Exercise has been a strong part of my lifestyle for a long time. It has taught me a great deal about self-discovery as well as given me the confidence to accomplish things I never thought would be possible in my life. Below are 12 lessons that do not only apply to exercising but also to my ambitions for wealth:
1. There are a million different ways to become fit. There is no one-size-fits-all model nor does there need to be. Likewise, there are many roads and tons of different ways to becoming rich.
2. You can’t just complain about your body. You have to actually go to the gym or use the exercise equipment if you want results. Similarly, you can’t just whine about not having enough money. You have to get up and do something about it. Get in the game and figure out what to do.
3. If you don’t want to get hurt, learn how to do the exercises properly. If you don’t want to become broke either, then educate yourself about the basics of personal finance. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to money.
4. Not every exercise has the same results for every person. Just because someone is an entrepreneur or having luck in real estate doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for you.
5. Everyone grows stronger at his or her own rate. It took me years to bench what other guys seemed to have accomplished in months. Money is no different. You have to handle your finances at your own rate of comfort. The point is that you are moving forward at all times.
6. But remember: To build muscle, you have to push yourself to go that one extra rep. Don’t stay complacent with measly savings rates or bank CD’s. Push your way up the ladder of risk by doing your research and taking a leap of faith. My first investment was in mutual funds. Then stocks. Next who knows! But I can tell you that it doesn’t stop here.
7. The older I get, the more important the basics become. When I was in college, I wanted bigger muscles or to be able to lift more and more weight. Now there are days when a good stretch feels the best. With money, it’s easy to obsess about having the most or making a killing off that one great stock. As you mature, you realize all you need is to care of those you love and be comfortable.
8. Everyone claims to be an expert and wants to tell you their opinion. Every guy at the gym or fitness magazine is going to try to tell you their best way to get a 6-pack or lift more. But should you listen? It depends on what you’re hearing and if there is any validity to it at all. In personal finance, you sometimes have to filter out a lot of “expert advice” as well. If something seems wrong, it probably is.
9. It takes a long time to shape your body the way you want. There really is no “lose weight overnight” or “get flat abs in eight minutes” solution that works. Building wealth also is a process that takes time. There are no shortcuts.
10. Exercise is only half of it. Your lifestyle has a lot to do with your body as well too. The same can be said for your finances. It does you no good to invest your money or bring in more income if it will just be squandered. You have to practice good financial habits as well.
11. Exercise is more fun when you have someone there to encourage you. Money also spends a lot better when it’s with someone you really care about or for a cause that makes you feel good.
12. Don’t let the trees blind you from seeing the whole forest. Sometimes I’d see guys who seemed to live at the gym all day because it had become their whole lifestyle. It had become an unhealthy obsession. Money is also something that can become an obsession. You start off for the right reasons but end up loosing sight of why you wanted to make so much of it in the first place. The concept of getting richer is meant to help you live your life better, not so you can become a slave to it. Wealth isn’t always measured in dollars. Remember to spend your time with the people that are important in your life.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art