Sunday, September 11, 2016

Five Keys to a Peak Performance Mindset

What is the right mindset for best trading?  Here are five ideas, drawn from successful traders I've known and admired:

1)  An open mindset - Traders succeed when they see things that others don't.  Sometimes those are overarching themes and trends; sometimes they are short-term patterns in market behavior.  To see things differently, we need a mind that is open to new and different information and open to shifts in market behavior.  

2)  A quiet mindset - Minds filled with noise can't process new information.  When we're focused on ourselves and our profits/losses, we're no longer focused on markets.  We can't exercise self-control in our actions if we are not able to sustain control over our thought processes.

3)  A constructive mindset - Losses happen.  We miss opportunities.  The great trader learns from mistakes and embraces the lessons from drawdowns.  If every day brings wins from trading or wins from learning, there is always something of value to be taken from each day.

4)  A positive mindset - It's because we cannot count upon our profits and losses to make us happy that we need to lead a fulfilling life outside of trading.  A life that is filled with meaningful activities, fun activities, activities that bring us close to others, and activities that give us energy is most likely to provide us with the emotional fuel needed to power through challenging market times.

5)  An action mindset - All the best ideas and intentions will get us nowhere if we aren't prepared to act upon them.  The action mindset is one focused on plans, translating excellent ideas into excellent risk/reward opportunities.  Preparation is idea-focused, but also execution-focused.  It is as important to work on our implementation of ideas as our generation of them.

The above criteria form a useful checklist for making sure you're in peak performance mode.  The right mindset won't, in itself, bring profits, but the wrong mindset can ensure losses.  At the end of the day, trading requires skill in the processing of information.  When we work on our mindset, we keep our information processing engine well-tuned.

Further Reading:  The Essence of a Trading Process