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How Discipline Can Change Your Life – Lessons from Tobi Amusan’s World Record

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Do you know what it means for one thing to be trending for more than 72 hours on Twitter – a platform where trends change daily? But when what’s trending is a person, then it deserves to be studied even more.

By now, you must have heard of Tobi Amusan, the Nigerian track and field athlete and sprinter who recently set a world record! A true champion, Tobi Amusan is the first-ever Nigerian with a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. While people were still celebrating her success in the semifinals of the race, she went on to win in the finals too. 

Which record did Tobi Amusan break?

As mentioned above, Tobi Amusan broke the women’s world records in the 100m (hurdles) track and field semifinals championships in Oregon, United States. But what’s most intriguing is how she somehow knew she would get here.

In 2016, Tobi tweeted that she was unknown but that she was someday going to be unforgettable. We all can agree that her ‘someday’ is here. 

Most of us did not know who she was in 2016, but seven years later, millions of people are celebrating her around the world, making LinkedIn posts about her and using her story to inspire friends on social media.

As a Nigerian, it feels good to be associated with an international sensation, but there’s a lesson here that should not be ignored.

No “Overnight success”

For someone who has never heard about Tobi Amusan before, it is easy to tag her as an “overnight success” – those people who become successful thanks to luck. However, it is important to note three things:

  1. Since her 2016 tweet, she has stuck to track and field.
  2. There have been many races since then that she did not win.
  3. She did not stop training – even after “failure”.

Stick to what’s “boring” 

Her success is very linked to how you can also win in your finances. Every other day, there are tweets about how savings cannot make you wealthy and as much as there’s a truth in this, that quote can also be misleading. 

Your savings is not meant to make you wealthy, it is meant to make you disciplined with “paying yourself”. Think about it. With your monthly budget and expenses, you pay everyone else but yourself. It is only when you add savings to your “expenditure” that you begin paying yourself too. 

Another factor that a lot of people fail to mention is that when it comes to savings, you can only save in line with your earning power. This means that the more you earn, the more you can save and the less you earn, the less you can save.

The strategy then is to seek ways to earn more. When that is taken care of, your savings will eventually grow too.

In addition, your savings help you on rainy days when emergencies come up. So it’s really always a win-win for you.

It will not always be thrilling 

Like many life-changing habits, saving eventually becomes boring. 

You earn an income, you take out a percentage and store it separately.

You earn an income, you take out a percentage and store it separately.

On and on it goes and in many cases, you might not quickly see the “fruit of your labour”. Until you wake one day as an “overnight success” in your savings because you’ve been able to hit a milestone you never would have achieved otherwise.

For you, it might be saving your first ten thousand dollars and for someone else, it might be buying their first home.

Don’t stop training – even after failure

I shared here how my personal finance awakening started when I lost my mum a few years ago and did not have a dime to give for her burial, even though I had been working for three years at the time. I felt like a total failure and blamed myself for always spending all that I earned.

However, like Tobi Amusan, I did not stop “training” even after my initial failure. I became more deliberate about my spending habits and have now become a person who saves and invests a portion of my income every single month. 

Saving is an investment

You earn between 5.5% and 8.5% per annum on your savings on Cowrywise, a percentage no Nigerian bank currently offers if you save with them. 

If you’re yet to understand investments and how to take advantage of them, I would advise that you at least start with saving. You’re short-changing yourself by not doing any. 

While you build the discipline of saving, you can then acquire the knowledge you need to begin investing. Thankfully, we have many guides on our blog that can help you. When you save on Cowrywise, you’re automatically investing because you also earn juicy returns. 

Why should you keep saving with all that’s happening with the Naira?

The question I often ask myself is – will Naira still exist in 10 years? Will we still be spending Naira in the next 50 years? If the answer is yes, then no matter the ups and downs the currency faces, it is still crucial to store it.

Of course, diversification is key and you can take advantage of dollar mutuals to hedge against inflation. 

Except you move abroad or something, you will always need money to cover your bills in Naira so it’s better to stay ahead by building your savings than ignoring it altogether. 

Get started here

Like Tobi Amusan, don’t dwell too much on your past personal finance mistakes. Take deliberate steps to do better going forward. 

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