Focusing On Your Strength Is The Secret To Success – Lessons From The Norwegians and The Dutch

It has been almost a month since the Winter Olympics in Sochi ended however, the results of it and the lessons that can be learned are perpetual and powerful.

Russia topped the chart of Olympic medals for a total of 33. The next 4 top hardware winners were Norway, Canada, USA and Netherlands. The incredible thing about Norway and Netherlands is those 2 countries were in the top 5 for medals despite having a much smaller population. In fact, Norway and the Netherlands have a combined population that is less than 5% of the combined populations of the U.S. and Russia. This means a fraction of the population from which to cultivate and create Olympic competitors and in the end an amazingly strong slate of Olympic medal winners.

Historically, Norway has won the majority of it’s medals in outdoor sports, namely biathalon and cross country skiing. Norway along with German have won nearly half of their medals in biathalon. Norway and 4 other countries have won 82% of the cross country skiing medals in the history of the Winter Games. The powerhouse U.S. hasn’t won a cross-country skiing medal since 1976.

In Sochi, the Netherlands, with another strong Winter Games showing, won 23 of their 24 medals in speed skating. The other medal was in short track which really is just another version of speed skating.

So, what does that information mean? There is one thing that stands out very clearly; unless you focus and spend a lot of time on something you can’t expect to be exceptional at it. Most of us spend the largest part of our time working. You probably do what you do very well and I’m guessing much better than someone who doesn’t spend the same time in your craft. Doing something over and over gives you time to continually improve what you do. It becomes second nature. When you aren’t working in your profession, I know you are most likely pursuing other things that you are passionate about and of course, the roles you fill in your family and the relationships around that as and or / an organization that you are part of.

So what happens to your finances? What happens with the savings you accumulate and need to have invested to replace the the income you are going out everyday now and earning? Yes, there are certain things that we need to do ourselves, however when we want things done really well we need to have other people do the majority of that work, those who specialize in those areas. Alternatively, you can try to specialize in a secondary discipline by dedicating every waking hour outside of work to get really good at financial planning.

For me, outside of my professional role and duties as a Financial Planner and Investment Advisor / Allocator, I love reading various books on the intricacies of how the world works and the realities of how we as humans make decisions, reading about and listening to music both old, new and various genres, playing drums to recorded music and learning new rhythms and rhythmic ideas, cycle touring in the summer, being a tourist where I live and in other towns and cities, engaging in challenging conversations as well as humorous banter with Cheryl and our closest circle of friends.

What do you specialize in for work? What are you passionate about and get real joy out of doing outside of that? What can you really focus on and devote the energy to really excel in? If Financial Planning and Investment Management aren’t in that list, I’d suggest finding someone you can work with to fill those roles so you can be excellent at and enjoy the things that you do best. Could it be, one of those things that only you can excel at, is being an excellent spouse, parent, grandparent or friend?

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