Personal Finance: Getting Your Mind Right

Personal Finance: Getting Your Mind Right
Chicago Bear's DT, Stephen Paea, "getting his mind right" to play in the NFL

As I was watching this year’s NFL draft and seeing the dreams of today’s top college athletes to play professional football come true, I couldn’t help put notice the extreme dedication and commitment these young men have applied to their lives since their preteen years.

More often than not, watching the stories of top prospects have visions of playing in the NFL stirred up plenty of emotion in me…a frustrated athlete myself who never got the chance to truly shine.  Ah well, to bigger and better things right?

Playing at the highest level in football is a combination of preparation, dedication, knowing the right people and being seen in the right camps.  The things these young men give up to not only prepare their bodies for one of the most physical sports in America are quite impressive knowing what most young men and women do for recreation as teenager into early adulthood. Their ability to stay focused during a grueling schedule of college classes and football practice quickly separate the pros from the joes.

What I found unique while watching Everything to Prove on the NFL Network  was an exercise these athletes used to sharpen their mental focus in order to “get their mind right” at the highest levels of stress during a game.  While the scientists hooking up this mind-exericise to these athletes state, “If you can train the way you think, you can train the way you perform under pressure.”

It is amazing to me that the difference between elite athletes in not just the measurable physical abilities in how fast they can run, how high they can jump and how quick they can react…but also training their mind with the ability to make the right decisions and stay disciplined in their choices on and off the field.

Let’s parlay this into our personal finances.

Our desire to become financially independent begins when we decide enough is enough.  It begins when we’re sick and tired of the daily grind working for other people (a boss, Uncle Sam, car loans and credit card companies) and we have more month leftover than money.  It begins when the people around us aren’t really that well off than we thought they were and keeping up with them has had little to truly impact the wealth of our lives.

It does not matter where you are today…but rather where you are going.  Being broke (bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce, etc) is just a temporary situation…but being poor (entitled, in denial, procrastinating, etc) is a sad condition of the mind and spirit.

Blaming the government, your ex, former business partners, President Obama, your employer and the economy will make your feel better for just a little while.  But like these college athletes turning pro…it’s up to you to do the “dirty-dirty”.  It’s your life and your reality at the end of the day.

If you and I were having a conversation two years from now about your life, both personally and financially…what has to happen in order for you to be totally happy and confident about your progress?  What obstacles do you need to avoid, opportunities you need to take advantage of and what personal strengths do you need to exploit to get you to where you want to go?

Out of approximately 9,000 college football student/athletes, only 215 make it to a team on draft day.  Call it luck or chance, but I give these young men tons of credit to making the right choices to being in the right place, at the right time, with the right people consistently each day over a period of years during a majority of their young lives…regardless of the distractions that their peer group may bring.

I know it wasn’t easy.  That’s why we get to watch them today on TV, celebrating their victories and saddened by their losses.  They get their shot in the big spotlight as we stand witness as their dreams come true.

Before you throw your hands up with your financial situation, or invest in the latest fad or make an impulsive decision that puts your savings at risk…take a step back and ask yourself, is my mind right?  If so, will it continue to be right if things don’t go the way I hoped it would?

If you were your best friend giving an honest, objective opinion, would you be doing what you’re doing right now?

Drop you comments, ideas and thoughts below…I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.

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