It’s rare for someone who has just reached the pinnacle of their profession to be able to explain so articulately how they got there. Perhaps that is why this story is such an inspiration. This not only applies for new traders but for anyone who is chasing their dreams. This can be in the markets, business, in sports or simply in life.
Were you watching last Sunday when golfer Jason Day won the year’s final major tournament, the PGA Championship? It was his first major, and although overcome by emotion afterwards, Jason captivated millions by describing his own difficult journey. He spoke about his troubled past, and the belief system that led to his success. He said, in part:
“It’s that delayed gratification: The work that you put in today, and the sacrifices that you make…will set you up for a better life in the future.”
So for new traders what are you doing today to create a better tomorrow? How do you emerge from each day trading day stronger and more experienced? And are you really doing your part to write your own success story?
Most new traders have a lot invested before they even place their first real trade. Between the new equipment and software, all the demo trading, studying chart patterns, and (presumably) countless hours of trading education, maybe that’s why so many start trading with such lofty expectations. Some even come in with a sense of entitlement. They believe they have sacrificed already, so now the markets “owe them something” in return.
That is why I thought Jason’s comments about “delayed gratification” were so applicable to new traders. More than just some exceptional advice, I think this is a good example about the rightful role of patience in trading.
Jason, who has long been regarded as supremely talented and capable, had to weather several years of disappointments and near-misses. Nagging injuries, tournaments that somehow got away, and then four crushing defeats in majors over the past few years. Likewise, success tends to elude even the most promising new traders early on. The rightful question then is not, “Do they have what it takes to be a successful trader?” but instead, “Can they stand to delay gratification for long enough to find it?”
Golf, much like trading, is a solitary activity where the supporting cast tends to go unnoticed. Even more memorable than his record score was the scene at the final hole where Jason embraced his caddie, mentor, and coach, Colin Swatton, the man who did so much to raise him after cancer claimed the life of Jason’s father when he was only 12. Together, the pair cultivated his raw talent. With continued instruction and some much-needed lessons in discipline and perseverance, built the foundation for his success. This is much like new traders can with the help of their coach or mentor.
See related: Golf-Inspired Trading Advice That Works
Some may say that it was just “his destiny,”. I cannot speak much to that, I will say this: Trading is a tough business and an unforgiving place for new traders. In essence, this story is one that shows many years of dedication finally paying off much later. If only that were the expectation of new traders upon entering the market. I’m certain that far fewer would ultimately try and fail.
I’d put it among the most inspirational sports stories of the year so far, but as you can see, I believe it’s message translates way beyond the sports world, and is very pertinent to new traders as well. Jason Day’s on-course triumph shows that the road to success is a winding one where natural ability won’t carry you nearly as far as the unsung and unseen sacrifices made along the way.
What many new traders don’t realize is that some of the world’s finest traders also have success stories that go just like this one, from the constant adversity, to the extensive sacrifices, and even overcoming devastating losses. Amid the down times, it’s hard to think you have anything in common with the world’s best, but this story should go to show any new traders who are struggling that, believe it or not, they may be exactly where they’re supposed to be!