Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sometimes What Seems Easy Is Really Hard To Do

I've recently taken up a new exercise, yoga. Although, I am still in my forties, I thought it would be a good idea to start an exercise program that had less pounding of the joints. I thought the transition to yoga would be smooth. After all, I had played competively in high school and college sports (football, track, tennis and rugby), and had run a marathon and played rugby after college. To me, yoga seemed to be a very passive form of exercise, with a variety of stretching and holding positions. I expected yoga to be very easy, because of my sports experience.

However, I soon found yoga was a fairly demanding form of exercise for the following reasons:

  1. Yoga uses muscles that I don't usually use in other forms of sports.

  2. Yoga uses muscles in different ways that in other forms of sports.
As a result, I found myself unable to keep up with other participants, who were much older or appeared less athletic than me. Surprisingly, yoga is also a strenuous workout for my muscles. As a result, it is a bit frustrating learning yoga, since it is different than my other sports and I am not particularly good at it. However, I am going to keep doing yoga, because I believe it will be of great benefit as I get older.

The Personal Finance Lesson

To me, the successful practice of personal finance is a lot like my experience with yoga. Good personal finance principles are simple and timeless.
  1. Spend less than one earns. Live below one's means. Buy only what one needs.

  2. Save, invest and benefit from the magic of compounding.

  3. Use debt sparingly and for items that may appreciate (e.g. home and education) and not for everyday expenses.

  4. Go to college and major in a degree that leads to a profession.

  5. If it sounds too good to be true, then it is.
Millions of articles have been written about the benefits of following these principles. These are are proven principles that, if followed, will lead one to be wealthy. It looks like it should be easy to do.

However, for many people, it is hard to follow these principles. I admit, it was hard for me at first also, because the principles were contrary to my desire of early gratification. However, the longer I stuck with it, the more these principles became a habit and easier to do. My reward is that I was able to retire in my forties. I hope I have an equally successful transition experience with yoga:-)

For more on The Practice of Personal Finance , check back every Wednesday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Sanday Pindiyath

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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