How Mixed Martial Arts Can Help Us Learn About Debt

Everything I Know About Debt, I Learned From Mixed Martial Arts

UFC and similar mixed marital arts events have rocketed to popularity in the past 20 years, becoming legitimate competition for pro boxing, baseball and even basketball. Whether or not this particular sport is your idea of entertainment, you can learn valuable debt tools from watching a match or paying attention to the athletes.

The Importance of Technique

Technique is why an amateur fighter get his rear end handed to him in a match against a professional. Technique — physical mastery of specific moves and stances — makes effortless what’s hard for people who haven’t received training.

There’s technique to debt management and reduction, too: knowing when to balance your accounts, how to juggle multiple cards, training your mind to resist impulse spending. The more you practice those techniques, the better you’ll control and eliminate your debt.

Doing Your Road Work

Mixed martial arts matches aren’t won in the ring. They’re won in the gym, through countless hours of training and conditioning. The athlete who shows up best prepared is always the best bet to win.

Dealing with debt, it will be your daily habits — not occasional flashy actions — that help you succeed. The better you establish and stick with your spending regimen, the faster you’ll reach your financial goals.

Knowing When to Quit

A compromised mixed martial artist will “tap out” and forfeit a match before suffering a serious injury. This is a part of the sport, its training and its culture. No matter how tough a fighter is, he’ll stop the match before ending his career.

The best way to start controlling debt is to stop the behaviors that cripple your financial life. Deficit spending, falling for gimmick sales and impulse buying are just three of many possible candidates for quitting today.

Playing to Win

Mixed martial artists can play to win, or play not to lose. Those who play not to lose are hard to submit, but rarely win. They’re too busy defending themselves to mount an effective offense.

With debt, playing to win means keeping the long-term picture in mind. Have a financial goal, and act in ways that serve it – for example, by always paying more than the minimum amount on your debt accounts.

Ignoring the Static

During a match, both fighters will throw dozens — even hundreds — of feints, attacks meant to draw an opponent into a weaker position. Good fighters understand this, and ignore any punches or kicks that aren’t real attacks. They look through the “static” to see the message beneath.

Modern life is full of debt static – messages to buy, offers to spend thousands today and pay it off over the next several years, pre-approved credit offers, low-interest introductions. Ignore the static, paying attention only to the messages that help you reach your long-term debt goals. Like a fighter, maintaining your focus will help you spot the opportunities to make real progress.

Photo Credit: athletica