Are you an “Olympic Gold Medalist” in your life?
February, 2010 was a great time in Vancouver, Canada, as we enjoyed the Winter Olympics. The city was buzzing and everyone was having a great time. This was my second Olympics as my wife and I traveled to Sydney, Australia, for the 2000 summer games. It was extra special for me as I grew up in the Sydney suburbs and the new Olympic village, where the majority of the events took place, was very close to where I spent my younger years.
In 1998, my financial picture was ugly. Through neglect of my accounting skills, we were now in a financial mess. We overspent and I neglected our financial information on a regular basis. The amount of debt was challenging and there were times I did not know what to do. To say I felt hopeless was an understatement. I was going to my regular church and I had met a young lady named Philomena Mensah. She was at the time the Canadian 100 metre sprint champion. I spoke to her on almost every Sunday as I have been a sports lover most of my life and track and field is a sport I love. On one of those Sundays, she introduced me to her friend Robert. I said hello and didn’t quite hear his last name when it was told to me. I eventually realized that it was Robert Esmie and he too was a sprinter. Having watched the 1996 summer Olympics, I knew who he was and that he was a “Gold Medalist” in the 4 x 100 for Canada.
I kept attending my church and would see Robert. On one of those Sundays, I asked him if I could come and watch him train. He said I should come and train with him. I agreed and met Robert the next week on a weekday morning prior to going to work. At this training session, he shared with me what his coach had instructed him to achieve. Robert held out his hand and proceeded to show me his thumb against his index finger. There was a slight gap between the 2 fingers and his goal was to “go that much faster”. Sprinters are measured in thousands of seconds and this was Robert’s accounting measuring stick. As he was paying attention to his so called minor detail, what was I doing? As an accountant, I am supposed to pay attention to detail and this was not the case for me. Can you see why I was in financial trouble? Should I be smacking myself upside my head or what?
After we trained what he considered a light workout, of which I ached for days, Robert invited me back to his place for breakfast. As we were eating, Robert told me that he was going to be at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and that I too should be there. I proceeded to tell him of my financial woes. He said that it was more than 2 years away and I should start planning now. Robert didn’t accept my so called excuse and proceeded to tell me that someone with a vision could change their future. He said that this is one of the methods he used to be an Olympic champion. I decided right there that I was going to Sydney.
The next piece of advice has been with me ever since. Robert said that I too could be an “Olympic Gold Medalist”. I told him that I was now 37 years old and I didn’t know of any sport(s) that would allow me to accomplish what he suggested. Robert looked at me and said “In your life and with whatever you do!” This was one of those “haha” moments. To this day, I am very thankful that I agreed to train with him.
As I think back to the experience I just described, I have tried to live as an “Olympic Gold Medalist” in my “Accounting Life”, as suggested to me. As I have taken this advice to heart, my financial picture has changed for the better. How about you? Do you believe you can be an “Olympic Gold Medalist” in your life and area of work? If not, why not? You are in training every day and you should do everything you can to improve your performance. If you do, just like athletes, your finances will change right before your very eyes. I guarantee you that your NUMBERS will be FUN, just as so many others whom I have observed who take this approach. They may not be called “Olympic Gold Medalists”, but they sure act like them!
On your “NUMBERS” team,
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