By Tristan Savage

What if I told you that there were similarities between exercise and investing? And what if I told you that those same similarities exist in other areas, such as work, school, taxes, reading, gaming… anything you want?

Would you believe me? Yes/No?

Well, they all share something in common. Something I recently discovered after several years of exercising and investing…

I started my exercise journey in 2014 and began investing around 2012. I started exercising because I had had enough of the person I was. I looked every day in the mirror and decided it was time to make a change. Prior to this, I had hated exercising and would never even think about doing it for fun! But I could not take it and decided that I would start with one of the seven-minute apps in the app store.

I started with one a day and soon it became an addiction. I could barely stop myself from thinking about exercising; all I wanted to do was exercise. Everything I did was some form of an exercise. I was obsessed. I ate chicken, rice, and broccoli every day, three times a day. I did not care.  I was determined. I lost 15 kg in a month. Not healthy, nor do I recommend that anyone does it. The reason? Because I put a lot of it back on soon after. This is called yo-yo dieting, which is something I did not understand back then.

After the first month of seven-min app workouts, I joined the gym down the road from my house and went every day as soon as I started. I was addicted. Loved it. I was there for four hours a day, every day, but I had no idea how to train correctly. I was just doing random machines, learning about them online every time I came home. It was a mess, but fun to look back on. I neglected all the precautions, all the signs (not the ones in the gym, obviously). I ignored what everyone told me. Do not go too hard or too quick, which is exactly what I did. I ended up injuring myself multiple times in my first year of training, but thankfully my passion never died and I continued to train (even with the injuries). I thought I knew a lot about exercise back then, but I did not. It was ego. Beginner’s ego. To be honest, I still have it to a lesser degree. I have just gained more control.

Over the years I started to research increasingly, and my training shifted drastically. From bodybuilding to power building to powerlifting. I only recently settled on a proper programme. The last few years have been very staggered, and my training has been all over the place. I injured my lower back twice. The first time I thought nothing of it; the second time I was out for six months. It broke me. From then on, I swore  to take my training way more seriously and have ever since. And yes, I have been injured since, but nothing as major (touch wood). I have managed to fine tune my training and knowledge to the best of my ability and, more recently, my nutrition as well.

Nutrition has always been my weakest point. I have tended to neglect it. I always said If I wanted to get lean or big, I would just stick to the old-school stuff – which works, although it sucks… like really sucks. More recently I have done a bunch of research on nutrition and discovered a whole new side to it, a side that I once though impossible. People cooking healthy food that tastes insane. Better than unhealthy food. No way? Really? Yes!

It’s  been a complete game changer in my life and has helped me improve not only my health, but also my lifestyle and mood. It feels so great to enjoy my food every day also knowing it is healthy and low-calorie. (That is another subject that is surrounded by misconceptions, but I will discuss another time).

Anyway, I will move on because I have talked quite a bit about exercise and nutrition and said nothing about investing. I started investing  around 2012 when my dad asked me if I would prefer a phone or shares for my birthday. A few chats later, I decided on the shares. It did not take much to convince me. Appreciation vs depreciation, and I chose to appreciate. However, like most people who are financially uneducated, I ended up spending that money on something useless later.

However, every birthday and Christmas that came along, I was fortunate with the opportunity to ask for money instead, which I invested each time. Over the years, I have learnt a lot about buying and selling, investing long-term vs short-term, what stocks to buy, etc., etc. I learnt the most from my dad. More recently I started gaining knowledge elsewhere, such as via books and social media.

It has been roughly nine years since I started my journey to financial freedom, and six years since I started my fitness journey. In that time, I have noticed that these two completely different activities share similar principles when it comes to success. Consistency, time, determination, patience, education… the list  goes on, but you can see where I am going with this. They both share the same characteristics when it comes to success in each field. The same can be said for anything else. If you want to be successful at what you do, you must be consistent, determined, patient, etc. Success follows the same principles wherever it goes.

I am by no means an expert in an of these fields. I am always growing and learning every time I walk into the gym or invest in another stock. The process of learning and growing never ends.

I love hearing about other people’s stories. So… when did you start investing? Do you exercise? Do you think they are similar? What else do you find is similar? I’d love to hear from you. Find me on Twitter @OfficialTrizzle.