By Nick Strain, CFP®, CPWA®, AIF®, Senior Wealth Advisor at Halbert Hargrove
My wife and I purchased a Peloton bike over a year ago—after we got through the newborn sleepless night phase of our second child and wanted to get back to working out. I was a little skeptical about it, but quickly enjoyed being able to go into our garage and get a strong work out within 20-30 minutes.
Peloton has three key themes that any high-achieving person can apply to their professional and personal life: cultivating mental toughness, the need to recharge, and using coaches as way to push you through difficulties. I’ve found these themes to be useful in my own life, particularly during the “new normal” we’ve all faced during the past year.
Cultivate mental toughness
The Peloton coaches often talk about how mental toughness is like a muscle: The more you use it, the better you will be able to handle difficult situations. The situations don’t become easier; we just become more practiced, calm and resilient when facing challenges. If I can get up and work out at 5 am three to four times a week and push myself during the difficult parts, I will be a little more ready when I face a challenge—whatever that might be.
I don’t think I have to tell anyone that last year was a challenge. We all had to be mentally tough. Mental toughness can show up in different ways. You can be disciplined with activities that make you successful, for example. Healthy habits reinforce themselves, even the so-called “little things.”
Mental toughness is obviously important in the investment world. We’ve seen the dichotomy between what’s happening in the economy and how the stock market is performing over the last year. Here at HH we rely on our team, process and strategy to give us tools to stay disciplined and stick to strategies that were well thought out long before the Covid-19 crisis.
Find ways to recharge
I love the power zone training sessions in the Peloton workout. One of the lessons within power zone? After a hard interval zone the instructor will direct you to recover. And repeat that message: I need everyone to go to zone 1 to recover, so that you have enough energy to meet the next challenging parts of the ride.
I’ve come to see recharging as more and more important in the last year. We need to build times to recharge into our day with what works for us, whether it’s to work out, do yoga, walk, read, cook… My recharge comes from having lunch with my family, working, out, and a transition period from working person to dad at the end of the day so I can wrap up the day. This gives me a transition to be able to recharge—to prepare for time with the kids and juggling dinner prep, playing, answering questions and all of the fun and challenges that come with having a 3 1/2 and a 2 year old.
Building time into my day to recharge enables me to be at my best and mentally ready to rise to the challenges.
Everyone can benefit from having (and being) a great coach
It has been refreshing to remember back to my own basketball days in high school and college—having tough coaches, pushing my limits, and looking to improve every day in practice. I love getting started in the workout, seeing the competition and the scoreboard, with the coaches preparing everybody for the upcoming ride. And of course, the end-of-the-ride feeling of accomplishment.
Good coaches know when the workout is getting difficult. They provide encouragement or technical suggestions to keep you focused on the goal and to push through that difficult section to stay on track and exceed what you thought was possible. These lessons of good communication, teaching technique during a difficult moment in time, and reconfirming commitment can be applied more broadly to our lives.
As a wealth manager, a key part of my job is to maintain calm and poise when the markets are out of control. And yes, not infrequently I take on the role of coach in a client’s financial life. I’ve found that in tough times it can help clients feel calmer or more confident when I can help put things in perspective.
Peloton has helped me tremendously in the last year. These three lessons of creating mental toughness, building in time to recharge, and having and being a coach were not new to me, as I’m sure they’re not new to you. The trick is to consciously build them into our lives. Whatever that means for you!
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