When I first went to university the initial week was filled with the usual getting to know the lay of the land such as how the library works (in a surprisingly mysterious way I might add), where various labs where and what the protocol for various subjects was. One of the most striking events was an orientation lecture we had in one subject. The lecturer who went onto to be one of my favourites because he knew his stuff, was blunt in his delivery and told students the truth. The last one of these characteristics would now not be tolerated because apparently telling students that they failed because they didn’t get off their arses would now be considered bullying or some form of oppression or would require the student to curl up in a foetal position in one of their safe spaces.
He opined that the easiest way to survive first year was to turn up and do the work – if you did that then the chances were pretty good that you would get through. Do a bit more than that and you would do well. This must have been a friggen revelation to a large proportion of my year because over half failed the year. Much to their surprise simply hanging around the university cafe and the pub across the road did not magically allow the collective wisdom of those at the university to seep into their brains as if by a process of osmosis.
The reason for me reminiscing about events locked in my dim dark past is simple – this pattern of laziness repeats itself year after year, decade after decade in people and people still wonder why their lives are like they are. Let me give you an example that is close to home. During our Mentor Program we generate a lot of content, each step of the course is mapped out to the day in such a way as to take someone from being a complete novice in the market to a competent trader at the end of six months. In effect, we make a pact with those doing the course, we will tell you everything we know with nothing held back and you commit to putting the time in to absorb what you are being told. To my way of thinking it is a fair deal besides you have paid for it so that should be sufficient motivation to put some effort in.
Intriguingly some – many believe that simply looking at the notes occasionally and not putting in any effort at all will somehow translate into success. We are now several weeks into the course and there are attendees who have logged in twice. Yet I can imagine that they are completely surprised at their inability to master the most basic of trading concepts. Or that they have not instantly be transmuted into billionaires via some alchemic process.
Central to all of this is the notion of how success in any arena is achieved. It should not be surprising that to achieve anything in any field you choose requires a certain amount of commitment and toil – this is simply the nature of the universe. Think of success as a natural system, it requires the addition of energy to keep it viable. If the system is not constantly restocked with effort, then eventually it will collapse. Yet, this lesson is lost on so many people who assume that either simply paying for something (think gym membership that is never used) or paying lip service and offering the usual platitudes will assist in mastering a task or achieving a goal.
Harking back to my early days in first year there was one thing that was almost universal in those that failed. It was always someone else’s fault and that seems to be something that is universe among those that do not put in the effort.