Nothing we do in society prepares us to function effectively in the commodity markets and an environment with no real boundaries.
But, most of us are brought up to function well in society, so we`ve acquired strategies for fulfilling our needs and desires that are geared toward social interaction and acceptance. We don`t just take what we want, we take other people into consideration, too. Not only have we learned to depend on each other to fulfill our needs and desires, but in the process we`ve acquired many socially based techniques for assuring that other people behave in a manner that is consistent with what we want.
The commodity markets may seem like a social endeavour because there are so many people involved, but they`re not. While we may have learned to depend on each other to fulfill basic needs, the market environment is different: it`s every person for themselves.
Not only can you not depend on the market to do anything for you, but it`s extremely difficult to manipulate or control anything that the market does. If you`ve become effective in your personal lives at fulfilling your needs and desires by learning how to control your environment, but are existing as a trader in an environment that does not know, care, or respond to anything that is important to you, what do you do? You take control.
One of the principal reasons so many successful people have failed at trading, is that part of their success, outside the market, is due to their ability to control their social environment. To some degree, everyone has developed techniques to make their external environment meet their needs and desires. The problem is that none of those techniques work with the commodity markets. The commodity markets don`t respond to control and manipulation, unless you`re a very large trader.
However, you can control the way you deal with market information and your own behaviour. Instead of controlling your surroundings so that they fit your idea of the way things should be, you can learn to control yourself. Then you can view information objectively, and choose to behave in a manner that is in your own best interests. You do this by creating rules to trade by, and following them.
Nearly everyone agrees that you need to have rules to be successful in trading, but most traders have no intention of following any. Most people who are interested in trading resist the idea of creating a set of rules. The resistance may be subtle, but it`s still there.
Often this is a response to how we acquired our first set of societal rules. Our parents, relatives, teachers, or friends gave most of the guidelines we live by to us when we were children. These guidelines were taught to us, we did not create them, an important distinction. During this time, many of our natural impulses to move, express, and learn about the nature of our existence through our own direct experiences, were stifled. Some of these impulses were never reconciled, and can still exist inside of us as frustration, or disappointment. The accumulation of these types of feelings can cause a person to resist anything that keeps them from doing whatever they want, whenever they want to.
The very reason most people are attracted to trading, the unlimited freedom of choice and decision making inherent in trading, is the same reason they feel a natural resistance to rules and boundaries. The need for rules may make perfect sense, but it`s difficult to generate any enthusiasm for these rules when you`ve been trying to break free of them most of your life. It usually takes a great deal of effort to break down a traders resistance to establishing and abiding by a trading regime that is organized, consistent, and reflects prudent money management guidelines. But, once they do, the possibilities for attaining consistent trading success are limitless.