The Secret About the Hard Part


writerIt’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. – Steven Pressfield

What Pressfield is verbalizing here is the same feeling that anyone who as ever put off completing something has felt. It’s that feeling of realization that you spent more effort worrying about how you were going to do something than it actually took to complete the task.

The most obvious example that comes to mind is school work. We all remember how that went.

For me, it was the big projects in college. The ones that were assigned on the first day of the semester and due on the last. I used to wonder if professors gave that much time to complete a project just to mess with me. Just to watch everyone rush to complete their work at the last minute after putting off starting for months.

It’s built into our nature to procrastinate. Pressfield refers to our desire to put things off as The Resistance. He says we must overcome it. Easier said than done in most cases.

His writing example fits well with me. I spend a lot of time writing, but I still find that the hardest part is sitting my ass down in the chair.

I will make up one excuse after another. I’ll decide that I don’t feel like working from my office today. Then I’ll get cranky because there are two many people in Starbucks. Then I’ll end up somewhere that I know for a fact will be distracting. Then I’ll freak out because I wasted a whole day and didn’t accomplish anything.

Traders go through the same thing when it comes to doing their homework. Especially when the returns aren’t going our way.

Regardless of the trading strategy you follow, there is some form of homework that needs to be done regularly. This work becomes the grownup version of the school project we put off. It is the trader’s form of The Resistance. 

There are a virtually unlimited different ways to trade successfully. The one thing that every single one of those ways has in common is that you first have to sit down and do the work. Whatever work your approach requires must be done. It must be done on-time. No exceptions.

The actual trading isn’t the hard part. Sitting down to trade is the difficulty.