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Comfortably Uncomfortable

Updated: Apr 3

My first football practice in high school was nothing like a traditional football practice. There were no helmets or pads. No one was wearing cleats. There was no football field. Instead, there was about 75-100 young men wearing t-shirts, shorts, and running shoes. We met inside the “small” gym at our high school, and for the next 2 hours, we would go through sprints, agility drills, and boot-camp style workouts. I’m convinced the reason we were in the smaller gym was because it would get much hotter than the bigger gym. Football coaches can be cold-blooded in that way.

The purpose of these workouts was to condition us mentally and physically for the road ahead. When it came time to put on the helmets and pads, the coaches didn’t want our conditioning to slow down our learning during the practices. Have you ever tried to retain information under physical duress? It’s not easy.

Each practice would hold more drills, schemes, and strategic plays; and every day we’d end practice with even more conditioning. This would be our ritual for weeks, programming us for the upcoming season. Our coaches wanted to have us in peak condition so that we could perform when it really counted on the field.

My primary sport of choice these days is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is another kind of torture. Here in America, football is ingrained in our culture. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, however, is a relative unknown when it comes to the sports landscape here in the US. If you were to look at a live sparring session, you’d probably question why anyone would willingly endure such abuse. If you need a mental image, think of wrestling combined with joint locks and chokes to submit your opponent.

The picture above is me and one of my good friends / training partners named Derek. We affectionately refer to him as “Bearick” in the academy because grappling with him is like wrestling a small bear. It’s uncomfortable. You cannot rely on strength (he’s stronger), so you are forced to rely on patience and technique. More importantly, if you are going to train with Derek, you have to be comfortable with being in uncomfortable positions. ​

I can think of so many analogies within the sports world that require patience and technique, but as a financial advisor, I believe these concepts are also integral to your financial life. Think of any long-term financial goal— retirement planning, funding college, paying off debt, leaving a legacy, etc. Each of these goals will most likely require time and strategy (technique). Since each of us has our own unique financial goals and circumstances, it makes sense that we all should expect to have different timelines, investment choices, and financial strategies to apply to our situation.

Seems simple enough, right? It is simple, but it’s not always easy. 

Life has a way of presenting us with challenges, obstacles, and information that can make us uncomfortable. This is why we must work on being comfortable with being uncomfortable from time to time.

How can we endure the uncomfortable times? 

I could write on and on with my ideas and theories on this topic, but I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll give you what I believe to be time tested financial advice–

1) Create a financial plan

2) Work with a financial planner in some capacity

3) Work, adjust, mold, correct — but don’t abandon your plan!

As this year comes to a close, we want to remain focused on our plans and controlling what we can control. In that spirit, I’d love to talk with you if you. Whether you are planning for retirement, wanting investing help, or needing to create a financial plan; let’s set up a connection call. Click here to schedule some time.


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