“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” -Shakespeare
Are you giving your all to achieve financial freedom?
Your absolute best and everything you’ve got to get there?
In sports, this is called bringing your A game instead of your B game. By the way, there’s also a C game. More on that in a moment.
The challenge is that the B game can be deceiving. You could be playing your B game and not even know it.
You see, the B game often looks like success. It means you’re doing well for yourself. You have money. You’re not hurting. In fact, you’ve been able to create a decent sized bank account and things seem to be on the right course. But still… it’s your B game.
The A Game
But you’re A game is different. It’s about achieving financial freedom for yourself… but have you got there yet? Think about it. Being completely worry-free about money. Life can really be this awesome!
The challenge with financial freedom though, is that it demands your A game. It demands effort of the highest level. It demands you at your best, playing the money game at a level of excellence:
Where you leave nothing on the table.
Where you live in a way that honors who you are meant to be.
Is financial freedom something that you’ve been dreaming of and talking about for years? Do you have that feeling of restlessness about it? Well, that feeling is there to get your attention. It’s the siren song of success calling out to you, to play your A game. What you are born to do.
But if the A game is what we are born to do, how is it that so many are not doing it? For one, the B game looks a lot like success and it is at some level. But it’s also easy to become comfortable and get complacent there.
And let’s be clear, at least the B game isn’t the C game. You may know some of the folks playing the C game. They work 9-5 and hate their job. They complain about it, yet are doing nothing to change it. They live for the weekend. And my guess is they watch a lot of TV, especially reality TV. They choose to live life on the sidelines, and to let others have the good life.
But this doesn’t describe people playing their B game. At least they’re in the game!
They’re doing things.
They look successful to other people and themselves.
They are comfortable in life.
Making a decent living.
It’s their B game.
And here’s where the problem occurs – Playing the A game isn’t comfortable. It stretches us. It challenges us. And most of all, it can expose our greatest fears. Our A game is what we hold closest to our heart:
It’s living the life of freedom, freedom to do what you want when you want.
It’s spending more time with your children and grandchildren.
It’s travelling the world and visiting exotic places.
It’s starting that charity. You know the one, the charity that lights you on fire.
It’s establishing the foundation in your name that will cement your legacy.
It’s your life’s purpose.
And even though it’s so important, it gets put aside. You see, it’s easier to dream about “one day” than to do the hard, A-game level work to make it happen.
So instead, the B game is played. And excuses set in – not enough time, when the kids leave home, when the economy gets better, when I know more, or maybe when I’m a little more ready…
Before you know it, your life is wasted.
But that’s not for you. You’re reading this blog because you want a better life. So, how do ensure that you’re playing your A game? Here’s some tips:
1. Decide why it matters to you. If anyone should think they’d never be financially free, it should have been me. Neither of my parents graduated from high school. We were a low income family and many around us were poor. There was nobody to teach me about money.
Why am I telling you this? Because despite everything, I did succeed.
Do I have some magical ability? No, except for my ability to fly. 🙂 Seriously, I’m just the same as you. But what helped me succeed is the absolute belief that I would succeed. I knew that if I kept working at it, if I stayed focused and stayed on course, I would achieve my goals, without any doubt. And this is the same for you.
What is your goal and why does it matter to you? Is it to be financially free? If it is, then establish a personal net worth goal and absolutely believe that you will reach it. Stay focused on that goal. Don’t worry if you fall down. Get right back up and reach for your goal again. It doesn’t matter if other people say you won’t achieve it, because you know you will. You were put on this earth to achieve great things. You’ve known it since you were young. Just because you’ve been sidetracked doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great things now. You can, and you will! Get crystal clear on why it matters to you.
2. Uncover your attitude. Have you heard the powerful statement, “Attitude determines altitude”. Well that statement is so powerful and so true. It’s even true where financial freedom is concerned. Today I challenge you to uncover your “attitudes”. What’s your attitude towards money? Is it negative or is it positive? What’s your attitude towards your net worth, savings, and investments? Please know this – you are made effective based on your positive attitude and you are made defeated based on your negative attitude. Remember Lou Holtz’s words here: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
3. Get clear on what excellence looks like. Set big goals. Forget “realistic.” People who achieve big dreams never think in terms like that. They think “ultimate.” What is your ultimate goal? Make this very tactical. Is it a net worth of $10 million? $50 million? $100 million? What does excellence with money look like to you? Remember, this applies to every kind of activity with money. What does excellence look like when budgeting? When saving money? When making investments? Create a tactical vision for your absolute best work when managing your money.
4. Focus on your strengths and get help with your weaknesses. Think of the outcomes in your life like an equation: Ability x Effort = Outcome. You can put in all the effort you want, but if your ability is weak, then the outcome won’t be your best work. Take an honest inventory of your money skills and shore-up any gaps with self-study, classes and seminars. You can’t create a $10 million bank account with only $5 worth of financial education. Achieving your best work is an iterative process. Never stop chipping away at it.
5. Commit to excellence and don’t settle for less. Commit to improving your money skills until you know they are excellent. Note: Excellence does not equal perfection. Excellence is a measurable standard (see no. 3). Perfection is an illusory standard that some use as an excuse to not do their best work and to avoid being judged. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Remember Aristotle’s words: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.
Why Bring Your A Game?
Before we close, I want to ask you this question: Why is it important for you to bring your A game?
There are a few reasons to consider: The first is that excellence has gradually accruing benefits. If you are working 20 percent harder, you are learning at least 20 percent more. You are also growing 20 percent more. And although the changes may be unseen right now, they will invariably show up later, in the way that makes a big difference in achieving your goals.
Secondly, there seems to be a universal law that we find working towards our goals more gratifying, when we apply ourselves to it completely. On a subconscious level, we’re always applying more effort to the things that are important to us and less to the things that are not. This reinforces our perceptions – the things we care about most become most enjoyable because we apply our full selves to them. You are what you repeatedly do, good or bad.
The third reason is simply to build the habit of excellence. If a person lets a little bit of mediocrity into their life, it can spread like a virus. Trying to root out mediocrity and reach excellence in every nook of life is a continuous process, but one that yield’s exponential benefits! Commit to excellence. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, be present and be 100%.
Let their be a tide in your life. Take your affairs at the flood stage and then go on to fortune. Bring your A game and expect to get A results – A life of no worries. A life of freedom.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
Latest tweets from Monty!
“The difference between where you are now & where you’ll be in the future, is what thoughts you’ll allow. Success is won in the mind first.”
“Society may require the majority to be conformists, but that’s not who it rewards. If you want what the few have, do what the few do.”
“Want a better life? Seek to be hungry, not to be comfortable. Hunger isn’t an accident. It’s a condition. A state of mind, body and soul.”
Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out these articles from the blog archives: