Nancy Phillips

This is a picture of my son Max racing at Whistler Mountain a few weeks ago. It’s his first year racing in the downhill series, and it was really exciting (and nerve wracking) watching he and the other young racers fly full speed down the mountain. As I reflected afterward on the characteristics it takes to master a sport, I was reminded of some stark similarities between athletics and the steps necessary for helping incorporate financial life skills into the lives of our young adults globally, whether we are the parents  – or the business owners leading new employees into the next chapter of their lives.

Be sure to read point #7.

1.    Clarity

You need to clarify what you really want so you can make better decisions at critical moments. Conscious awareness is key. Looking ahead to focus your energy on what goals matter most to you, not the media, your peers or naysayers, is critical in today’s overstimulated and hyper consumptive world. Our youth have a much bigger and different challenge in this arena than we did when we were young.

2.    Commitment

Commit fully to learning, reflecting and practicing what you learn. This is the path of mastery: learn knowledge and skills, practice, reflect, redirect, progress, continue – for years. Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice does. Practice just deepens the neural pathways in your brain, you want to make sure they are pathways you want to follow. It takes courage to step into this cycle, no question, but the commitment is necessary to get through the inevitable bumps, or crashes as the case may be.

3.    Power of the subconscious mind

Preparing you mind/body “knowing” of what to do in certain circumstances in a split second is vital. The emotional versus logical mind will determine the outcome. This is where practicing in a positive and calm state is so key. Researchers say 95% of what we do is directed by the subconscious mind, and images are what drive the subconscious mind. That’s why positive visualization of what we want to happen is so important. The flight or fight fear stress response causes blood to drain from the pre-frontal cortex and is part of the cause of “bad” decisions, because the brain and body are physically in survival mode.

4.    Habits 

Your habits of daily life create your outcomes. You create your habits and then they create your life, so the small daily actions you take have huge impact over time. This is true for athletic training and for daily spending.

5.    Sole Responsibility

You have to do it yourself, you can’t master your skills by watching your parents do it, watching videos, or waiting five or ten months (or years) for things to change. Yes, it takes effort, but as Nike would say – “JUST DO IT”!

6.    Don’t Wait

Starting young is easier because youth are generally more open to learning, and hopefully don’t yet have beliefs that will prevent them from pursuing their goals and passions. I believe optimism and hope is fundamental to driving the motivation and effort necessary to pursue big goals. Learning the skills necessary to pursue your dream can help instill that hope. 

7.    Opportunity to Learn

Unfortunately sports and financial life skills, and the fundamental skills of each, aren’t taught in most schools around the world. The experiential learning gained from both could benefit and transform the lives of those involved. 

 Any you would like to add? Please feel free. 

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Have a fantastic day!


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