Each time you practice, you are telling your subconscious mind that an action is taking place. The subconscious mind records the action as an ‘impression’ or ‘seed.’ The more impressions you make, the deeper the seeds are planted.
A seed will eventually sprout, given the right conditions. An acorn carries all the information within itself to become an oak tree.
The acorn will become a mighty oak tree if it is given the right set of circumstance, such as water, soil, sunshine and time. So it is with our thought processes.
We put into our minds certain thoughts or impressions and these will manifest according to their own quality.
Here is a beautiful proverb that is helpful not only for trading but for all of life.
- Sow a thought, reap an act,
- Sow an act reap a habit,
- Sow a habit reap a character,
- Sow a character, reap a destiny.
If you want to become an “artful trader,” you must be prepared to do the things that an “artful trader” does.
This requires discipline. It also requires patience. The best way to instill these qualities into your mind is through experience. There is no substitute for experience.
So, how does a new trader build or gather experience. Actual trading is the best teacher. It is direct experience. No amount of discussion can equal direct experience.
However, there is a way available to traders that can help without risking precious trading capital. That way is to create a simulated account and pretend that the account is real money. TradeStation, of course, offers this facility.
By setting up a simulated account as if it was your real trading account with the same amount of money as you will fund your real account, you can simulate the conditions under which you will trade.
There is no use putting $100,000 into a simulated account and taking trades of $20,000 at a time just to see how much you can make or lose in one trade.
The idea of a simulated account is for training purposes. It is not a video game.
Just as pilots learn to fly in a simulator before they take a real flight. You should apply the same principles in using a trading simulator.
You must use a simulator in as real a way as possible. You must still plan your trades, and execute them as if you were using real money. If you play when you practice, you will pay when you trade.