Oh, what we can learn from the world of sports for making financial decisions, and building a life of purpose.
I am still on a high from the last few weekend’s Wimbledon and World Cup finals. Wimbledon provided me the opportunity to see Serena Williams return to the grand slam stage and witness Novak Djokovic regain the Wimbledon crown. And although I do not follow professional soccer regularly, I so admired the intensity in this year’s World Cup final.
In reflecting on these sporting events, three qualities stood out to me – competitiveness, open mindset, and humility. I believe these qualities provide us with mojo we need to make good investment decisions and take control of our financial situations:
· Competitiveness – Whether you’re competing against someone else or yourself, the drive to succeed is the essence of competitiveness. Now, your definition of success may vary from the person next to you, but I think it’s fair to say that you should always want to do better than you have done in the past. When you manage your money, it is a competitive spirit that will give you the motivation to want to succeed.
Having difficulty finding your competitive spirit? Find the most competitive person you know and ask them what drives them. You’ll get some answers.
· Offensive Mindset – I’m a big believer in playing good defense, but defense doesn't win games nor help you take advantage of opportunity when it is in front of you. When I first learned how to drive in New York City, my mother said “Charisse, you must drive on the offense! Otherwise, drivers will eat you alive.” An offensive mindset is necessary to make progress and prevent others from taking advantage of you.
The same lesson applies to building wealth. I want you have an offensive mindset so that you’ll be in a position to dictate terms and where you want to invest. It is very difficult to build wealth without an offensive mindset. Think about it, if you are constantly reacting to bills and living paycheck to paycheck, how can you take advantage of financial opportunity?
One of the most effective ways to adopt an offensive mindset is to develop a plan and strategize on how you will achieve that plan. Then, you must act!
· Humility – Novak Djokovic showcased his humility (start watching at 9:10) when he said: “we all have ups and downs…You can’t have it all as you imagined…you can have faith….let life arrange things around you.” At first glance, humility seems to be the complete opposite of competitiveness. Upon deeper reflection, I think that your humility allows you to recognize your weak spots. Humility also allows you recognize that your accomplishments are not simply the result of your efforts, but others along the journey and a force greater than themselves.
Need a dose of humility when it comes to your money decisions? Reflect on a really good financial decision you made. Determine why and how you were able to make those decisions, as well as who else was involved. Take these lessons into the next decision!
Here are 3 articles that will reinforce these traits. Read these through the week:
· A Plan for Your Children Could Save Your Retirement in the WSJ – As the article states, “becoming self-reliant “starts with the mind-set that you can do it.” Teaching children about managing money will help them develop a competitive spirit, and a good one at that.
· Shonda Rhimes Describes Her Grand Netflix Ambitions in the New York Times – Armed with a new $150 million deal with Netflix, Shonda epitomizes how to stay on the offensive. She is so badass, and I love it.
· Gratitude: The Antidote to a Fear-Driven Life in Oprah.com - I believe strongly that gratitude helps develop humility. It’s a great read!