The Importance of ‘Warming Up & Cooling Down’
Today we are going to talk about something a little different… but at the same time of course we are still talking about Property Investing. (After all, this is a Property Investing blog.)
I want to talk a bit about exercise.
You’ve probably heard of the importance of warming up before and then cooling down after you exercise.
I had a great run the other day, and as I was ‘stretching’ after my run, it popped into my head that I should write a blog on it. I mean, why not? I see a lot of similarities between physical exercise and investing.
Now warm-ups and cools-downs are a big thing when you exercise. Any exercise physician will tell you this. Often they just call it ‘stretching’ but it amounts to the same thing.
You see AFL footballers doing their warm-ups and cool-downs all the time on TV. All their groin stretches and leg-swings and funny-running, and this is all before the game – it just gets even more weird once the siren goes and the play actually starts… Then after the game, they ALL get rub-downs, sometimes even ice baths… it’s weird and pretty full on I tell you! But it’s what they need to stay fit (they may look like ballerinas on the field but AFL is a pretty intense game).
But warming up before and cooling down properly after exercise will keep you from major injury. It helps your muscles stay loose and healthy. It helps you perform better. And you are less likely to pull something in a bad way that impacts on your ability to play the next game. You want the stamina to keep performing? Don’t neglect your warm-ups and cool-downs. These are great reasons to ensure that for a few minutes before and after you play, or run, or swim, that you do some stretches.
So what does this have to do with property investing, I hear you ask.
Investing and business are exercise too. Chasing a property deal can be hard work. It’s not necessarily physical work, it’s mental work but it’s work nonetheless. We exercise our minds and our mental strength gets a workout. There are lots of decisions to be made, money to be made or lost, and our brains really do have to work hard and we put ourselves under a measure of mental stress when we invest.
You will know what I mean, if you have ever spent a long day looking at deals, analysing spreadsheets, talking to agents, and perhaps not left your office or your home (so no real physical effort) but you’ve still been exhausted at the end. This is because of the mental effort it takes to do this ‘work’.
So – the point I am trying to make, is did you remember to ‘mentally’ warm up and cool down before and after?
I’m willing to bet you never even considered it.
Before you start investing for the day, did you ready your brain? Did you consciously put yourself in the right mindset for success before you got started?
Did you do a few mental ‘laps of the oval’ by reminding yourself of things that worked, did you do some positive affirmations – picturing yourself in your mind being successful and seeing things go ‘right’ before you started? Did you think about what you might say to the people you were going to speak to that day, run through conversations and mentally prepare first, if you needed to?
Did you write down a quick plan for what you wanted to get done, so that your brain knew that you were prepared, and you could get on with your work without distraction.
Or did you get to the field late, didn’t have time for any prep, and ran straight on, cold. And how did that go?
And at the end of the day, did you take a few minutes to ‘cool down’. Did you make a short list of things you didn’t finish that you will do first thing tomorrow? And did you think over what went well, and what you could have done better next time? Did you get permission from people you talked to, to call them back in a few days if you’ve not heard from them yet – so you have it easy to follow up instead of worrying if you are bothering them?
Did you allow your brain to go from ‘exercise mode’ into ‘rest mode’, so you can recover from the day and be ready for the next day ahead?
As a runner, when you don’t stretch after exercise – when you don’t have the time, or if you feel ‘lazy’ and make an excuse for not spending the short couple of minutes with stretching to ‘warm down’, to look after yourself, then you start to get tight and uncomfortable. Is this happening in your investing?
When you exercise physically, have you ever got caught out because you didn’t have time to go to the bathroom first, and shortly into the game, or a run, you had to ‘excuse yourself’ because your body had waste it had to get rid of, that you should have ‘eliminated’ before the game started? You can’t exercise with a body full of ‘waste’. Do you have ‘mental waste’ accumulating that needs to be eliminated and is this getting in the way of your investing?
Are you trying to play a ‘hard mental game’ or run a ‘mental marathon’, without the right training and without a coach, and are you finding it really hard ?? Perhaps even finding yourself starting out, and not getting anywhere but seeing other people progressing faster and wondering how they are doing it?
Now if you don’t have a coach, you NEED to get one. And if you already have a great mentor, you probably just need to keep up with the training!
A question to ask yourself is do you need some ‘mental massage therapy’ to get out the knots and tightness and to allow you to perform at your best, and to kick a few goals?
There are some great experienced investors out there (like me) who can help you out, if this is what you need. Check out the Educated Investor Membership or Property Investing Consultations if this is something that might help you perform better and win a few games.
If you find your mental exercise regime is hard work at the moment, then perhaps a few of the suggestions in this blog might help you perform better, recover faster, sleep better, and get less mental fatigue…
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