Why it is so hard?
Why is the acquisition of trading skills so hard?
Why is the success rate for aspiring traders so low?
Why is the degree of suffering in becoming a successful trader so high?
Most and foremost, there is no decent education, and you find yourself in a counterintuitive field where your gut feelings lead to losses.
Yet it gets worse. You consistently get punished for your failures and participation attempts with loss of monies, making you feel awful for years.
Over time a feeling of "not good enough" settles in, and your self-esteem gets more than just dented. Typically despair settles in.
One of the cornerstone books in trading is "reminiscences of a stock operator." No other profession celebrates a man who loses multiple times large fortunes to take his own life eventually.
What underlying structures of the psychological hardship make this job so cruel in its initial (first ten years at least) stages?
While most traders might not be the average 9-5 personality to do the same tasks repeatedly in the name of the golden watch, we are all creatures of habit.
Habitual behavior is providing comfort. Even more! Habitual behavior is health. We are balanced creatures who need cycles of regular food and water intake. Health is measured in the flow of breath, pulse, and blood pressure; nearly everything comes in cycles and rhythm.
The other side of this equation is our desire to expand, learn, break routines, and seek out extremes versus balance.
What is trading? It is the consistent engagement of the impossibility of predicting the future and living in the extreme.
An impossibility for health and mental wellbeing.
If a trader doesn't establish a rule-based routine that pulls him or her back into the present time and supports an attempt to think in probabilities versus immersing oneself in an individual trade outcome perspective, one conditions oneself for an extremely unhealthy outcome.
If not following this path of a routine that provides a feeling of safety with the option of growth, severe mental damage is a near guarantee.
In short, rules aren't just necessary to find a path to a system approach for stacking edges but even more for the long-term sustainability of your mental health participating in this challenging "sport."