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  • Writer's pictureMark Hodgson

There's a fine line between brave and insane. Which side of it do you want to live on?

"Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder." William Sigei ( Kenyan champion long-distance runner) ...

One of the pieces of advice I can remember receiving when I started trading and still hear from time to time now, is, when the market is taking bites out of you and everything you do ... everything! ... just goes completely wrong ... stand aside and come back later. Ok, so the certainties of life: Death and Taxes, right? there's one more (for traders) - the purpose of the Market is to take your money (take bites out of you). That's it. Nothing else, for you to win the market must loose and it's

not going to let you get the better of it. My left brain cannot compute such advice nowadays therefore and if I had heeded it, I don't think I would have lasted this long doing this. It is a huge philosophical point and I am not advocating recklessness or deliberate masochism but in order to become fully rounded and accomplished in any difficult pursuit of excellence, you have to experience every part of the spectrum of it. And the ugly end requires that you put yourself in the firing line, so to speak. That's where you learn how it feels (yes there are feelings you will need to cope with - unless you're Vulcan of course), what it looks like and what remedial actions there are. Then you will know how to cope when it all goes horribly wrong again because it will - many, many times. When running a marathon you cannot just stop because you have cramps or a stitch, it's what's going to happen. You run through it and the next time you get it you know you can cope because your experience tells you, you can. Soldiers under fire (and please don't think for a moment I'm likening what we do with those truly extraordinary human beings - infinite respect) can't just go back to barracks and wait for their minds to re-balance or for the enemy to stop shelling, they have to work it out right there, right now. They have to work through it. The market will take chunks out of you - that's what it is there to do - you have to work it out, every cruel, bloody, maddening bit of it and when you do, you will develop the necessary metaphorical muscles to become an excellent trader.

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