It's Not What You Have

"We self regulate to the level of our beliefs not to the level of our potential." Dr. Rick Perea

Last week, Stacey and I had two dramatically different and wonderful experiences with two people whose advice directly fits into your financial planning situation (I hope). My hope is that in the next 3.5 minutes you find something uplifting and helpful.

Lesson one comes fromBack to School Nightat our community high school. Here, they ask parents to walk between classes as if we were our children-students. Stacey and I had just left two heavy-duty, serious, advanced classes and entered the third period which was a refreshing break--Introduction to Photography. The classroom is full of student art and iMacs and it's beautiful. The straight-laced, three-piece suit teacher was a shocking contrast to his room--and then his speech was even more surprising--and it gave us great advice about life. I think you'll enjoy it.

On the desks in front of each parent sat two works of childish art. One was significantly more advanced than the other. Our teacher asked us, "how old do you think the artist is?" for one artwork and then the other. The answer was not age 5, nor 6, but age 20. The artist is the teacher's son with Down syndrome. His kid, because of his dramatic improvement, from one to the other work of art, would get an A from our teacher.

Our lesson from back to school night: success is not about what you have. It's about what you do with what you have. Sounds a little like retirement savings--doesn't it? You might have a little--or a lot more than that--what are you going to do with it?

Lesson two comes from the Denver Broncos sports performance expert, Dr. Rick Perea.

Many of you know I coach youth football. Last week, before the first game, we nearly threw in the towel. We cancelled the whole season. We had kid drama, parent drama, injuries, no-shows, drop-outs and more. I can't begin to tell you our challenges. Then we decided to give it just one game--Saturday August 25th, 2018--before we cancel the whole season. On the scoreboard, we were crushed. The scoreboard showed our opponents had three touchdowns and we scored zero. The score would have been much worse but two of the other team's touchdowns were called back due to their penalties.

So now, surprisingly, our football season is "game on."

What changed?

I am the least qualified of our team of coaches. All of us played in college. Some of our coaches played Division 1. One of us won a D1 National Championship, was drafted, and played in the NFL--for the Broncos. So this coach brings in his friend, Dr. Rick Perea, from the Denver Broncos to speak with our parents after Saturday's crushing loss.

I've got to tell you, Dr. Rick was awesome. He says, we self-regulate to the level of our beliefs, not to the level of our potential.

If we believe we can play with perfect execution, we will. If we believe we are strong and fast, we'll get better. Winning on the scoreboard is irrelevant at our kids' young age. At our age, it's all about player improvement. We need to keep our focus on the process rather than outcome. We reward the kids' energy, their attitude and their effort.

And the kicker is the lesson for all of us--his words work for retirement too. We can control the process, not the short-term outcome. In the long run, positive energy, attitude and effort always wins!

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