Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
As children, parents and teachers tell us whether or not we are doing well. When we get older our significant others offer praise when we met their expectations and punish us when we break the rules by going our own way. Society tends to reinforce looking to others for the standards that we should achieve. The media bombards us with images of success: Buy a sleek, new sports car and impress the neighbors. Wear the latest designer fashions and watch heads turn as you walk by. As a result of our surroundings, it becomes natural to ask yourself, "How well am I doing?" which in turn leads to asking, "How well 'should' I be doing?" When "should" and "must" enter the picture, it can place a lot of unnecessary pressure on us to perform. When the pressure is on, it is very common and we often usually choke under the strain. There's a danger when you look outward. You start to judge yourself. You start to think that you are doing well or poorly based on how others may see you. Instead look inward, and follow your own personal standards for where you want to go next.
Comparing ourselves to others is useless, time consuming, and counterproductive. Look inward for your own personal standards instead of outward in an effort to beat out the next guy. Each trader brings his or her own knowledge, personality, trading method, and tools to
the trading arena. Through a coordinated integration of these various components, the trader builds up a set of individualized trading skills that produce lasting success. This integration doesn't happen over night, but though hard work and persistence. Over time, you make trade after trade, gaining key experiences along the way, until it all comes together in the end. You need to find one's own personal talents, accentuating your strengths and working around your limitations. Every trader is on his or her own path. For some people, the path is full of many curves and is quite long. For others, the path is straight and short. Follow your own path and accept the amount of effort and time it will take to reach your goals.
Studies of successful and creative people have shown that such people tend to work by their own standards. Even in competitive situations, creative people don't compare themselves to others. They look inward and let their internal standards guide them. They know that through persistence and determination, they will achieve success. They don't force it. They know that if they allow themselves to follow their passion, success will come naturally. If you take a similar approach to trading, you'll achieve lasting success.