Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Secrets of Success

In my youth, I thought that the most important factors in being successful were one's intelligence and the number of facts one knew. While I still think these are extremely important factors, I'm now of the opinion that consistency and persistence are more important - and definitely less appreciated - traits. For example, I've read a number of stock and futures traders comment: "Even if I gave you my complete system, you would fail because you wouldn't have the discipline to follow it." In other words all the relevant knowledge isn't enough, it also takes consistency ("discipline"), to succeed. Similarly, for my own trading, I find it much more difficult to stay the course with certain trades, and not over allocate, or get bored, than I do to come up with reasonable ideas.

As to persistence or perseverance, almost every biography of successful people has those traits as a central, or at least very important, leit-motif. There are many moderately intelligent people who succeed through consistency and perseverance, while there are few, if any, highly intelligent people who succeed without them. (And if you have both, then you may do some truly great things.)

So with these thoughts in mind, I'm always on the lookout for more examples of consistency and persistence to help fuel my own. Here is a short post from Mark Cuban's blog illustrating this.

P.S. If you were to ask me what is the single most important trait for success, I think it would be a proper method of thinking and approaching life. (This answer may not be completely distinct from those discussed above, as I think the proper method definitely involves consistency.) However, at present I'm nowhere near having mastered or even achieved a good overall method, so can't really comment, other than to say that learning such a method is the primary reason why I recently applied to OAC. Rob, imo, is much closer to having learned and adopted a proper approach, so perhaps he can comment further.....


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