Baseball Lessons From The Stock Market?
You may not think that there are any connections between investing in the stock market and training to be a baseball player, but I would certainly beg to differ.
Here's lesson #1 that baseball players can take from Wall Street:
You've Got To Think Long Term
Most financial advisers will tell you not to even bother with the stock market unless you're going to invest for at least five years. Any less than that and there's a high chance you'll get caught in a downswing and bail out long before you realize any real gains.
Your baseball career works the same way. There's going to be ups and downs and there's going to be a lot of both. Day to day, week to week, season to season, there will be plenty of times when you think the down arrow just will never switch to up. You'll think the cards are stacked against your situation and that you're doomed to a bankrupt career.
It's true that some valleys can seem very deep. An injury, a level of strength that just won't move, a plateau in a particular skill, whatever the perceived issue is it can often be remedied by simply zooming out. While your strength might not have increased much in the last three weeks, look at where you are now compared to one year ago, or even five years ago.
Here's a complete chart of the Dow Jones:
What should strike you most profoundly is how deep some of those valleys are and how high the chart finishes. Look how far down the “problems” dragged the average every few months. These are the exact moments where panicked and shortsighted investors bail. They can't stand their investment going down or being stalled and it's all too much to withstand so they quit.
Most baseball careers look very similar to this chart of the Dow Jones. Up for awhile and then down and then back up. The progress from where you are now to where you want to be will not be a straight line, it will be a very curved and jagged line. However, if you have the long term approach to see it through and you stay consistent to your principles of working as hard as you can all the time to be great, the trend line will move you upward toward your goals given enough time.
Problems Come, and Problems Go
Zoom in on the chart at any given time and all of your efforts might look like a giant waste of time, but zoom out to the long term view and you can see the giant mountain that was built by all of your hard work. If you had abandoned your plan or quit altogether you would have forfeited all of those future gains and you might never know what could have been.
There will be plenty of reasons to get down on yourself, it isn't much fun going 0-4 or having a rough few weeks on the field. That's why it's so important for you to take the long term approach and stay true to what you know will make you the best you can be.
Commit today that you will work for the bigger picture, the trend line, and not the jagged ups and downs. Even out your mental approach and stay consistent to you philosophies, to your workout plan, to your diet, to your sleep, to everything that it takes to be great. Give it time to work and embrace the downs for they only mean an up is on the way. Invest in yourself the way the best on Wall Street invest in the market and you'll find yourself at the top when it really matters.
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