it a fire is lit within me. It reminds me that excellence is a choice. We can choose it each and every day; each and every time we sit at the screen to trade. And that’s powerful. Because so often it’s easy to slip into routine, coast along, and just go through the motions. No passion. No enthusiasm. No fire.

We get caught up in the problems, the things that aren’t going right, and the frustration of not quite reaching our grand trading goals. And the fire slowly dies out. And we forget why we took up this crazy business to begin with. But this quote has always reminded me to reconnect with that. It reminds me to reconnect with that heroic quest that attracted me to trading in the beginning. The stoics out there will cringe at this and say that there’s no such quest. That’s it all about the money. But I beg to differ. If they want to live an uninspired life, that’s up to them. I want the quest.

I want to feel alive each and every day. I want a fire to burn, and I want it to burn long and bright. Each day that I live in an uninspired manner is a day I feel I’ve wasted. And yet it’s always my choice to do so. I can make a conscious effort to remind myself each morning, and midday, and night that something bigger is taking place here. That I’m part of a larger quest that is defining my life. The quest for self-mastery. The quest to uncover and overcome all my hidden limitations. The quest to reach beyond the common view of the possible and the known and to experience something incredible.

If you don’t think trading can be your vehicle for this then either you’ve let the fire die out or it was never there to begin with. If it’s the latter, there’s nothing wrong with that. Trading can be just a business that makes you a great income. That’s fine. But find what fires you up and pursue that too. Because when you light that fire, your trading will benefit too. And if you’re in the former camp, don’t feel bad. We all slip there from time to time and forget how much better life is on the other side. So put aside self-judgment and simply resolve to choose excellence. Rekindle that fire, and let it infuse your trading. Think back to all the things that attracted you to trading and what you love about it. Reflect on that and forget about the frustrations. Write it down and read it every day. Condition yourself. Make it a challenge that inspires you. Do whatever you have to do.

And once that fire is lit again, your trading- and your life- will be reborn.

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