All that matters is I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome Resistance. – Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield begins The War of Art by giving us a glimpse into the daily routine of a prolific writer. He provides plenty of details to help us visualize his process, but at the end of the day, it’s really quite basic. He sits at his computer and writes until he gets tired.
What Pressfield is explaining in these first few pages is critical. None of the details about where he writes or what he is surrounded with really matter. How much he writes doesn’t matter. He even goes so far as to say that whether what he writes is good or not doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that he puts in the time. He does the work.
The same concept can be applied to any successful trader.
One of my favorite things to do is look for similarities between all of the traders profiled in the Market Wizards books. Those traders come from a wide range of backgrounds and trade different, sometimes opposite, strategies. Despite being very different, there are common themes like risk management and position sizing that they all subscribe to.
Pressfield points out that perhaps I have been overlooking the most significant similarity among great traders: They all show up for work every single day.
No matter what trading style you prefer, you will never find success without putting in the work every single day. It doesn’t matter what software platform you choose. It doesn’t matter what oscillator some smart guy just invented. It doesn’t matter what your buddy heard at work last week. The only thing that really matters when it comes down to it is that you have to show up every single day and work on your craft.
Of course, that is easier said than done. The Resistance that Pressfield talks about will show up everywhere looking to distract you. The baby will be crying. Your spouse will demand your attention. Your buddies are all getting together to watch the game. Your day job will be too demanding. Your mom will need a favor.
The list of reasons to avoid actually doing the work will get very long. Your job is to get past the resistance. Every day. Just like Pressfield.