The Discipline Training Program
The Discipline Muscle: An Essential in Trading
Training your Discipline
Discipline is a muscle. Just like any other muscle, it needs training. Some of us have better genetics than others and get a bit of a head start, but to reap the rewards, I believe that discipline needs regular training to improve it.
Let’s clear something up first
I don’t believe that being disciplined means you suck all the joy out of life. Do you need to be up at 5 am, cold plunging followed by 100 burpees, before wolfing down blended Kale each morning… Probably not, being disciplined means you have the ability to say something and DO it.
A superpower in trading and life.
So what’s a fast way to improve it? Most people try and brute force it. “I must not do X” Then when they do X a few days later they get all angry, frustrated, and disappointed at the lack of discipline. But I think that’s foolish, the muscle needs training.
To improve discipline in life and ultimately trading, try this:
Let’s say you want something that you’d normally just give in to. Something that’s enjoyable but not necessarily good for you all the time. Say you fancy a pizza, a beer, and some ice cream. Not exactly a meal you want to make a regular habit of, but a nice enjoyable treat from time to time.
You’ve got 2 choices
- Give in to the urge and eat what you want and feel bad for doing so
- Say no all the time to everything ‘bad’ for you and sap the joy out of life
There is a third option.
Earn it. Say to yourself “Ok I will have that pizza, but I will earn it by doing something valuable” What’s valuable to you? It could be a gym workout or working on your trading. Anything that takes effort and makes you feel like you are progressing towards your goals by doing it. The simple act of ‘earning’ the right to do what you want allows you to slowly unshackle yourself from impulse.
You start to create a mindset of “Yes I can have what I want, BUT I won’t just succumb to impulse and desire, I will earn it”. That gives you the benefit of being able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life (even more so when you have earnt them) combined with hardwiring the ability to resist impulses and urges.
Today, think about how you could apply this earn > reward system in your life.
Where do you lack discipline? Binge-watching TV shows? Diet?
This is not about depriving yourself but fine-tuning your mindset to be in full control of your urges. Control the urges outside of trading and you’ll reap the rewards during your screentime.
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I came across this WebMD article called “Urge Surfing”. It was mainly aimed at addictions but the concept is interesting.