We naturally learn three ways: by trial and error, by having someone teach us, or by modeling successful people.
First, we learn by trying things out. Give a kid a ball and do not tell him how he should play with it, and you will see that he will get curious about it. He does not know the “right” and “wrong” ways to play and will just do whatever he likes. From there, eventually, he will learn a number of ways he can play with the ball.
Adults do the same thing. We might not realize it, but trial and error is the way we naturally learn. For instance, this is how we discover most of the functions on a smartphone instead of reading the user manual. Traders do the same thing, too. When we want to pick up a new trading skill, we might learn the foundation from a book. But to master it, we try it out on a demo account or a live account and learn from experience.
The second natural way we learn is by getting someone to teach us. Although undergraduate students are encouraged to be independent when they learn, no universities will neglect the importance of having qualified professors or instructors to guide the students in the knowledge mastery process.
The same goes for traders. Traders must be coached and to get a good education. Working with a coach provides a surer and faster path to success than self-learning.
The third way, one that we have not touched upon so far and the central topic for this chapter, is to learn by ...