A few weeks ago I was having trouble getting in tune with the market in early going. So I started listing all the factors which seemed to be inhibiting my optimal performance. I realize that those factors are probably highly specific to me, but I offer a discussion of them for whatever good it may do others. As with all my threads, talking to you helps me to clarify my own thoughts. First a note on perspective. There is a popular school of trading thought that likens trading to athletics, or heaven forfend, recommends that you actually engage in sport. I call this Jock Strap Psych, and it makes me itch. That impulse is best dealt with, if it arises in me at all, by drinking champagne or taking a nap. So be assured I will not recommend anything heroic or strenuous here. My plan is to address the following beneficial states to achieve before trading. If you find them foolish, fatuous or flatulent, then by all means move on. In order of priority, they are: sobriety health satisfaction alertness calm confidence patience humility open-mindedness detachment focus determinism persistence. When all are achieved, then in my opinion, you are prepared to trade. Thoughtful comments are welcome.