Thursday, July 02, 2009

Success Is What You Make It

"Some dream and never do.
Others do and never dream.
But then there are those very few who dream,
and do what they dream."


The nature of this business requires a set of personal attributes without which I doubt anyone can build a consistently successful career as a trader, speculator. or investor.

First is a soundly based self-confidence, a realization that your mind can learn the truth and apply it with positive results in every realm of life.

Second is self-motivation and commitment. the ability and willingness to put the time and energy into learning what to trade and how to trade it.

Third is intellectual independence, the ability to stand on your own judgment based on the facts as you see them in the face of countervailing opinion.

Fourth is a fundamental personal honesty, a total commitment to identifying and dealing with the truth about yourself, the markets, and your decisions.

And finally is a sincere love of what you do, the recognition that the greatest reward comes from the process of the work itself, not the money or fame that may come with it.

These attributes are fundamentally important in every area of life. but the rapid pace and volatility of the financial world make them even more critical. Without self-confidence, you will live in constant fear of making a wrong decision. and sooner or later the fear will paralyze your ability to think and make decisions. Without self-motivation and commitment, the self-motivated and committed competition will eat you alive. Without intellectual independence. you will be swept away by the changing tides of opinion into the whirlpool of financial ruin. Without fundamental personal honesty, your wishes will become claims on reality, and you will find yourself making choices based not on the facts, but on your wishes and hopes. And without love of what you do, your work will become stale and uninteresting; you will lose your motivation and drive to continue.

All of these attributes are attainable, but only through a complete commitment to understanding yourself and your relationship to reality, which means understanding what you want out of life, why you want it, and how to get it. Selfunderstanding is the compass that will guide you on the road of successful living and the beacon that will provide direction during the inevitable times when your course is darkened and confused by frustration and pain. But it will guide and direct you only if you are striving to move forward.

In the introduction to this section the old advisor says, "Some dream and never do. Others do and never dream. But then there are those very few who dream, and do what they dream." Look at people who are happy and successful. They love what they do first and foremost. Watching them, you get the impression that they would work without pay, that making money is just the gravy. For them. each day is a new challenge approached with vigor and enthusiasm. Their actions at home, at work, and in recreation are integrated into their life by a hierarchy of goals set for the hour, the day, and for a lifetime. They take action based on their passion for living and accept failure, pain, and setbacks as part of the process of moving forward, not as insurmountable obstacles. They transform their dreams into reality.

On the other hand, look at people with emptiness in their eyes, devoid of energy, plodding through each day with an embittered reluctance. They live their lives unfulfilled, either dreaming without doing until in the end even their dreams die, or doing without dreaming in mechanical, unrewarding repetition. These people have never grasped, realized in the strictest sense of the term, that their values and goals are them; that in spending energy in pursuits unrelated to a well-defined and -understood self-interest, they are their own persecutor and victim, trapped in a web of their own making as prey to insecurities and fears born of self-doubt.

We have a choice: We can decide to take control over our lives and succeed, or we can give in to fear and pain and let other people and events control us. The right choice is obvious, and making it begins with one simple commitment: CARPE DIEM!! Latin for "Seize the Day!!" This means commit yourself to the fact that each moment in life is precious, is yours, and is to be experienced with as much awareness and passion as you are capable of. It means recognize that, at any moment and in any situation, you can begin the process of change required to be and feel successful. It means grasp on to life and take hold with a devoted grip that clings to unlimited possibility. Seize the day. Dream, but dream with the conviction that you can harness the power within you and turn your dreams into reality.

Trader Vic

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