How to Be Aggressive: On the Football Field and Trading Desk

contributed by Eli Radke, TraderHabits

Learn to be aggressive.

Aggressiveness is not a personality trait it is what happens after a process. If you saw the football player me vs. everyday me, you would see two completely different people. While I was on the football field I was the crazy, screaming, I want to rip your head off guy. Although I am competitive I was only that guy on the field. In fact I am mostly relaxed, football was easy, life is much harder. Risks are different in some ways and competition pool is wider. Today I pick and choose my moments to be aggressive. Life, business, trading, etc.

This is my roadmap:

Do the work.

Educate myself. I have some idea what to expect and factors that lead to success. I know the risks and potential reward. One of the themes from football was “The harder you work the harder it is to surrender”. There needs to be some balance and do not mistake action for accomplishment. The most rewarding things in my life were the hardest to achieve.

Know where you want to go.

It is impossible to get anywhere if you do not know where you are going. Have you ever been behind the person who is attempting to turn at every intersection? Know where you are going, it does not matter if you end up where you planned. Take a decisive step to know you are going the wrong way. Many things you won’t know till you experience it. (See Eli Radke’s last lesson on The Discipline of Following Your Own Trading Rules)

Be willing to adapt.

Taking action based on perception and action based on reality are usually different. Change is ok. I am reminded that “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. Half-time adjustments are what usually win the game. Change with reason and before you “have” to.

Accept risk.

Once you start it is too late to think about risk. That is part of making an informed decision. Risk is something to look forward from not back to. That is not to say risks do not change. The way you see risk depends on when you acknowledges its existence.  They say you will just know when it is the right time to do something. Love, business, trading. I will buy that. But the steps above will help you get there faster. They say it is harder to know what you want, than get what you want. This is list should help to speed them both along. This post is not from the pulpit but from the mistakes I have made.

What steps do you take?

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~Eli Radke

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