Lessons From the Battlefield
The Significance of Full Commitment
Traders And Navy Seals
Navy Seals are what we used to call at school “double hard”. Now that I’m no longer a schoolboy (some may argue that point), I realise that double hard is mental toughness.Not the ability to knock out bad guys with one punch.
It’s said that 75% of recruits drop out of Navy Seal training… That reminds me of a similar statistic, what could it be? Oh yes… traders.
And whilst we aren’t training for life and death combat situations, there’s very real stress and mental toughness required to make sensible risk-based decisions in an ever-changing environment each day.
So what can we learn from this elite fighting force?
Here are some Navy Seal quotes that apply to active traders.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Navy Seals train in freezing oceans covered in sand for hours. Honing their ability to deal with discomfort and still operate at a high level.
As traders, we are always going to feel uncomfortable in a position, or uncomfortable taking a decision with limited info. Deal with it. Because it won’t change no matter how frothy your P&L for last year looks.
Don’t run to your death.
In the Seal world, this means slow things down, don’t rush into a room you are clearing. Be methodical and consider the best course of action carefully.
In trading ‘death’ could mean an account blow-up or significant loss. Taking time to consider the trade, where’s the risk? Is this really the best decision to make right now?
Have a shared sense of purpose.
Seals must operate as a team with a common goal.
Trading is very much a lone wolf game, the human need for a tribe and a team isn’t met. Services like my premium membership and other community-based websites allow you to become part of a team with a common goal. You are like a sniper going out on your own solo mission and then coming back to base with the team.
All in, all the time.
Half-arsed efforts won’t cut it. They’ll get you killed on the battlefield. The road is littered with traders who took a mediocre approach to this business. The market has an uncanny way of sniffing out who ‘half wants it’ tempting them in, chewing them up, and spitting them out.
Do the work, keep the focus, and reap the rewards.
Today, think about which of those Navy Seal quotes you could focus on.
“Don’t run to your death” might be a useful phrase to have at the front of your mind if you have a tendency to dive into trades. Often a small pause is enough to stop and make you think…
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Jocko Wilink has to be the man that comes to mind when you think of Navy Seals. He’s active on social media but also wrote an excellent book called:
I recommend it to all my traders. A must-read!