Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande is another great Riz recommendation about performance in the medical profession, but which applies to all professions. Gawande asks of a profession that seems to eschew empirical performance criteria, what does it take to be good where failure is so easy, so effortless. Like trading, medicine involves risk and responsibility. There are three elements for success: Diligence,morality, and ingenuity. The first and third are especially important for traders. Diligence seems easy, but it is central to performance and fiendishly hard. Even the simplest things for a trader like sitting and doing nothing becomes almost impossible at times. Doing the right thing trading day in and day out while the devils try to derail your plans takes Herculean effort which few can muster everyday, every hour. The balance also seems that an overly structured diligence might stifle ingenuity.

What is diligence for traders? It could be simple mechanical things like back up computers, feed, power. It could be simple sleep. It could be checking the data, the data entry, and the studies. Checking the announcement calendar to see what time market moving announcement might mar the tape like this morning's 20 point lobogola. The list goes on and I ask for supplement from others.





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