On Six-Pack Abs and Becoming Rich
Summer is just a few months away, and the gym is now filled with people hoping to achieve that sexy body, just in time for the beach. A number of friends are already on a diet and exercising as much as they can to get rid of the flabs they accumulated during the holidays last December.
I admire people who have six-pack abs. As someone who’s been trying to get those since college, I know how it’s almost impossible to achieve those cuts without sacrificing a lot of your time working out at the gym.
The closest I’ve been able to get was a flat tummy during my senior year in college, which quickly disappeared after I graduated and started working. After that, the pursuit for the six-pack abs took a backseat in lieu of my new personal goal of becoming rich.
But looking back, and remembering all the advice I got from my gym friends with awesome six-pack abs, I realized that regardless if it’s a physical challenge, such as getting fit, or a financial goal, such as getting out of the rat race, the basic principles to succeed remain the same.
It’s not just about doing sit-ups or ab crunches
Back then, I thought that doing 100 sit-ups every day will eventually get me those six-pack abs that I wanted. But a guy at the gym told me that I also needed to do cardio exercises, lift weights and start watching my diet.
He asked me if I’ve ever seen a fat guy with six-pack abs, or if I find skinny people with six-packs as good-looking as those who are physically fit. He says the abdomen is just one part of the body, and changing it without improving the rest is futile and pointless.
Indeed, becoming wealthy is not just about learning how to invest or how to start a business, as most people think. It should be a total financial workout—from changing one’s mind-set and living below your means, to learning practical money management and creating multiple sources of income.
Start small and build gradually over time
A varsity friend, and now fitness instructor, created a workout plan for me back then. It was a simple program, which started with 10 ab crunches three times a week, and a 20-minute brisk walk every day. But week after week, the load increased and the brisk walking turned into running.
I religiously followed the program for one semester, and that got me my “flat stomach achievement”. Unfortunately, academics and graduation got in the way, so I had to eventually stop doing it. But the lesson and the power of starting small to maintain one’s motivation has stuck with me through these years.
Don’t be obsessed on getting that six-pack abs
A friend at my college dorm, who is now a yoga instructor, has had washboard abs for as long as I can remember. And if you ask him how to get six-pack abs like his, he’ll say that he doesn’t really know because it “just appeared” when he decided to change and commit to a healthy lifestyle.
And that, I believe, is the best lesson of all.
Oftentimes, we become too focused on specific financial goals that we forget to consider the whole picture. We spend time and countless hours working—so that we can afford to buy that car, that house, or go on that dream vacation. We ignore the macroview, and fail to see that all those dreams are attainable, and will easily follow, if we change our lifestyle and work on better financial habits.
Personally, I’ve started running again this year, and can now do almost 50 ab crunches per workout. I’m now also more careful with what I eat and do yoga once a month. Will I be able to finally get those six-pack abs? Only time will tell, but I’m not waiting. It will happen if it will happen. I told myself, just focus on doing and sustaining the healthy lifestyle and that in itself is a rewarding experience.
Just as it is in achieving wealth, you need to focus on building good financial habits—and it starts by saving regularly and spending wisely. Slowly, you’ll see your wealth grow and before you know it, you have become rich.
Fitz Villafuerte is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. Learn more about personal financial planning at the 60th RFP program this March 2017. To inquire, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text <name><e-mail> <RFP> at
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