Music Mondays – We Are One


We Are One

The song We Are One, written by PitBull, Jennifer Lopez and a cast of other characters was selected as the song for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It apparently received quite a bit of backlash from Brazilians for not representing Brazil enough, and I understand that they would expect that since they are the host country; however, I like the fact that the song represents the essence of the event. The World Cup, which only occurs every four years, is truly an international and world-uniting event since 200 million people across the globe play soccer or football. There is even a great ESPN commercial that states, “Every four years, the world has one time zone.”

Just like the rest of the world right now, my house has been focused on the World Cup. If you recall, we recently cut our cable, so we are watching it on Univision that is included with our regular channels via our HD antenna. We actually prefer watching the games on Univision because the announcers get much more excited over even little plays and we are brushing up on our Spanish. I love finding learning opportunities in all areas of life and I have picked up quite a bit of lessons while watching World Cup Soccer.

World Cup Lessons

When You Fall – Get Back Up

I am shocked at the speed and intensity of the games and frequently when two players are running for the ball, one or both may trip and fall. It is both impressive and inspiring, though, to see the players get right back up and run after the ball despite the setback.

I think when many of us stumble financially, we are tempted to wallow in our misery and lick our wounds, but the faster we get back on our feet, the faster we can recover from the setback. I have seen a few games where the person fell and got up so fast that he recovered the ball. The next financial setback you have, challenge yourself to recover as quickly as the soccer players do.

Sometimes You Run Around for Hours and Have Nothing to Show for It

Despite the fact that the game is fast moving, and the net is huge, I am always surprised at how low the scores are and that typically a team will not score any goals during a game. I am sure it is frustrating for the team to run their hearts out and come up empty handed at the end of the game. The players know, though, that despite the score it is important to play hard for the entire game and not give up.

Sometimes we work really hard on our financial goals and at the end of many weeks and months it could look like we never got anywhere. Maybe we had an emergency or maybe we had a number of small events that arose that kept us from achieving our goals. It’s important to not let the numbers psyche you out, though. You have to keep working hard on those goals because your work will start to pay off with time; you just have to have some patience and mental toughness to work through it.

world cup 2

The Value of Teamwork

I don’t think there is a single goal scored during a game that does not come from a pass or a header from a teammate. Teamwork is critical to the success of the team and usually it is the better passing teams that perform well overall. Every financially successful client that I know practices excellent teamwork skills where their money is concerned.

If it is a couple, they work together to make their financial dreams a reality and frequently make tough decisions and forgo other plans to keep on the path to their financial goals. If it is an individual, they work with their friends or family to make smarter choices like staying in or spending less so that they can keep on their path to financial success. I think we all benefit from teamwork whether it’s sports, money, physical health or life; it helps to have great people by your side.

world cup 1

Winning is Not Everything

The funny thing about soccer, and especially in the World Cup is that a tie can be almost as good as actually outright winning. It is a difficult concept for American fans who are used to watching games get played late into the evening until a winner can be found, but in soccer a tie is completely acceptable and sometimes just as beneficial as a win.

I think that for many of us, we set our financial goals really high and when we don’t achieve them, we feel as though we are a failure and it is important to realize that winning is not always everything and if you get close to your goals or progress further toward your financial goals, that is sometimes just as good as achieving them.

I had a client in for a quarterly review recently and I asked him how he thought he did and he didn’t think he did well because he didn’t hit the number goals that I set for him. I told him, much to his surprise, that I thought he did fantastic because I saw a ton of improvement in his money behaviors and changing his behaviors will benefit him in the long run. We can’t kick ourselves if we fall short of the win; sometimes coming close is just as good.

Nobody likes a Fake

Something that always cracks me up when I watch soccer is the dramatic floppers or the guys who overreact every time they are hit or pushed just to draw a penalty against the other team. The reactions are sometimes as entertaining as the game. And I always feel bad for the guy who is penalized because of a highly convincing fake on the other team.

Financially the fakes that no one likes are the Joneses. They are always making us think that their lives are great and they are successful based on the car in the driveway or the stuff in the house. I have seen the balance sheet of the Joneses and I can assure you that their “successful” lives are just as fake as the floppers on the soccer field. Most of them have large amounts of debt, no emergency funds and anemic retirement accounts, especially given their spending levels.

Image Source: Jorge in Brazil

Gif Source: Giphy

Are you watching World Cup? What country are you routing for? Have you learned any lessons during it?



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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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