When I put together my total trading performance system, I consider it from three primary perspectives: self, market, system.
When I consider my Self as part of my trading system, then I am examining my beliefs about self, my strengths and weaknesses, my emotions and rationality, my goals and objectives, my appetite for risk, my habits for success, my self discipline, the assets that I bring to trading that support me, my known weaknesses, my network of friends and associates, the circumstances of my life that surround trading, and so forth.
When I consider the Market, I am taking a look at the broad market, segments of the market, time periods, currencies, macro economic issues, buyers and sellers, human psychology, news and news making organizations, the behavior of the masses with respect to news surprises, governmental policy, rules and regulations governing trading, taxation, and the laws of cause and effect that I hypothesize may cause the market to behave as it does.
Under system, I am thinking in terms of general systems theory and the idea of input, process, output as the components of the system that perform in an environment. I know from my systems theory training and education that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, that emergent behavior can arise from simple rules in a dynamic environment. I am aware of the possibilities of second and third order effects and how the laws of unintended consequences can take on a life of their own. I can use an analytical approach to understand and appreciate the components of a system to look for incremental performance improvement and I can use a holistic approach to examine the interface of the system with the environment around it and with t competing systems in the same environment to look for competitive advantage.
By preparing yourself properly in this journey of self-discovery into your own beliefs, you are laying the foundations for a thorough understanding of self, markets and systems which will pay dividends later once you add practical experience to this theoretical framework.