Attacking Weaknesses

In a survey by Allstate, 64% of American drivers rated themselves "excellent" or "very good" drivers.


I recently spent 23 hours on America's fine interstates, and I can easily say that 64% of the drivers were not "excellent" or "very good."  Of course my definition of excellent entails not going 20 mph under the speed limit in the fast lane, not swerving suddenly without a blinker, and not looking down at a phone.

So it appears we have a problem: Everyone thinks they're excellent while very few are actually excellent. Any solutions?

The first step to recovery is admitting we have a problem. We've all heard that, and it's true. If we admit we can't go more than 42 seconds without looking at our phone, then we can possibly make strides in finding ways to pay more attention to the road.

If we were aware that we never use blinkers because, hey, it's only a human life at stake, and putting on a blinker is annoying, then we might suck it up and learn to signal where we're going.

And if we could understand that we're holding up 112 cars behind us because we're going 48 mph in the fast lane, we might just mosey our car over to the proper lane and make everyone's day better.

In short, if we know our weaknesses, we can make breakthroughs.

In trading, I have a couple of weaknesses. One is finding motivation after my goals are accomplished. I talked about that here.

The other is trading big size.

For some reason, it's been hard for me take a trade with 12 lots on it while it's super easy to take a trade with 1 lot on it.

Put another way, I can trade a smaller account all the livelong day and never bat an eye, but I've had trouble looking at, say, a $6,000 loss on a six-figure account.

Why is that? Why is it harder to beat a top player at Wimbledon than it is to beat a top player in Champaign, IL? Why is it harder to play in front of 20,000 people than it is to play in front of 20? Why is a $6k loss hard to take and a $60 loss easy to take when they're both the same percentage loss on their respective accounts?

It doesn't make logical sense.

But it's real.

Money has always meant a lot to me. We didn't have much growing up, so any money I've made has always been precious. Because of that overly emotional connection to money, I think I've falsely put more importance on big numbers. If money is a big deal, then a big win is a big deal. Unfortunately for me, that also means that a big loss seems horrible.

And, of course, all of it is imaginary.

I have come to grips with the fact that big numbers aren't a big deal. A percent is a percent is a percent. A 2% loss on a big account is still just a 2% loss. It seems so easy, yet it's been hard for me nonetheless.

The weird thing is that I've always liked a "big stage" in every other part of my life. I've always loved playing and coaching in big matches: the bigger, the better. And I've always loved speaking in front of people: the bigger, the better. I've always loved everything when there's more on the line. The only time I've shied away from anything is when I'm thinking about trade sizing.

But those times are over. I'm not afraid of size anymore. By admitting my weakness, I've been able to take steps to overcome it.

And I must be honest here, I love eliminating weakness. If you have the time, I highly recommend it.

Now it's time go out and celebrate by taking a nice long drive. I've got a lot of texting to do.


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