As the Olympics get underway the list of distractions for athletes continues to grow. From Zika virus health concerns and transportation issues to accommodation and venue problems; participation in the games may well be a challenge for many of the competitors.

Yet, the athletes who will likely win medals aren’t worrying. While they may have to make minor adjustments to their plans, most won't allow their focus, energy and emotions to be dominated or derailed.

Image: Bloomberg
Image: Bloomberg

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The same goes for successful advisers. They won't allow distractions, like the Department of Labor's impending fiduciary rule or the threat of robo advisers, to hijack their ability to focus. As a consultant, I've come to know that the most successful advisers are those who reach their goals soonest, similarly to the way many of the greatest athletes in the world do.

"As a consultant, I've come to know that the most successful advisers are those who reach their goals soonest, similarly to the way many of the greatest athletes in the world do," says Paul Kingsman.

So, to achieve your long-term objectives, don’t let immediate or oncoming problems take you off course.

Instead try these approaches:

  • Evaluate each issue thoughtfully and respond appropriately. Don’t mindlessly buy into hype. Gather the information you need, think about it carefully, and keep it in perspective as you plan your considered response.
  • Decide the best next steps for you. Consider what is happening and the potential implications for your practice. Don’t make changes just because others are being reactive. Adjust your direction and process only if it’s necessary, and make sure your changes are appropriate and in proportion to the issue you need to address.
  • Remain focused on your original and ultimate desired outcome. Even when the immediate challenges seem difficult, stay clear about where you ultimately want to go and focus on exactly how you will feel when you arrive. Each day continue taking actions that move you toward your end goal.

Like world-class athletes, remain focused on your priorities and don’t allow room for superfluous distractions and circumstantial hype.

Paul Kingsman

Paul Kingsman

Paul Kingsman, a former Morgan Stanley adviser, participated at the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the 200-meter backstroke. He is the author of "The Distraction-Proof Advisor" and works as a full-time speaker and coach within the financial services industry.