Driving to work yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Free Tibet” on the back of a minivan. I was looking at that and thought, “What difference will a bumper sticker in Colorado Springs have on China and their actually freeing Tibet?”
Ironically right about that time, an old Toby Keith song came on the radio, called A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action. The chorus is:
A little less talk
If you please
A lot more loving
Is what I need
Let’s get on down
To the main attraction
With a little less talk
And a lot more action
I had to laugh, thinking of less talk and more action when it came to freeing Tibet. It also got me to thinking, what could that person do to actually forward the issue and help to Free Tibet? For all I know, the person may have actually traveled to China or Tibet and placed the bumper sticker on their car. Or more probably, the person agreed with the movement and bought a bumper stick to voice their opinion. They probably felt good, placing the bumper sticker on their car. They were “all in” for Freeing Tibet, and then probably went on about their normal life with no real impact on freeing Tibet.
All of us are faced with similar challenges when it comes to really working on what matters because we come up against resistance. We get distracted with feel-good activities that really don’t help us achieve our goals. We come up against resistance. Sadly, resistance comes in many forms. Forms just like putting up a bumper sticker but not really working towards the real goal.
Resistance could be catching up on Facebook friends or it could be checking out the NBA standings for the playoffs. It could be taking nap, going to a movie or any other type of activity that makes us feel good about doing but, in reality, keeps us from working on what we know we should be focusing on.
Resistance; we all face it but, it is how we overcome it that makes a difference in our lives and in our trading. I want to point out that these aforementioned activities are not improper or bad activities unless they become resistance to actually getting our work done.
How we face resistance determines our success.
Virgin Air was started by Richard Branson when faced with resistance.
Mr. Branson and his wife intended to travel to Puerto Rico from an island where they were spending their holiday. When they reached the airport, they learned the flight was cancelled!
Here is the trick and the question I want you to consider. What would most people do in a similar situation when their flight was cancelled?
Here is what Mr. Branson did …
He ‘chartered’ a plane for $2,000 dollars. He then wrote on a sign and walked around the terminal displaying the sign that read, “VIRGIN AIRWAYS, FLY TO PUERTO RICO $39 per person.” He soon filled all seats and he, his wife and many other passengers made it to Puerto Rico that night.
While others were stopped by resistance, he went ahead and acted.
I have the opportunity to talk with many people outside and within the trading community. I love to hear many of them sharing their great goals and wonderful plans.
When asked what their plan of attack was and what their top 3 actions for the day were, most describe vague, feel-good activities … much like only putting bumper stickers on our cars. It feels good to do it but, really doesn’t get them any closer to the real goal.
When I ask successful business owners and traders, not only do they share their major focus points for the day, but then go on to share focus points for the week, month and year They don’t just put bumper stickers on their cars and hope or believe they’ll achieve their desired outcomes.
They are living what Toby Keith sings about. To quote Toby Keith, again:
Let’s get on down
To the main attraction
With a little less talk
And a lot more action
So how do we overcome resistance and start getting a lot more action?
I think everyone has heard that the first step in changing a behavior is to recognize the behavior. If you don’t recognize your actions or inactions as resistance to your goal, you will never change. This is ironic because failure to recognize is the biggest form of resistance to change there is.
You have to recognize that: Resistance is a dream killer.
It works everyday, 24 hours a day and is relentless. It will do anything to keep you from changing. Change is very daunting for almost everyone. Resistance lives to keep you from achieving your goals.
So let’s stop and recognize a big form of resistance that most of us, as traders, encounter. We often define our resistance as obstacles or “reasons” we aren’t succeeding. Such reasons include:
- My account isn’t big enough.
- I don’t have enough experience.
- I need more education.
- I need to attend more seminars.
- I don’t have enough time.
- I’m too old.
- I’m too young.
- I’m not seeing the perfect trade to pull the trigger.
- I need to practice paper trading some more.
- I need to improve my system a bit more before trading it.
All these are valid points, unless they are forms of resistance that keep you from achieving your goals.
A big mistake is that many will quit and give in, to these perceived obstacles. They feel the resistance is just too great to overcome the obstacle.
What if you reverse that and say that every obstacle contains an opportunity waiting to be found?
“Ya right,” “You’re just nuts,” You’re out of your mind,” or “You’re not facing reality” are the usual responses I hear when sharing that viewpoint.
In my house, we love history and have been watching the History Channel series, Men That Built America. The lives of such greats as Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Henry Ford, Vanderbilt, Edison, and Carnegie are described. In every instance, they faced an obstacle that if not overcome would ruin them. It was facing these obstacles and overcoming resistance that made them successful.
For example when Thomas Edison was in his late sixties, his West Orange New Jersey laboratory caught fire and was destroyed. Rather than cursing his luck and panicking, he gathered his family and friends around to marvel at the fire. He didn’t stop there; he immediately began planning for a newer, bigger and more advanced lab than before.
Many of the great successes and improvements in history started as obstacles, set backs, or challenges and were turned into victory by those who chose to face these forms of resistance and moved ahead.
If you want to summarize the habits of successful people into one phrase, it’s this: successful people consistently get started and work at overcoming resistance.
what you’re going to do.”
~ Henry Ford ~
A recent book connected with me about starting, doing and overcoming resistance. It’s called, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This is a book for many types of artists, explaining how they can overcome writers or creative blocks. Steve is the creator of such works as, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, and Tides of War.
Steven describes the greatest benefit of overcoming resistance to creativity by simply starting as follows:
“… the most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying. Why is this so important? Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set into motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.
This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete. Just as Resistance has its seat in hell, so Creation has its home in heaven. And it’s not just a witness, but an eager and active ally.”
To start the day, when Steven wakes, he has his morning coffee and works his morning routine, all the time knowing that the clock is ticking down to his 10:00am deadline. He knows that at 10:00am he will go in and sit at his desk and begin writing; begin working on his project.
I too began following this approach in the morning. I get up, I take time to do personal morning activities, take some personal time do what I feel like doing, knowing that I too can hear the clock ticking down to my deadline. I know that at 9:00, I will sit down and begin working on project deadlines. The key is, I begin to work regardless of what is going on around me.
Am I always successful at creating new articles, new techniques, or such? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that I sit down and I work.
I have begun to overcome many forms of resistance and begun to produce more products and changes that will help me succeed in life, my trading, and business. Many benefits and cool tools that you guys will see in the coming weeks with free additions to Trade Navigator.
So to end, I would like to extend two challenges for you this month.
First challenge: READ The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Even though he discusses topics tilted towards writers and artists, the principles, insights and suggestions apply to everyone that wants to achieve more. It is a short and easy read. I think you too, will find changes and improvements to be made in your lives. You will learn how to overcome resistance in your life that will impact all of your tomorrows, today.
The second challenge is: START NOW
As I previously mention, successful people consistently start. They don’t wait for the stars to align; they don’t wait for everything to be perfect. They overcome their many forms of resistance and consistently start. They battle resistance daily, knowing resistance can kill their dreams if they let it.
genius, magic, and power in it.
Begin it now.“
~ Goethe ~
Dreams are everywhere and that is a good thing but, remember that dreams, as important as they are, literally hold no value without the desire to back them up. Dreams have no value until you overcome your inner resistance and begin consistently working towards them.
Do more than doing just feel-good activities like, putting bumper stickers on your car. Get going, get in the game, and begin living your dreams.
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