Before every tennis match, I watch a short video on Youtube of a favorite tennis pro to get inspired. All that goes through my mind are beautiful strokes and luscious sounding *thwacks* each time the ball leaves my strings. I prepare my tennis bag with the right equipment: grip, Advil, Gatorade, a change of clothes, flip flops, hat, and sunglasses. My outfit matches, down to my shoes and I say a little prayer. Essentially, I go through a routine that any pro would go through, pretending to be one myself, in order to get ready for battle.
Pretending you have arrived, so you can become is a way for us to get in the right frame of mind so we can tackle many of your challenges with full vigor. If you are not mentally tough on the court, you will defeat yourself before even giving your opponent a chance to defeat you! In essence, you are your own worst enemy if not properly trained.
Some may think that if you are a pretender, you have a risk of becoming delusional. There’s no doubt we often over estimate our own abilities, however, I encourage all of us to increase the belief in ourselves. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.
Anybody who has a blog knows that it’s a lot of work. There’s a statistic that says most bloggers don’t make it after six months. I don’t know exactly what “not making it” means, but suffice it to say many quit due to burn out.
Every time I sit down to write an article, I pretend like I blog for a living. It doesn’t matter I work ~50 hours a week at my day job. What matters is that in order to successfully compete, I must realize there are those who are able to spend 50 hours a week just on their sites! As a result, I’m constantly in search for new marketing ideas and thinking of ways to write better content.
I often envy journalists and columnists of large publications. They are in a field they probably aspired to be in since college, and they have editors to make their writing perfect! As a blogger, I am the editor, writer, content director, marketer, and tech help. I don’t have a multi-million dollar marketing campaign behind me, and it takes a long time to get noticed. Oh well! I’m just going to have to try that much harder.
Because I’m motivated to compete with professionals, I don’t mind the the challenge. Besides, creating this site is simply one of the funnest things ever! If Financial Samurai can rank higher, or be recognized by some mainstream publication like it did on The LA Times a couple weeks ago over a professional blogger, that makes the time spent all the sweeter.
The beauty of the Internet is that anybody can start a website and compete against anybody in any field. Every single big site started small, so keep the faith you will one day get there.
Basketball is actually my first true love. There’s no more beautiful a sport than basketball, where you actually have to use your entire body to play. The problem is that injuries rack up in a hurry, and if I want to be able to walk when I’m 50, I better tone it down. I’ve got the sleeveless jersey, loose fitting shorts, and Jordan retros as a point forward. In my mind, all I think about is “making it rain” from beyond the three point line.
Basketball culture is very strong. If you don’t look the part, you won’t be taken seriously in my local gym. People from all over the city come to compete, and you will get hooted and hollered all night long if you look out of place. Ballers travel in packs, and it’s showboat central sometimes. Showboating is showing off to the crowd, while trying to make your opponents look bad in the process. We never showboat, because we aren’t idiots.
We play fundamental basketball, always moving, swinging, setting picks, and taking high percentage shots. And guess what? We are 80% winners. When we don’t win it’s because our opponents simply outsize with 6′ 6″ point guards who can take one jab step, fake me out, and end at the rim with a dunk. Remember, this is my local gym, not the NBA! Our tallest guy is 6′ 4″ and plays center.
By getting into the mindset that you are an NBA player, you start believing your shots will go in upon release. Without the proper mindset, you’re going to brick it every single time. When the last buzzer sounds, if you’re the winner, you’ll get respect no matter what you look like. It’s all about respect in the end, but not so much in the beginning.
My 10 year old acoustic guitar has given me more pleasure than I could have ever imagined. With a beautiful cherry wood top, and a lemon oil smell emanating from the fret board, just touching the guitar brings an instant smile. Unfortunately, I’m quite mediocre at musical instruments. I’ve tried them all, including the violin, trumpet, saxophone, and drums and I’m not very good at any of them.
Despite my lack of musical talents, I still try to play the guitar until my finger tips turn purple from one too many slides. I lock myself in the back room of my house pretending to be Jack Johnson playing his latest songs. Whoever I pretend to be, I realize they are gifted because of practice. And so, I practice and practice and sing as if no one is listening.
The guitar has been my outlet when my body is too sore from tennis and basketball. After a 2 hour long singles match, my feet blister and my knees ache. It takes me at least three days to fully heal now from just one or two before. It actually pains me more to have to rest and not play, but that’s where my guitar comes in. When the time comes when my fingers are just too raw to continue, I’m ready to play sports again.
A positive attitude is tantamount towards progress. When we were kids, we wore costumes and turned into our favorite superheroes and fairy tale characters. Sometime during adulthood, we forget what it’s like to pretend. That joyful feeling of being someone else eludes us as we grow up. How sad.
If you’re going to do something, you might as well aspire to do your best. Pretend you have arrived, so you can one day become. I guarantee that if you do, you’ll have a grand old time in the process!
Readers, what are your favorite hobbies you could do all day long?
Any strategies you employ to motivate yourself to do better?
Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”
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