The 3 F’s of Success is the Sixth in a series of articles to help you reach your goal. What are your goals? I know you thought about it! You know, it is your dream, wish or resolution you made! Before you can get to where you want to be, you need to know where you are going. You wouldn’t get on a bus, train or plane without knowing where it was going.
When I was growing up, children played outside most of the year. Bad weather meant you played board games or cards indoors. All the neighbor kids would get together and ride their bikes or play hide and go seek. Children did a lot of physical activities because they enjoyed them. Were we in better condition or just more active? There were very few fast food restaurants and I do not recall going to any of them. Was I physically fit? I do not know, but I slept very well from all the activity.
I was always fascinated with money from a very early age! I think my parents having their own businesses added to my interest. Saturdays, meant going to my mother’s store or my Dad’s business. Whether I was interested or not, I was exposed to the business world early in my life. I remember going on buying trips to the wholesale district in New York City and I saw my parents negotiate, make buying decisions and listened to conversations. Some of those experiences become some of my dreams.
My parents were very busy in their businesses and never seem to have much time left for me. This had a huge influence on me later in life. My parents sent me to a prep school to get a good education, but I think it made it easier for them. I remember not seeing them at many of the events.. When I became a parent, I made it a priority to see everything my children were involved in. It gave me a close relationship that I still have today. Doing things together made a huge impact them and me.
We cannot separate mind and body! Fitness success affects your mind too. I know you have seen successful people who are not fit, but it makes more sense to have your body running in top condition. If you do, your mind will run better too. I think better when I feel physically fit. What should you do? Start moving more! Do you just sit at a desk or in front of a computer ten (10) hours a day? I try to work just fifty (50) minutes of every hour and move around for ten (10) minutes every hour. As a teacher, I am moving five (5) hours a day. Is that enough?
The other element is what you eat! If you eat too many calories, you will gain weight! That should not be a surprise. What you eat determines how healthy you will become. I try to eat healthy foods most of the time. Things like fruits, vegetables, some protein, and whole grains. Portion size is extremely important! Make small changes in your diet and exercise regime. Do the things you like and enjoy. If you do, you will keep it up and improve your fitness and overall physical health. My physical fitness success gives me confidence and helps me make better decisions.
What is financial success? Can you support yourself without going into debt? Are you spending less than what you earn? Do you have savings for now and when you retire? Do you have to have a certain amount of money in a retirement account to declare yourself a success? Yes and it is different for everyone! Some may not feel successful until they accumulated several million dollars others far less. Let’s put this in perspective, you cannot deny yourself everything for forty (40) years so you will accumulate millions of dollars. That would not be much fun and you will not have forty (40) more years to enjoy it.
What do you do? Start with the goal or outcome in mind. What are you trying to achieve, break it down and start doing it. If you are in debt, pay it down. Increase your savings and figure out what expenses should change to help save more. You are in charge of your life and you can do it. If you can make yourself physically fit, you can improve your financial self too. Get started with small changes because over time it adds up.
Family is my number one priority. It is also my support network and a very important social relationship. The support I get from my wife and family helped me become more successful. Of course, I spent a lot of time and effort to make my marriage and family very successful. I dated my wife in college and got to know her very well over three and a half years. We talked a lot about many things including our future, money, values and what was important to us. During that time, we went through a lot of different things that made us stronger for a lifetime together.
When we had children, she worked part time and spent the time to instill values and other things so they would be successful. As a family, we did things together to help our children be successful. On a daily basis, we read to them, had family dinners and spent time with them. They kept busy in sports, visiting museums, scouting and many more activities. They saw what we did whether it was reading or modeling other good financial behaviors. Family success helped me in my success and in my children’s success.
This is the sixth article in the series about success; I expect to publish throughout 2012. There will be twenty-six (26) of them, one for each letter of the alphabet. The 3 F’s of success are fitness, financial and family. I think everyone wants success in life; business and career; however it takes a concerted effort to reach success. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” Tommy Lasorda sums it up much better than I can!
I started this series because I run into so many people who have difficulty reaching success. They want to know my secrets! So I thought I would share them in a format that will be most helpful. I also think this format may make it more interesting and easier to use. My goal in these articles to provide useful and interesting information that will help you succeed. The 3 F’s of Success is now a series.
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