Friday Footnotes

The more I learn about sport and the more top athletes I speak to, the more I’ve come to realise that mental strength is at least 50% of the battle. The same applies to business; with the right mindset you can achieve so much more. Hence the underlying theme of this week’s email.

What I’ve Been Reading

I have just finished reading ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’ by W. Timothy Gallwey. I don’t play tennis and don’t intend to take it up anytime soon; although I find I am keener to do so after reading this book. The reason I decided to read it was because it has become a highly acclaimed book amongst all sports as well as in business, with wisdom that could be applied to golf, triathlons and life. Gallwey has also released ‘The Inner Game of Golf’, which I will definitely be reading in due course.

Podcast I’ve Been Listening To

This week I was listening to an interview with Ironman age group athlete and doctor in Internal Medicine, Dr Jeff Krebs, on IM Talk. He talks about how he overcame gastrointestinal problems, what life is currently like on the frontline of dealing with COVID-19 in the US and how he has applied his endurance fuelling knowledge to making him a better doctor. A really interesting conversation, even if you don’t follow Ironman.

App I’ve Found Useful

Occasionally, I like to revisit a book I have read/listened to previously – in some cases, even going back to them each year. Blinkist allows you to listen to a book summary in a fraction of the time. I’d never use it instead of reading the book, as you would miss way too much, but as a way of refamiliarising yourself with the content, or to determine whether a book is worth buying, it acts as a great summary, either in written or audio form.

Quote of the Week

“The more I practice, the luckier I get.”

  • Jerry Barber

Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering

In ‘The inner game of tennis’, Gallwey talks about focusing on the outcome, not the process. It is all too easy to blame a bad shot on poor footwork, the wrong grip or a bad backswing, but he tells us that, in order to succeed we need to focus on the target, not the process. You are better off leaving the process to the expert: your subconscious. It learns what it needs to do from watching and from experience, not from specific instruction. In fact, when you are in your flow, playing out of your skin, the one thing you are not doing is thinking about is the process.

Financial planning is the same. It is more important to focus on where you want to go in the future and design a plan with that in mind, than it is to focus on the details of the pension or the ISA. You can leave that to the expert: the financial planner (aka your financial subconscious). That way you are set on hitting a specific future that is important to you and are more likely to actually achieve it.

Whether it is a goal or a bucket list, you need a compelling future to pull you forward and guide you toward living the best life possible. After all, we only get one shot at it!

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