Monday, February 06, 2006


Staying Focused when you Make Good Decisions but your P & L Tells a Different Story

By: Doug Hirschhorn, Ph.D. “The Head Coach”

Are you good at what you do? That is the first question you need to ask yourself. If you are saying things like, “I used to be” or “not recently,” then I want you to clearly realize one thing:

In all my years of performance consulting, I have NEVER seen a person in any field (athletic or business) who had a negative attitude AND ended up being successful.

We Have Choices
Everything we do involves making choices.
As human beings, we have the freedom and ability to choose. Some things are easier to choose than others because they involve less effort, energy or resources; but easy choices are rarely the right choices. For example, if you want to get yourself into better physical shape then when your alarm goes off at 5:00am, you have a choice:

1) Get up and go to the gym
2) Hit the snooze button and stay in bed for another 45 minutes

Hmm, which is the “easier” choice? And which do think is the "right" choice? Exactly!

Now, as traders, you sometimes make good trades or trading decisions and end up with a bad P & L. Once again, you have a choice:

1) Lose your focus, get mad at the market, beat yourself up
2) Shift your attention to the PROCESS (things you CAN control) and re-establish your belief in your skills/talent/data points

Which is “easier” and which is the right choice?

What We CAN Control
Elements outside of our control, are just that – OUTSIDE of our control and therefore, there is little point in wasting emotional capital on them. Trust me, I know how “easy” it is to get caught up in the noise – especially when times get tough - but you have to understand that doing this serves no positive value to you or your trading.

If the referee makes a bad call (we saw a few of those during Super Bowl XL) you can be angry for a few seconds, but GET OVER IT and MOVE ON. Why? Because the ref’s call is OUT OF YOUR CONTROL.

Moving forward, I challenge you to start making the harder, right choices and use your emotional capital to focus on the PROCESS and things that are WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.

Keep your eye on the ball and your head in the game!

-- The Head Coach

Copyright 2006, Doug Hirschhorn All Rights Reserved

Panic and anger dont make me any money. Focus and hard work, well that works.
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