By, Jack Cosier
I am a commodities trader. I never thought I would enter this world of ups and downs. Although you may be surprised, my profession parallels the emotions and feelings behind the quarter-life crisis. Even more importantly, trading has taught me how to manage and express these emotions to positively enhance my productivity.
First, the emotions behind trading are huge. Many traders claim trading is 90 percent psychological. It’s about being mentally prepared for losing, maintaining a positive temperament, and knowing that every execution will not strike gold. I have seen these ups and downs second-hand from my father, a trader for 30 years. Whenever he let the stress of a bad day get to him, it snowballed; he would get discouraged about one trading day which led to a bad week, month, and so on. When I got into trading I made sure I maintained a positive attitude and confidence in the system I was taught; if I stayed disciplined in these areas I would eventually be successful.
These emotions and feelings are similar to the definition of a quarter-life crisis:
An emotional crisis in one’s twenties with anxiety and self-doubt following academic life (dictionary.com).
To me, this “crisis” is 100 percent psychological, and correlates with the “law of attraction.” Embarking upon a new stage in one’s life brings with it a lot of uncertainties and self-imposed high expectations. However, these anxieties are easily tamed with positive thinking, which will help maintain control of the future.
Like trading, there are ups and downs when striving for a successful career or life. Most importantly, in order to truly take advantage of “good trades”, we need to brush off the bad ones. If we are unable to do that, any chance of moving forward in a positive direction is hindered . The more we dwell on something not going our way, the longer we prevent ourselves from making that negative happening/occurrence a distant memory. Instead, brush it off quickly, think positive thoughts and use them to fuel your next action, idea, etc.
Believe me, I know it’s not the easiest task to just immediately forget about something not going your way. Human nature seems to force us to keep dwelling on it. I know this through and through as a result of trading. Example: I have had many days where I just miss capitalizing on a particular trade. When I started trading, my reaction to these instances was not positive, as I would shake my head in frustration and get annoyed. Then I learned, “How can you get mad at the market?” Just keep doing what you’re doing and it’ll eventually work in your favor. I now try my best to shrug it off and keep a short memory about missed opportunities or small losses.
Yes, I’m still learning to organize these ups and downs as far as trading is concerned. But, I’ve realized it’s not a sprint, rather a marathon, just like our careers. Success doesn’t happen instantly. The lottery has one in 18,000,000 odds for a reason (savingadvice.com); instant wealth and success typically do not happen in one minute.
Stay patient. Keep grinding. Stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. Clichés such as looking at the glass as half-full are excellent tools to help keep yourself motivated. Believe me, they work. Keeping a positive attitude despite tough breaks is a tall task. But, if you find a way to manage the breaks and turn them into something productive, you’ve set yourself up for success in any facet of your life.
Good luck to everyone. I welcome comments on this post, and I urge you all to stay positive in your endeavors.
Jack is my wonderful and amazingly supportive boyfriend. Watching him grow as a person and find his career niche over the past year has been an awesome experience!