Dark Days Of Trading


Every once in a while I have dark days in one thing or another. Sometimes I cannot go to the gym for weeks and then lose some of my workout progress. Other days I don’t sleep enough and do not feel enough hunger to eat enough food to fuel my workout growth. This is when I tend to go into a dark cycle.

In trading, sometimes I get so busy with other stuff for weeks and cannot trade at all. But this does not mean that I am supposed to quit and give up on trading.

Thunders over the Volcano by Klearchos Kapoutsis

In fact, in the past, even though I achieved upper-intermediate level of Japanese in 3,5 years, I still had many ‘dark cycles’ on the way, sometimes not learning any Japanese for 3-6 months straight but I still managed to achieve my goals despite having ‘dark cycles’.

Maybe you have never experienced such dark periods and your life is simple and stable, but if you can relate to me, then I want to tell you that you will succeed anyway. Nobody said that life has to be in a straight line. Sometimes there are holes on our way but we can still keep pushing forward.

Some people live a simple and easy life, other people are pushing their boundaries each day with each thing and it is only natural for those people to reach their limits. But it does not mean that their limits and capacity will not increase as a result of that. Nor does it mean that pushing your limits is going to go smooth either.

Do the Minimum

I want to introduce to you a small concept of doing the minimum.

When I was in a dark period with learning Japanese, even though I time-wise couldn’t afford to study or do anything else useful, i still did the minimum that could have a positive impact: I listened to Japanese talks on ipod on the bus when going from school to home etc. That way I could concentrate on school 100% and still do the small effort to benefit my Japanese studies. That way I would at the very least secure that I don’t forget the language and do not lose my progress.

Maintain Progress

If you cannot spend big effort on growth: Focus on maintaining your knowledge.

If you cannot give 100%: Then at least do not give 0 %. Do at least something. 1% every day is better than 0% every day.

Now I will give an example about what I have been doing during my ‘dark’ workout periods. I do push ups at home whenever i want to take a break from the screen. When I am in a dark period I cannot work out seriously.But I can do the minimal: I can try to preserve my gains and give the least effort that is still useful at that. 20 push ups per day in 1 minute? It is better than nothing. And it has helped me keep my workout gains. So this is what I do: I adapt to my life to my circumstances and try to give even 1% of effort to maintain my progress and not lose anything.

So now comes trading: This is one thing that I did to give my minimal effort to keep trading going at least a bit:

This is my old laptop that I didn’t use anymore. So I thought: Hey, sometimes I tend to have dark periods when I cannot do anything trading related and that is when I get out of tune with the markets.” So I thought: “Hey, why not put charts on the old pc and have them open 24/7 so that every day I can have a few glances at the market without any effort at all?”

So here is what it looks like:


I have 4 pairs open 24/7, takes 0 maintenance, 0 effort, and at the very least I know what’s going on with 4 pairs. I never touch this pc.


Can’t do/trade much? If so, alright! You can succeed in spite of it. But make sure to preserve your progress, maintain your knowledge and give at the very least the very minimum that you can give until the dark times are over. And when the dark times are finally over, make sure to give 100% to compensate for that! If you do so, eventually you will succeed. And in a much smoother way at that.

Also, think of the small tweaks or small things you can do each day to not lose progress/keep moving forward by using 0 willpower, 0 effort, and 10 minutes per day.

If you read what I wrote above, then I talked about learning a language, working out and trading. And for each of these 3 I found a small tweak I could make to still do the minimum during the dark times.

Looking forward to hear what you think.

This is a post from the Self-Control Bootcamp section.

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