Everyone comes to the market attracted by the almost limitless amount of money that one can make here. Success stories abound and we see ourselves in those stories, believing that if it can be done by someone with such humble beginnings (most of them are) then it should be possible for most of us also to achieve even part of that success.
But the truth is otherwise. People try and try but still don’t end up making anything near what those icons have made from the market. They keep wondering why. After all, they too are working hard at their job and should therefore, rightly, deserve similar rewards? The difference I believe, lies in most of us setting goals to make money and then not doing too much about achieving those goals.
Many of us have seen The Secret. I am a believer of the power of the Universe myself (when my kids were growing up I had made watching the Secret mandatory viewing every six months!). But I find that a lot of people who are aware of the concept seem to also believe that they just have leave it to the Universe to do while they go about their normal lives. If only things worked that simply!
There is a huge difference between setting goals (making money in the markets) and creating a system, an approach to make that real. To give an example, if you want to be a runner, your goal can be to run the Marathon but your system needs to build in a practice session where you run every day and keep increasing your stamina and staying power. It has to be a directed effort to run all that 42 km or perhaps half of it too. Just wishing to run the marathon and then leaving it to the Universe to take care of your stamina and ability on the last day would be the silliest thing.
Similarly, traders set goals (sometimes absurd ones) but don’t follow that up with any concrete plan as to how that is to be achieved. Because the practice is not established, the goal remains unrealised. And that begins to create stress. Often, when you set a goal and don’t achieve it you begin to feel like failure. But if one converts the goal into a system based approach, then it shifts from being a number (10 lacs or 1 crore or some such) and hence it is never about thinking about this moment, this trade’s profit and it becomes all about sticking to a process and not missing a step in it. Goals therefore become short term events while systems thus become long term processes. And in the end, process always wins.
Remember that goals are about achieving something in the future. A system or a process is about doing something in the present! Guess which of the two is going to work out better? We all know we cannot control the future but we sure can do something about the present right? That’s what I am talking about here.
Goal setting is great. But process creation is better. Adopt that. The money will start coming in by itself. Like Mark Douglas says in his book, money has to be a by-product of the process of trading and investing. Goals are good for planning the future. But process is better for making progress. Ultimately you cannot achieve goals if you don’t make progress in their implementation. Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.
True in life and true in the markets.