Take It One Bird at a Time

07/28/2015 6:00 am EST


It's easy to feel overwhelmed, not just by trading, but by everything constantly being hurled at us on a daily basis, but Charles Kirk, of The Kirk Report, suggests that if you can identify something about trading that interests you more than anything else, to focus on that first and work from there.

“The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” – Arnold Palmer

Do you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do? Of course you do. Each of us have so very much on our plate these days that the last thing any of us need is one more thing to do or to feel stressed about...including the markets.

Life is short and we must manage how we spend our time carefully.

What often gets me through comes from a mental trick I learned from my favorite professor back in law school. 18 years later, I can easily remember Professor Oaks sharing a story about something that had happened to him as a young boy one summer. His father, who was an avid bird watcher (otherwise known as a birder), gave him a book about birds for his birthday. The book was huge and had every type of species known to man.

Bird by Bird

As a young boy, he told his father, “This is impossible! How do you expect me to learn about so many birds?” The father replied, “Do as I have done and just take it one bird at a time.”

When feeling overwhelmed, I always try to remember that advice. This forces me to remember to figure out what is making me feel stressed and overwhelmed. Usually it is a problem or project that is very complex and challenging and/or will take a lot of time. This phrase helps remind me of the importance of breaking things down into smaller pieces and just focusing on only one small piece right now.

Feelings of being overwhelmed mostly have to do with the fact that we haven’t been able to break something down into manageable chunks and then focus on just one of those at a time.

As someone just getting started on their journey toward becoming a successful trader or investor, this is what you must do as well. There is always so much to learn, but the only way you’ll make significant progress over time is to break it down and focus on only one thing right now. Many, unfortunately, try to learn everything at once hoping that it will somehow shorten the learning curve, but the opposite occurs. This is why the more focused your education can be, the better off your progress will be. More importantly, you will never feel overwhelmed or stress out because of trying to do too much.

To figure out what to focus on first, I always recommend that you follow your heart. If you can identify something about trading or investing that interests you more than anything else, focus on that first and work from there. Learning how to trade or invest is like learning most things, the more you know, the more you will be interested in knowing more. This is why focusing on what you care about most is a good starting point for everyone no matter where they are on their journey toward becoming more successful in the markets.

By Charles Kirk, Trader and Blogger, The Kirk Report

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