In life we are presented with obstacles and opportunities.
Each one of the obstacles above is real. Each one causes stress, and each one causes financial advisors to lose their focus. Recognizing them and how they affect your personal daily work habits is a great first step. In this month's column we will move our attention from how various obstacles impact our life to learning how to focus on opportunities no matter what the circumstances.
As financial advisors, we often allow external circumstances like short-term volatility, opinions from various sources, and even our own lack of confidence to dramatically impact our careers.
The 2012 London Olympics was filled with stories of people who had overcome amazing obstacles, and their biographies of courage and lifetimes of effort were truly inspirational. One of those stories was of the double amputee, South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Although he left without London Olympic medals, Oscar gained the respect of millions and left with the opportunity to participate in the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
An elite athlete you may not have heard of is Rudy Garcia-Tolson. Rudy was born in 1988 with a rare series of birth defects. After 15 surgeries by the age of five, Rudy was ready to move in a different direction in life. With his parents' blessing, they chose to have both of his legs amputated above the knee.
Rudy and his family had faced obstacles that would have crushed others, but not Rudy--by losing his legs he was finally free to follow the dreams so many people have, and he began to turn his obstacles into opportunities. In 2004 he won his first Paralympic gold medal in the 200 meter individual medley. In 2006 he completed the Ford Ironman World Championship in Clearwater, Fla., covering a distance of 70.3 miles--swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles, and running 13.1 miles. Then, in 2008 at the Beijing Games he again brought home another gold medal in swimming.
Rudy will also be competing in the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Unfortunately for me, I have never met Rudy or Oscar in person--but it doesn't take much of a leap to see that both these men have made the decisions to incorporate the following opportunities into their daily routines: