Trading Habits



Ever had that moment when everything coalesces for you? All the thoughts and words and  mental images of your journey come together and form one whole. The things that have floated around in space are now a full formed, mature thought.


I have no idea how I came across it yesterday, but I found the website of a gentleman named James Clear. His website is (@james_clear on the twitter). He offers a couple free E books and access to his amazing photography and other writings. He is all about habits. He writes about them and he lives them. Check out his stuff please. I signed up for the email distribution of his stuff. Ya it was that good.

And it was in that moment that everything just hit me. Like those moments in movies where you know the real world is there but it sort of stops. Things move slower for short period of time and all of the gray area that consumed my thinking was suddenly put into its place of either black… or white. Good or bad. Helpful or hurtful. It was a great moment. I actually believe that these types of moments don’t come around but a couple of times in a lifetime. True clarity is like a very fine wine. The effort put into the production and the patience needed to allow it to fully come to life in that bottle, are never truly appreciated at the moment the cork is unseated. All that is experienced in that moment is all that is known of it.

I can’t fully describe to you what my journey has been like. I have tried through this blog and through the experiment but like the wine, its almost impossible to truly know anothers journey, and that should probably never really be the goal.

I must fully admit to you in this moment, my trading has been void of true habit. Don’t mistake what I am saying, it has not been void of system, only truly void of  habit. I texted my good friend Matt Lacoco last night after all of this started to come to me and asked him if he had trading habits, not trading system. He has a great perspective on habits and i hope he writes about them soon. I will leave it at that.

It seems, looking back, that I have fully understood the idea of habit, just never the application. I have talked many times about process. I have talked many times about “the plateau”. I have talked often about mastery. I have talked about trading processes and even shooting free throws in an effort to gain practice, but never the habit formation that it takes to actually trade with a process or get your feet to line when no one is watching.

So, what do all of those things have in common? The process, the plateau, and master? They have the same core: Habit. Without habit mastery is impossible and the plateau is more of an ugly squiggly line than a true plateau, and the process will treat you more like a meat grinder, shredding every bit of effort that goes into it.

But the principle, the truth of habit still remains. Do you know how I know that? Because I have seen it work in reverse. I know the consequences of my “bad” habits. The things that I do not want to do. I have seen the manifestation of those things and how powerful they are to break from and go and find a new path with new habits. I know habits work, but I would like change the paradigm and get a new perspective, one that is full of the greatness and blessing that comes from leaving behind the old ways, and attaching fully to the new.

To gain a fuller perspective I had to ask, what is the opposite of habit? I call it Knee-jerking. Actually a good friend of mine called it that and I am actually stealing it from him. It refers to the motion when your knee gets hit by that little red FSU Seminole tomahawk at the doctors office. What happens? Uncontrollably, your knee reacts. This is what trading is like sometimes right. Knee jerk it. Take control and push the button because I need to pay the bills or I want out of my other job situation. Just run hard and expect big profits and big rewards.

What is that behavior accredited to? Habit. See the nerves have a habit. When a certain stimulus happens, they react. Well if I take that and expound it to a tradinglife, what does it look like? It looks like hap hazard entries and exits on trades that were crammed in around a work and family schedule that didn’t have much to give in the first place. Its opening up the charts and immediately looking for the trade because you should be focusing on something else right now but forget it, I am going to cram my passion in today. Cram away friend. Cram away. And don’t get me started about passions today…


It has never worked for me, and now I understand why…

As the picture at the top reads, success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. So simple. So full of truth and life. I think I will try it for a while.



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