There’s something in all of us that seems to want the changes we’re trying to make in our lives come as soon as possible.
Leo Babauta thought he was talking about himself yesterday when he posted about The Frustratingly Slow Pace of Making Changes. Little did he know that he was actually talking about me. If I can relate to what he was talking about so well, my guess is that there are quite a few other traders who are constantly banging their heads against the wall waiting for changes they have been working on to take hold.
My trading has been a perfect example of that this year. About two and a half months into the year, I adjusted the QG Fund strategy to align it with the best performing version of the backtesting analysis that was done for me. At that point, the fund was something like 5% behind the S&P 500. Fast forward three and a half months, and I’m still about 5% behind.
Despite making key changes that should drastically improve the overall performance of the QG Fund in the long run, the short-term results have been far less than spectacular. That doesn’t mean that these changes are flawed, though. It means that I’m incredibly impatient.
I want to outperform the market by 30% every single month. I want to be profitable every single week. I want. I want. I want.
When we start a change, we have an idea of how that will turn out — a fantasy in our heads, perhaps with a short timeline and a perfect result and an increase in happiness.
But that’s only a fantasy. It never happens as quickly as we’d like, we’re never perfect at it, and we tend to be mostly as happy as before.
I made these big changes, and in the version I created in my head, they had a tremendous and immediate impact. Of course, that isn’t how things played out in the real world, and I need to be ok with that.
Leo goes on to point out that the end goal when we started isn’t what makes the changes worthwhile. It’s more about what we learn and experience as we move towards that goal. We need to find happiness in the process. For me, that means accepting that my trading strategy is a long term approach and finding joy in the fact that I get to execute it every single day.
Much like with my obsession over getting to Galt’s Gulch last week, I need to just chill out and enjoy the moment. I need to enjoy the process of creating what I will eventually achieve. Easier said than done, though.