Re-thinking "Discipline"

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by formikatrading, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. We always hear folks say that you need to be a disciplined trader. The problem is that the word "discipline" sounds and feels negative -- meaning that you "have" to do things you don't want to do. Accordingly, rather than beat yourself up about "discipline" issues in your trading, I believe it's more productive to think about your habits and behaviors related to your trading and whether they are moving you closer to your trading goals. Personally, it's easier for me to think of a habit or behavior I would like to change or implement to improve my trading and then figure out how can I enjoy that new habit or behavior as part of my trading process. Further, I find that constructive habits and behaviors in my trading spill over into the rest of my life in a positive manner. So focus on the process and learn to enjoy the process.
    comagnum likes this.
  2. speedo


    The word bring up the image of a super model with a mask and high boots. Seriously though, you bring up a valid psychological issue. Discipline is a harsh sounding and somewhat generic term which encompasses a number of things.

    Obviously, success requires a strong drive to truly understand price discovery and producing a strategy or strategies to profit from that understanding. It's been my experience that the key to "right behavior" comes down to overcoming fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of losses, fear of being wrong. The reality is there is nothing to be afraid of. We have no control over the future, and trying to do so often ends if destructive behavior such as ignoring or moving stops, doubling up on losses etc.

    Working to overcome these fears and control issues leads to a calmer mind allowing us to do what needs to be done consistently to trade successfully. It's not an easy path but for those who stick with it will find the qualities earned spill into all aspects of life.
    Cswim63 likes this.
  3. Disagree.

    "Discipline" is not subjective. It's like honesty. Either you have it or you don't. And like honesty, discipline is not absolute. IOW... none of us traders are "100% disciplined", though over time we strive to be better at it. Just like none of us are 100% honest.... like when your wife asks, "do these jeans make me look fat"? You respond (ignoring the muffin top), "no dear".
    soulfire likes this.
  4. speedo


    Get off my lawn Scat :D
  5. Think of discipline as a literal and absolute concept. The better you are at it the more money you'll make.

    We traders mish-mosh around... and make excuses for what we did/didn't do. That's got nothing to do with being disciplined.

    Proper trading is easy to understand but psychologically difficult to execute. That's where discipline comes into play.
  6. speedo


    You spoiled it for me, I will no longer think of a super model.
  7. Replace that image in your mind with one of Jabba The Hut... lounging on a PILE OF MONEY!!

  8. speedo


    Money is not a image of Jabba the Hut however...
  9. Agree that discipline is not subjective. But usually just saying "I need to be more disciplined in my trading" isn't that helpful so that is why I focus on the habits and behaviors that result in more discipline rather than just focusing on "being disciplined."
  10. There is only ONE "behavior" to being disciplined.... doing what you know you should even though it's not comfortable.... and even though you can rationalize not doing so for whatever reason.
    #10     Nov 17, 2017
    formikatrading likes this.