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In part one of this article, I wrote a tongue in cheek letter demonstrating some stinking thinking or what Carol Dweck calls a “fixed mindset.” In part two I want to share how a “growth mindset” can really help your trading. I’d also like you to analyze your beliefs about yourself and see if they are hindering your development.

Kobe Bryant is considered by many to be the best basketball player who ever played. While I don’t believe that, I have no problem saying he is better than 95% of those who ever played the game. Check out the comments below by his peers in the NBA. See if you can find the statement that separates bad thinking vs. good thinking – the fixed mindset vs. the growth mindset.

“He’s not great by accident is my point. He puts the work in. And I think what I learned about Kobe is he’s so hungry to be good, he puts the work in. I just think his hunger and his determination is what I was most impressed with.” – Carlos Boozer

“He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen… He always wanted the toughest assignment. That’s just his nature.” – Deron Williams

Did you see it? Deron Williams implies that Kobe’s dedication and work ethic are his “nature.” Many people limit their own potential by believing that their nature is fixed and can’t change. Deron Williams can limit his own potential as a player by believing his own work ethic is fixed…i.e. it’s just his nature. Because the growth mindset sees effort as the pathway to mastery, Kobe wakes up every day determined to work hard.

Review in your mind some of the things you’ve heard our instructors say since you’ve been a student. Remember LaCurtis’ story of how he told Rob, “As long as you don’t kick me out I will be here every day until I can do this.” Ira, along with being a relentless note taker, talks frequently about putting in “screen time, screen time, and more screen time.” Just last week I heard Shane say, “I’m not smarter than you people, I have just spent way more time looking at it than you.”

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”

― Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success


I have to admit, my fixed mindset sees Shane, LaCurtis and Ira as smarter than me. But my growth mindset tells me it isn’t because they have more grey matter than me, but because they have worked harder than I have. They have each expressed the sentiment that they are “relatively ordinary” and will tell you that anyone with average intelligence can be better than 95% of the traders out there. So my belief, “I’ll never get this. I’m not as smart as those guys,” must change to, “I can (rather will) be as smart as those guys at trading if I put in the work.”

In conclusion, examine the chart below (or better yet, read Dweck’s book) and then examine your mindset. See if your beliefs about yourself are getting in the way of your growth as a trader. And by all means…TURN IN YOUR SCREENSHOTS!!!


-Todd Carson



Click on the image to expand.

Two Mindsets Diagram

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