Being different – a lesson from Olympic athletes

In a previous blog post, I talked about being different, applying that thought specifically to the investment strategies that protected me during the recession that began in 2007. But being different and standing out from the crowd shouldn’t just be applied to making smart investments – being different is the key to finding real success in life.

Let’s use Olympic athletes as an example. Check out this interview with an Olympic-level hockey player:

As you can notice, a key element to his success is staying motivated. Imagine how much time that athlete spends in the gym each week. While his friends are doing other things (and probably inviting him to join them) sometimes he has to say “no” and stay focused on his workouts. While his friends are sleeping in, he is exercising. While his friends are eating pasta and breadsticks for dinner, he is focusing on protein.

In other words, he is being different.

Is it always easy being different? Of course not! But because he has kept himself motivated, Richard has been able to compete at the highest level.

But how do Olympic athletes stay motivated? An article in the Atlantic shared some insights:

In 1993, researchers interviewed 17 national champion figure skaters and identified 158 unique coping strategies they used. The most common, used by 76 percent of the skaters, was “rational thinking and self-talk,” which the study authors describe as logically examining all of the potential stressors, determining what could be controlled, and talking oneself through the problem rationally.

You can do the same.

Look, I know that getting control of your finances and making smart investments isn’t the same as training to be a professional figure skater or hockey player. But both pursuits require self-discipline and consistent motivation. Both pursuits require you to keep your goal in focus.

Being different is not easy, especially when your friends and others around you take it easy and seem to be getting by just fine. But if you are hungry for success and financial independence, then you will have to put some work into it. You will have to be like those athletes who get out of bed on a cold morning to exercise and who pay attention to what they eat while others indulge.

You can do this – I know you can.

Olympic athletes don’t have anything on you.



Leave a Comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.