By Darius Foroux
I’ve noticed that almost all my conversations about improving an aspect in life, whether that’s your finances, health, or relationships, always revolve around the skill of awareness.
Think about it. The other day I was talking to a friend about how I’ve been consistently earning money in the stock market for several years. He lost a lot of money this year with crypto trading and chasing meme stocks so he asked about my process.
I talked about how I don’t do any of that stuff and only stick to stocks I know. I use a combination of passive investing with the majority of my money, and I use a smaller amount to trade growth stocks. I call that the 90/10 rule.
My trading method is mostly based on Jesse Livermore’s system in How to Trade In Stocks. Using that method, I’ve consistently closed trades with profits ranging from 20% to 60%. And I haven’t closed a trade with more than a 10% loss in two years.
But reading that book alone will probably not make you money. As we were talking about the process of investing and trading, I constantly came back to the topic of awareness. For years, I’ve observed myself as I was investing, or at least, as I was trying to invest. Without awareness, I wouldn’t learn as much as I did.
To improve something, observe yourself first
Here’s my process for improving a skill or activity. I’ve applied this process to writing, investing, running, lifting weights, meditating, and dealing with anxiety. Here’s what it looks like in six steps.
1. What’s your aim?
I always start by thinking about what I’m trying to accomplish. I want to be as specific as I can. For example, when I wanted to improve my writing, I initially focused on writing better articles.
2. Why do you need to improve?
In my experience, any pursuit of excellence will fail unless you have a damn good reason. In the writing example, I wanted to write better articles so I could make a living. I knew that it would be extremely difficult to sell books or courses without writing effective articles. So I had enough incentive to work on my craft.
3. Who’s the best example you can find?
Once set on improving a particular skill or process, I look at a few examples of people I can study. I only look at the top 1% of performers because I only want to learn from the best.