Patience, Life and the Foreign Exchange Market

by Stephan Smith on February 8, 2011

Do you remember the popular phrase, ‘patience is a virtue?’ I don’t know who came up with that quote but the individual that did is so right. Patience is indeed a virtue. Patience is an important life skill that must be learned if one wants to increase the probability for success; whether it be in love, work or spirituality. People in general tend to desire instant gratification in all ventures, myself included.

If I want to increase the amount of money I make or learn another language or accomplish some other task, deep inside myself, I know that I would want to accomplish those objectives as quickly as I can. In fact, if there was a way to accomplish those objectives instantly, then I would want to take that route. Most people would.

But why is that? Why is it that we as human beings feel the need to accomplish our goals as quickly as we can? What’s the rush? If you don’t know the answer to that, then brace yourself. At the foundation, we want to quickly accomplish our goals in life because deep down in our gut we know that life doesn’t last forever. Eventually, there will come a day when we will die. Due to that fact, time becomes infinitely more precious. Time is a limited resource and people want to get their goals accomplished as quickly as possible; for no one knows what tomorrow brings.

If I want to increase my earnings or learn another language, then I would rather do so instantly or at least as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, for the most part, life doesn’t work that way. To increase the amount of money one makes, it would depend on the quality and the quantity of value one provides to the world. It takes time to be able to create quality value in sufficient quantities for others in order to increase ones earnings.

Don’t forget that earning lots of money is easy. It’s the creating ample value for others that is the hard part. Well, let me rephrase that. In most cases it’s not the creating of value that is difficult either. It’s dedicating sufficient time to creating quality value, as well as the act of creating quality value that is difficult. By being patient and dedicating sufficient time and effort into creating value, the probability earning more money increases significantly.

The same applies to learning a new language. Learning a new language isn’t difficult if sufficient time and effort is dedicated to the task. Time and effort. Having the ability to tolerate the required delay to fully learning a new language is patience. I’m sure you know that to learn a new language and to learn it well, one is going to need effort, dedication and of course, patience. Typically, dedication, effort and patience is always needed to accomplish any task. That’s just how life is.

I now want to take this time to official define what ‘patience’ is. Though I feel like I already defined patience earlier in this post, I will do it again just to make sure you get a clear understanding. Patience is the ability to tolerate and accept a delay, or the passing of time, before accomplishing a goal or a set of goals. By that definition, patience is not an easy skill to master for most people. In life, people, including myself, can have a hard time waiting (passively or actively) to accomplish a goal. But having patience and more importantly, knowing when to have patience, has proven to be a valuable skill that aids in getting the goals and dreams of countless individuals accomplished.

So where does the Foreign Exchange Market fit in to all of this? It fits in because patience is an absolute requirement if you intent to make profit trading currencies. It doesn’t matter if you are a longer term currency trader or a short term one; having patience is required (On a side note, check out the five reasons why I prefer long term Forex trading).

It’s pretty easy to understand why patience is a requirement when participating in long term trading, so I won’t go into it, but allow me to explain why patience is required in short term trading as well. Typically, currency traders who prefer short term trading by scalping the Currency Market need to be patient when waiting for entry and exit signals. Certain price movements have to occur to let currency traders know when to buy a currency pair and when to sell. Waiting for those signals to occur takes dedication, concentration and of course, patience.

Currency traders who prefer short term trading tend to enter and exit trades many times a day. To be able to enter and exit trades at that frequency without a computer executing trades for you, one must be in front of computer for many hours at a time. I don’t know about you, but I personally have a hard time doing that. The reason why I have a hard time short term trading the Currency Market is due to the fact that it requires a lot of active patience.

Short term trading requires me to actively wait for entry and exit signals. That means I am doing nothing else but waiting as I look at the charts and prices until a signal presents itself. That can drive me a little crazy. Long term trading requires passive patience. That means that I am free to do other things while I wait for my goal to be accomplished (usually my goal is for a certain price to be reached). Regardless of what kind of patience you prefer to implement, both forms of trading requires patience just the same.

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