Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Notes - Pursuit of Excellence

We had a very "intriguing" discussion in the tank toward the end of today, as I was getting on the team's case (including mine) for getting a bit sloppy when we did our midday briefing session for the afternoon. For while a few of the traders participated in the consolidation break, some didn't which was largely a result of sub-par "what if" planning before the move happened.

As I've stressed to the team, trading is all about visualizing the likely scenario and "what-ifs" ahead of time, such that when they occur, you simply execute the trade like shooting an easy lay-up two feet from the basket. And such was certainly the case during today's Monster MATC (Morning After Trend Close), where I often make the entire week or month's income off such high-probability sequences, as happened this morning -- after visualizing the sequences ahead of time -- when I danced the market dance of all dances and scored a few solid home runs by selling every early rally and buying every spike down from 3AM to 11AM on only three hours sleep.

Yet trading is only and always about looking ahead, and we frankly could have done better in our afternoon planning. Much better. And suffice it to say that this afternoon was likely the toughest I've been on the current team since we began ... call it extreme tough love ... which caught some of the team off guard.

You see I needed to push and make a statement, for I realize how precious opportunities for "in the zone" outlier days are, as well as what it takes to truly reach one's fullest potential -- which is to work harder and longer than the vast majority of traders who constantly shift their capital to the small minority of traders who are consistently successful over the long run.

Yes, I had a very good day trading a pattern that I've long excelled at. Yet the opportunity cost of not being properly mentally prepared prior to the afternoon session was high. Of course, we properly stayed away from shorts at the squeeze was occurring, so we're just talking the loss of potential income vs. a loss of tangible capital. Yet such cost is equally "costly".

As I told the team at today's close, I'm a very intense person. Yea, I know that's the obvious statement of the decade! I care deeply for this business, as well as all those I work with and their bottom lines. I push myself extremely hard -- because that's what it takes to reach the top -- which in turn translates to my pushing others around me who have entrusted me with helping guide them toward a similar journey of self-actualization

Frankly, toward the end of today's trade, I was a major nuisance. Yet as I told the team, I'm hopeful that my words will echo in their minds for years to come, and if my being a royal pain for a few minutes helps just one Jellie prepare better the next time, any feeling of discomfort incurred this afternoon will be well worth it.

For me, trading and life are both about continual improvement and the pursuit of excellence.

If we want to reach our goals -- and mine are always high -- we simply have to want it more.

We have to work harder than everyone else.

We can't let up.