Always Be Learning

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
Dalai Lama

When you love to do something, you enjoy learning more and more about it. Most active traders would rather trade than do just about anything else. Do we enjoy the learning? Depends upon how we come upon it. When something is a core value, our fascination with learning more about it is endless. You can’t get enough of it. However, when we learn through painful experience, such as the hard knocks of trading, enough certainly is enough.

Losses are tough. Errors and mistakes are bothersome. And, yet there’s almost always a lesson in there if you remain alert to improving. I’ve always said that mistakes are okay if you acknowledge them and learn from them. James Joyce said, “Mistakes are portals of discovery.”

As I trade and make mistakes, I say to myself, “I don’t have to do that again.” And I feel reassured and optimistic about the future. Of course, I do, “do that again”. We all do. There are certain default attitudes and positions we naturally fall prey to. But with an attitude of learning, we do it less and less until we (hopefully) stop repeating the unhelpful thinking and behaving.

When you trade with an attitude of constant and never ending improvement, you are alert to small and large ways to get better. Not perfect, just better. You pay attention to what you are doing that works so you can repeat it.

I like to end the trading day asking myself, “What did I learn today?” Then I ask myself, “How can I utilize that tomorrow?”

You always want to be careful to ask yourself those questions that will get you where you want to go? “How can I become a better trader?” “How else can I become a better trader?” are both good questions. Never ask yourself toxic questions such as “Why do I always lose?” Worse still, “Why am I such a loser?” As Carl Jung said, “To ask the right question is already half the solution of a problem.”

As a trader you want to be in a vigilant and continual process of personal and professional amelioration. If you’re seeking to get better all the time, you won’t get worse, at least not for long. Onward Traders!