Stepping On The Gas

You have the power to choose the direction of your focus. You have the ability to find the good in each moment, in every occurrence, and move forward with it.

~ Ralph Marsten

This is a lesson I try to impart to my Son on a nearly daily basis.

It’s easy to be scared of getting hurt. Or upset. Or afraid to try new food. Or worried about possibly losing money. But if that is were we focus our thoughts, then our energies have a strange way of manifesting that which we’re trying to avoid. How could it be any other way?

If all we’re thinking about is the downside, it’s remarkable how often the downside happens.

It is commonly accepted wisdom in trading that if we simply focus on limiting our downside on every trade or our equity curve, then the winners will take care of themselves. Good advice. And true.

The problem is, if I’m obsessed with managing risk and focusing on all the things that could go wrong so that I can protect myself from them — then in a strange way I’m putting all my energy into losing and not into winning.

What if I channeled all that energy into putting myself in to position to win big? I’m not saying to ignore risk completely. I’m just asking that if I used some common sense approaches to risk management and kept it simple, and then spent the rest of my time and energy setting myself up to win big as often as possible — wouldn’t it be amazing to start seeing trading in a new light?

Might I be more inclined to be more smartly aggressive when the situation called for it, instead of just letting “winners take care of themselves”? Might I be more attuned to spotting the moments and the setups for stepping on the gas?

Depending on where you are in your trading career, or where you might be in your latest equity drawdown, this subtle mental shift might be a powerful “ahah!” moment for you. It is for me, right now.

Now if I could only get my Son to stop declaring he hates steamed broccoli — without ever even trying it — maybe, just maybe, he’ll enjoy his first bite…