THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Today is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s opening day baseball. I can’t wait to come home from work today and watch the Washington Nationals. They’ve had a great run over the past few years. I’m really hoping that this is the year they finally turn the corner and make it to the World Series, although those pesky lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs, may have something to say about that.
I’ve always loved baseball since I was a little kid. I could sit outside and throw a baseball all day. In fact, my Dad made a pitching mound in the backyard so that I could practice throwing to a catcher year-round. As I entered high school, my Dad bought a batting cage for me to practice. To say I was dedicated is an understatement.
However, my junior year I tore my ACL. Unfortunately any prospects of playing in college or the majors quickly evaporated. I think I was too young to appreciate the severity of the situation at the time, but for a while, I drifted away from baseball.
As I’ve gotten older, I have started to get back into it. I am really looking forward to the day when my son and I can throw a ball around outside. Inevitably, I hope to pass on some words of wisdom to my son that involve baseball axioms in relation to some financial tidbits, of course.
Keep Your Eye On The Ball
I must have heard this statement a million times while growing up. It didn’t matter if I was batting or if I was trying to field the ball. The one constant was a coach yelling at us to keep our eye on the baseball.
I can’t even tell you the number of times that I would see kids swing the bat as hard as they could but never come close to the ball because they took their eye off the ball. What good is it to swing where you think the ball is going to be, when you can keep your eyes open the whole time and know for certainty?
Unfortunately, I meet too many people that take their eye off the ball but take these monster swings. These people think that if they swing hard, every once a while they’ll get lucky with a home run at the end of the day. This hardly happens though.
Be Ready for the Unexpected Bounce
How often have you seen a major league infielder get ready to do an easy play, when all of a sudden, the ball hits a rock, and the ball darts in a different direction? The fielder has to be ready to adjust quickly to the circumstance in order to still make the play.
This happens all the time, but since they’re professionals, it’s hardly noticeable to the untrained eye. But you can bet after that play, they pick up those loose rocks to ensure that that doesn’t happen again.
Most of us, at some point, have had an unexpected bounce when it comes to our finances. That’s why it’s so important to have an emergency fund available in case of the unexpected. By having an emergency fund, you can easily adjust to the unforeseen circumstance without missing a beat.
Making an Error or Striking Out Isn’t the End of the Game
Most people consider Babe Ruth one of the best baseball players. He finished his career with 714 home runs, almost 3,000 hits, and won four World Series rings. Do you know how many times Babe Ruth struck out in his career, though? 1,330. He retired at the time as the leading player in strike-outs.
Now, how many people remember him for being the all time strike-out leader? Hardly anyone because of all the incredible feats that he accomplished during his day.
What risks are you taking to grow your finances? I have a friend that has been terrified of the market since 2009 and has kept all his money in cash. He refuses to deploy any of cash in case the market drops.
On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 hit a low of 676.53. In the eight years since then, the market has hit a new all-time-high briefly touching 2400 points. The market has more than tripled in less than a decade, so the fortitude to ride out the lows of the bear market pays off.
That’s a lot of money to leave on the table all because he refuses to take a swing.
Practice Makes Perfect
Do you know how much time professional baseball players take to hone their craft? Some people think these guys eat hot dogs and drink beer in between innings. That may have been the case back in the day, but not anymore.
Anybody that has seen a Bryce Harper or Mike Trout workout can attest that these guys are physically-fit specimens with incredible hand-eye coordination. Both of these players are working their tails off to go down in history as the best players of all time.
But all their success didn’t come overnight. They started young, playing in tons of tournaments and enjoying the game of baseball. They continued working hard and practicing as much as possible.
In the same way, how often do you put effort into your finances? Are you constantly trying to learn and improve so that you can be the best version of yourself? I wonder if people paid more attention to their finances, if they would become more confident and comfortable in that area.
All I know is the more exposure that you have to something, the more comfortable that you generally feel, and in turn, the more likely you are to relax and make wise decisions.