The Great Walter Payton and Personal Finance

This is a re-post of a blog I wrote on 7/30/2012. Enjoy.

Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, Walter Payton was my favorite sports player, and he still is today.

In my opinion, he is the greatest running back of all time even though most of his records have been broken. I am a little biased.

Last Thursday (7/26) Walter Payton would have been his 58 years old. I thought I would share some thoughts on the great Chicago Bear and how his determination and drive can relate to personal finance.

Through Walter’s first half of his career, he played on some “very bad” Chicago Bears’ teams.  The team’s offense was all Walter; pass to Walter, Walter run left, Walter run right, Walter run up the middle.  Despite the team’s lack of success (he did beat up the Green Bay Packers quite often!), Walter never gave up hope.

I believe Walter never gave up hope because of these three reasons:

  1. His work ethic and determination; Walter worked harder than everyone else, he wasn’t the fastest, strongest, or biggest running back, but his drive to win (heart) propelled him above everyone else.
  2. Hope: Although the teams he played for at first were terrible, he began to see subtle changes through a group of young players who came into their own.  Eventually, the Bears won Superbowl XX in 1986 and became world champions.
  3. Plan: The Chicago Bears had a plan and stayed with it. There were times when they had to revise the plan, but Walter believed in the Bears and the Bears believed in him.

How does this relate to personal finance?  The Chicago Bears had a plan, it didn’t happen overnight, but through hard work, determination, and sacrifice, the team had accomplished their goal of become champions of the NFL.

Having a financial plan which includes living on a budget, getting out of debt, and building wealth takes hard work, determination, and sacrifice.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you begin to see progress, you will begin to develop hope.  Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

If you feel like your not making progress, start reviewing your net worth on a monthly basis. That is how I got my wife on board with our financial plan. As she saw our net worth go up every month, she began having hope, which inspired her to get on board with me and work together to get rid of our debt and begin building wealth.

Question(s): Do you have a financial plan? If so, are you doing everything it takes to meet your financial goals (hard work, determination, and sacrifice)? In what other areas of your life can you use Walter Payton as a role model for achieving your goals?

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I provide one on one financial planning, counseling, and coaching coaching services that will help you develop and implement a plan specific to your unique situation. This may include learning how to create a cash flow plan, save for emergencies and purchases, reduce debt, and build wealth. In addition, I can walk with you through a crisis, such as dealing with harassing debt collectors, bankruptcy, and foreclosure.

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