Sometimes you have to give up. Sometimes knowing when to give up, when to try something else, is genius. Giving up doesn’t mean stopping. Don’t ever stop.
~ Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
I’m too hard on myself.
I’ve often confused the point Mr. Knight is making above. I’ve often tricked myself into thinking “giving up” equals “quitting” or hanging my head in shame. And that very often is not the case.
A trader has very simple outputs that tell us if what we’re doing is working: money. If pile of money goes up, good. If pile of money goes down, bad. It doesn’t get any simpler than this.
However, just because I decide to change or rethink a strategy that isn’t working, this doesn’t mean I’ve given up. It just means I’ve learned a new lesson or observed a new data point that needs to be accounted for moving forward. To not change would be irresponsible. To not “give up” on the current path in service of the greater good would be just plain stupid.
Having a True North to aim towards makes this easier, and is definitely something I’m working on.
I just need to be constantly reminding myself next time I find myself at a crossroads with a trading strategy, a parenting decision, or a life decision: Giving up on the “bad” to so as to free up energy to focus on more “good” is a trade I need to make every. single. time. It’s not “giving up,” it’s bringing to bear additional resources and reserves for the next great advance forward.