Think Like A Trader Blog

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Where Are You Going?

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I have decided to expand the scope of my Think Like a Trader blog. I am doing this for a couple of reasons:

-       There is only so much I can write about the physical act of trading without the material growing stale and my mind turning to mush as I try and think up new articles.
-       The second reason is that I believe becoming a successful trader – or a success at anything in life – is a lot to do with the steps you take as a person day to day, not merely in the limited field of what you are striving to learn.

My hope is that by writing about things that interest and help me, I will also be able to offer a glimmer of insight and inspiration to you, the reader. We can waltz through this crazy thing called life together, on the back of shared experiences and feedback – yes, that little comment section on the blog or Facebook channel is for you and your views and insight should you ever want to share.

So where are you going?

It’s a big question unless you dial it down to the simplest foundation of the question – ‘Well, I’m on my way to work,’ or ‘I’m heading to the cinema.’

Life is essentially a great big mystery. Sure, lots of people act like they have it all figured out and know what they’re doing, but in reality they are just as lost as the rest of us. Our understanding of life is essentially to follow the rulebook left over by our ancestors whilst trying to slowly improve our quality of life.

This can create problems for all of us. I know it did and still does for me. Because our well laid out rulebook leaves very little for interpretation. It goes a little something like this:

1)   Go to school and get an education.
2)   Head off to higher education in order to give yourself the best chances in later life.
3)   Get a job, meaning a career where you will spend most of your time for the next forty odd years.
4)   Find a partner. Buy a house. Have 2.4 children.
5)   Retire.

I am sure you would all draw up a similar step-by-step if you all had to explain the journey, as expected of us, through life.  The problem is that it isn’t good enough for a large portion of us. It is nowhere near good enough.

I didn’t go to University – shock shock, horror horror. I didn’t go because I didn’t see the need for it. I had just spent the majority of my childhood in an educational setting that seemed weighted toward the ability to remember pages of textbooks and then regurgitate that information during a test setting. I noticed that the ‘smartest’ amongst the school discipline were often people with very little common sense or ability to work around problems outwith the textbook remit.

I am not trying to belittle schooling here. I should point that out. School offers a fantastic opportunity for many people and if it fits with you then that is absolutely fine.

But what about the rest of us? The ones who find themselves looking for something different?

Well, it may not be pointed out by the mainstream, but we have just as much chance of success as those who hit the books and study (aka memorise). It isn’t pointed out during education that a huge portion of those we all look up to and admire are lacking in formal education. Lots of them were considered as people who would not succeed.

So where are you going? Because it is a question that is absolutely necessary to ask yourself. And if the answers do not fit in with societies 5 step playbook, then it is also ok to realise that you are more than capable of finding your own path.

Maybe you want to travel the world – That is fine.

Perhaps you want to dedicate your life to photographing butterflies – Good for you.

You want to learn how to make fish tanks and start your own business selling custom made ones? – Excellent idea!

You want to try and become a trader? To learn an industry with a 90% failure rate – Go for it!

One thing I have learned is that the journey of life is a very individual experience. If I could pass on one piece of advice, it would always be that it is ok to do what you want to do rather than what is expected of you.

You are the only one who is experiencing your life. At the end of it all you are the only one who has to pay the price of life – and that is death. The in-between is yours to do what you want. To go where you want and follow your own path.

So make it a good one!

I hope you all have a great trading week!


  1. So true, I was never one for school or any kind of education. Never liked it. I came out of school with 3 gcses and not having a clue what I wanted to do. I ended up getting a apprentaship as a electrician and have done well. But I have finally found something that I have a real interest in and thats trading. I thouroughly enjoy it and work hard on ot and spend countless hours looking at charts. Ive spent more time on trading in the last 4months than what i spent learning my trade as a electrician. Any one can achieve and be successful as long as you have a goal and determination. Hope fully one day I will be come a successful trader.

    1. Couldn't agree more Scott. If you enjoy something and it can make you money then there is really no better dedication of your time.

      I think the problem is that many people give up on their goals too quickly. It's that need for 'instant results' that causes the issues. I can still remember going through the period you're going through now - sitting at the charts almost every spare second I had! I have to say I actually really enjoyed it.

      Good luck with the trading.

  2. One good exercise I found useful is to imagine a funeral (stay with me here), where you recognise most of the congregation, you approach the casket to pay your respects and it's you lying there, it's your funeral. imagine that your wife gets up to talk about you, what do you want them to say about you? your work friends talks about you, your friend in the butterfly photography club. Your 2.4 kids might say something of what you meant to them.What this does is help many people realise that the life they are living has no end in mind. If you paint a picture with no clue as to what it is supposed to be then it'll probably look crap and you won't be satisfied or you might get lucky. If you know what you want to achieve then getting there becomes going out with a map. I dont know if that helps anyone but it gave me a good pause for thought when i learnt it.
    I went to the school of life by the way and at 16 they made me redundant.

    1. Hi Greg. I have never heard it set out like that before. I think it's a great way to look at life and one I will be using in the future!

  3. I plagiarised Stephen Covey's idea from his book the seven habits of highly successful people. Definitely explains it better than I do as well.

  4. I plagiarised Stephen Covey's idea from his book the seven habits of highly successful people. Definitely explains it better than I do as well.