Making progress towards your trading goals is a long haul ticket, a marathon that often plays second fiddle to the demands of life. So how do you keep your eye on the prize when you have no choice but to commit to the things that need your attention now, without loosing momentum in your long term goals?
It’s a simple question with a simple answer, you do what you can, when you can. But what does this throw away statement look like in life? Currently I’m in Italy, working hard on a ground-school phase to learn how to fly a new and very modern helicopter. As ever these course takes months to get through and require focus, attention and 100% commitment, just like trading. It was obvious months ago that in order to put my work first and give the course the attention it rightly deserves I was going to have to take a break from the trading for a few months. I hate taking breaks, I hate feeling like I’m getting no where or that I’m not at least doing what I can to make my goals a reality. So how do you take a break without taking your foot off the gas?
You need a plan. I knew that in order to focus on work I wouldn’t be trading, but I also knew I’d have at least some down time, so I decided that I’d make use of it. That’s the first step, have a plan so you don’t have to waste time making one later. I made sure that when I had downtime I had set tasks ready to go so that what little time I had was utilised well. This past few weeks whenever I’ve had some time to myself I’ve been reviewing previous trades, going over trading videos, fine tuning trading goals, timelines and aspirations or simply chatting through trading with my a friend who’s on the course with me. I’m lucky I’ll admit, he also happens to be my Trading Coach. Secondly I made sure I had a list of things to do that would get me inspired
Thankfully the weekends are our own so whenever we’ve finished revising what we’ve learned in the week we’ve been straight in the car. I had a list of places that were close, within distance for a good road trip that would get the inspirational juices flowing. Not just for trading, but for life. There’s nothing better than soaking up some culture and seeing the world to give you a thirst for living inspired long term. This weekend we struck gold; we went to Monaco.
Monaco is a contradiction in most peoples’ mind. A real place far away from wherever we are in life, where fictional people live out fictional lives. A place of the others. A city carved in the hillsides the road into Monte Carlo was nothing short of spectacular, the descent into the city jaw dropping. Above all what grabbed me was that it wasn’t fictional at all. This place was real.
We spent the day walking the streets, climbing it’s steps and soaking in the sights. The whole place is like a fantasy land, the streets lined with trees so pristine you’d think they were straight out of Disneyland’s Main Street. We watched Helicopters land at the Heliport, Yachts cruise past the harbour and spotted every amazing car we’d ever hoped to see. A nice trip no doubt, but how has this helped my trading? What have I got from a city so far removed from majority reality as it is possible to get?
The answer is perspective. Walking around Monaco you already know it’s abnormal, it’s exceptional. You know this isn’t your life, but it is real life for some and that is something worth considering hard. As I spent the day bemused at the wealth and the extravagance of a city that causes so much debate and is potentially so morally contentious, I couldn’t help wonder where all the wealth came from? Where were the people from? What did they all do? I’d be fascinated to hear some of the stories contained within the harbour walls.
This isn’t a story of falling blind into the grips of shallow materialism or naked and boundless aspiration, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t say I came away from Monaco absolutely inspired as to what is possible in life. As I sat on The Rock watching the Formula E my mind was buzzing with trading ideas, concepts I need to revise, skills I need to refine and most of all the direction I need to take. The value of just one day spent traveling to a place my mind had previously regarded as quasi-fictional was a revelation and if we hadn’t planned that time off it would have never have happened.
So what am I trying to say to you? Life gives us time to pursue the things we love, at times that pursuit is fast paced, progressive and dense with inertia. At other times it’s slow, intermittent and over difficult terrain, but by identifying when and where these periods will be, we can plan for them and utilise them so that the journey is smoothed, constant and with a positive pace that enables us to make use of the opportunities life gives us, however camouflaged they may be.
I’ve had a great weekend, it’s back to the books tonight and back to class tomorrow where I can focus free in the knowledge that I’ve done what I can to keep my eye on the prize.
As ever thanks for reading.