"Manage Your Workspace Correctly and Good Things Happen."
Part 10 in the "Mental Fitness for Futures Traders" Series
by Norman Hallett, former CTA/Trader
Any experienced trader will tell you that being successful
is, in large part, a matter of overcoming all the hurdles that
get in your way. Now there are two basic types of hurdles:
the physical ones and the mental ones… and actually some-
times they get intertwined.
Let's look at a few of them:
** A big thunderstorm causes an electrical surge or outage.
You're in the middle of a trade, and you're scrambling around
groping for your cell phone so that you can call the floor
directly and have them be your eyes and ears. That's stress,
** You've got your eyes peeled on the charts, waiting for
the signal so you can pull the trigger.
A phone call comes in about something other than the trade
you are concentrating on. You know you can't talk, but you
don't want to be rude. Well, being polite just may cost you.
Trade missed. You've waited all morning for everything to
fall into place and you missed it. You're angry.
** Today's a good day. Your primary trade is going well.
You're getting close to your target but the RSI seems nowhere
near a peak. You don't want to take the profit quite yet even
though you're right on top of your price target. Hey, let's let
it ride a little and we'll just trail it with a stop. Surprise news
and "el dropo" and the market blows through your stop.
You feel like a jerk.
As you know, I could go on forever.
So, what's my point?
Distractions to following your system come from outside
(lightning and phone calls) and inside (your "feelings" about
what could happen).
It's your job to MAKE THE COMMITMENT to follow
your tested trading system. You've got to be deadly serious
Get caller ID so that you take only the calls that you HAVE
Have a contingency plan when the lights go out.
Note: I knew a trader that held to the concept of "mental stops".
He was lucky for a while, but when a power outage hit in his
part of New York City, he couldn't get through to the floor.
The lights went back on in about 15 minutes but by that time
he had lost a bundle. His "mental stop" turned to "mental
anguish". After that, he put his stops in… but just for a week
and he was back to his old habits.
He doesn't trade anymore. The sad part is that the guy had
Trading is a business. Treat it like one. You've worked hard
to arrive at a system that you can trust… well then, do
everything in your power to stay focused on the ONE TASK
of following that system to the tee.
To do otherwise is to be out of control.
Maintain your Focus.
Maintain your Discipline.
At all times.
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