Commitment…what a great word. Used often but hardly followed.
Commitment defined is;
1) The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
"the company's commitment to quality"
2) An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
I applied the definitions to this blog to give you a first hand look at what the TRUE meaning of the word “commitment" is. I feel that it’s important to have the actual definition in front of you for a few simple reasons. First, to shed some realistic light onto what an actual commitment is. And second, to give context to an important question. This question was one I asked myself initially, and now I am extending it to the entire trading community or anyone else reading this blog.
Are you truly, by definition, committed to your craft as a trader (or anything else for that matter)? Are you truly committed to the undertaking of becoming a successful and consistent trader? Remember, the first definition reads “The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause”
Most people reading this will instantaneously answer “yes”, without thought…which is a huge problem! It is very easy to say “I’m committed to this path and to my goals of becoming a successful and consistent trader”. Unfortunately, the stark reality is that most people that say that aren’t actually, by definition, committed. They say they are but their actions suggest otherwise. I’m not here to tell you that you’re not committed, I’m simply here to say that your actions might be contradicting your words. There are thousands of committed traders out there. But with 90% of them failing how committed can they actually be?
In the theme of “commitment” in relation to trading, could a commitment mean trading one type of market, or trading one type of commodity, or trading a basket of stocks like ETF’s with a focus on pattern recognition? Or perhaps a commitment to risk management? What about a commitment to NOT GIVING UP or GIVING IN?
If you can recall the second part of the definition it reads “An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action”. Powerful stuff! What’s interesting about all this, is that if you were to amalgamate portions of both definitions you would be left if a very powerful statement and a road map to success; “The state of being dedicated to a cause with an obligation that restricts freedom of action”. I don’t now about you but the conclusion that I draw from that fused statement is that a REAL commitment is making yourself do something in a very specific manner with out deviation while turning a blind eye to knee jerk reactions. I know that for myself in the early stages of my trading career I was wandering around with no flipping clue on what to do. It wasn’t until I came to terms with “type” of trader I wanted to be, was I able to actually commit. Once I said I wanted to day trade and day trade certain patterns I was then able to pick a path. Once I had found my path I took my first real step. Granted it was about a year and a half AFTER I got into trading. With that first step I promised that there were no other options for me professionally, I was going to go full tilt. I was 100% committed to that path and nothing was going to stop me. I got knocked down and pushed back BUT because of my unwavering commitment to my path, I kept trucking forward. This piece is not about me trying to define whether or not you’re committed to your trading craft. It’s about sparking the idea of checking in with yourself to see if you’re truly committed and if so, to motivate you to keep going. This is NOT an easy gig. Hence why 90% people fail. But rest assured, failure is the by-product of weak commitment. It’s what happens when people give up too soon.
So in closing, I am not challenging your individual process with trading, I’m merely reminding you of what you should be keeping in mind when you speak of commitment. Stay focused. Stay committed. Stay grinding. Take it trade by trade, and steady educate yourself!
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