I just finished the 200 mile 2-day charity bike ride in Boston to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute http://www2.pmc.org/profile/ER0102 that I’ve been training for this summer. When I committed to ride this last winter I had no idea that one of the benefits would be learning more about prosperity!
Riding a bike and prosperity, wait – what? Now I’m not talking about the investment I made in getting a road bike and cute cycling clothes (I look the part even if I’m a newbie). Here’s what I’m talking about…
Worrying about not being okay makes for an unhappy ride. Even before I started biking I was worried about falling. Worried about clipping my shoes in and out of the pedals. And, worried about being able to keep up with Steven and his biking group. This angst led me to dread training, to feel stressed during the rides, and to have numb fingers from gripping my handle bars too tightly.
Ever worry about money issues? Ever fear your investments will fall and you’ll end up hurt? Worrying doesn’t make the ride better, make me safer, or improve my performance. Guess what – it’s the same with money – worry is a really bad financial strategy. Instead, everything feels better by focusing on the desired outcome (better performance, reaching a goal and enjoying the journey).
Where I put my attention can make the difference between success and failure. About a month into training I realized I was hyper focused on avoiding obstacles in the road. While I was riding I would look at the pothole, the posts at the end of the trail, and the faster bikers coming from the other direction. When I did this I was really unsteady on the bike and even fell over a couple of times. Then it occurred to me I should be literally looking at where I wanted to go on the trail, not what I was afraid of running into. This is really hard for me – I have to force myself to put my attention ahead of me on the trail – but I know where thought flows energy goes and it’s a strategy to help keep me safe. Just as with steering the bike, one of the best ways to get to your financial goals is to keep your focus on your goals instead of ways you could get off track from them. It’s also important to know when the conditions are difficult, it’s possible to make adjustments while still keeping your attention on where you want to go.
Focusing on my “why” makes my goal much easier to achieve. Why did I hang up the running shoes and climb on the bike? The first reason was to spend more time with my husband Steven. He’s ridden in the Pan-Mass Challenge 8 times. Training together has given us a wonderful shared experience. The other important reason is to raise money for a really important cause – cancer research. When I find myself tiring of sitting on that bike I go back to my reasons for doing this – my why. Building wealth works the same way – once you are clear on your why doing what it takes to get to your goals is much easier. Not to mention that charitable giving is a fabulous prosperity building strategy.
No need to do it alone. I didn’t really understand this until I did it – but riding behind others, or “drafting” in bike lingo, cuts down my effort by 20-30%. The second I pull my bike behind another rider it immediately gets easier. Could meeting your financial goals work the same way? What if you learned from others or turned to friends and colleagues for support and advice? Getting professional input might make the financial ride easier. No need to set and achieve your money goals all on your own.