Sunday, December 20, 2020

How To Sustain A Peak Performance Mindset

This week's Three Minute Trading Coach video tackles the topic of "personal process" and what it takes to become more consistent at managing ourselves and keeping ourselves in peak performing condition. So what goes into a personal process?  The most recent Forbes article introduces the idea of "holistic development", in which our self-management pursues multiple areas of growth, creating powerful synergies.  Instead of setting different goals each day and never really working on any areas in a deep, ongoing way, we can turn personal development into a true personal process, where we work on key areas of growth day after day.

The idea here is that we can develop a peak performance mindset the same way we develop peak performance in trading.  Working with traders at SMB Capital, I've been impressed by the pace of trading success among developing traders who consistently keep score in their trading, track what's working and what's not, and make small but steady improvements in what and how they trade. These traders consistently review which trading ideas are working and which aren't; which times of day are most and least profitable; which ways of managing positions are working best; and so much more.  It's in collecting all this information through platforms such as Tradervue that traders can develop by making consistent efforts to do more of what works and change what's not working. 

When we make these steady, successful efforts at improvement, we generate a positive mindset based on growth.  In that peak mindset, we are energized and most likely to see and act upon opportunity.  I recently spoke with a trader who perceived opportunity in the late-day trading when TSLA was added to the S&P 500, but did not act on the opportunity because of fatigue and fear of loss.  When we are in peak performance mode, the sense of impossible becomes a mindset of "I'm possible", helping us take advantage of current opportunities and perceive emerging ones.

The same scorekeeping that works for developing traders can also anchor our personal processes.  In the coming year, I will be working intensively with Fitbit and Muse to collect data on my stress levels, focus, fitness, sleep quality, and much more.  That information will help me tailor eating, sleeping, exercise, work routines, and social activity to maximize positive emotional experience, energy, and productivity.  My hypothesis is that the resulting increased well-being will spill over to a variety of life areas, from trading to personal relationships and professional ones.

Many traders want to work on their psychology by reducing negative emotional experience.  There is an entire horizon of development that they miss by not maximizing their mindsets and creating a peak performance lifestyle.  The process that creates trading success is the same one that fuels life success.  We have the tools available to turn excellence into a lifestyle.

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