Practice What You Preach

Have you ever felt like you failed to take your own advice?  That happens to me sometimes.  My daughter, Skyler, is very energetic and she loves dance and gymnastics.  At home she will often practice her cart-wheels, handstands, round-offs, round-house, upper-cut…  The problem with that is there isn’t a lot of room for that kind of activity inside our house because there is either stuff or people to potentially break or hurt with flying arms and feet.  So we’re constantly telling Skyler, “You probably shouldn’t do that in the house.  We don’t want you to get hurt.”

Because I’m such a great dad I have practiced cart wheels and hand stands a little bit too (and everyone’s favorite acrobatic move I do is the cheerleader-style toe-touch, it’s fabulous).  Of course where have I done this – in the house, exactly where we advise Skyler not to do the acrabatics.   I’m normally pretty careful about choosing a safe area where no one is around and nothing is in the way, until a few days ago…

I don’t remember why Iwas  in a goofy mood with about six excited children in the house that day, and I don’t know what I was thinking, but I decided to do a cart-wheel going in a different direction in the house than I had ever done it before.  I had told Skyler many times not to do this.  I had seen Skyler get hurt doing it.  I had even seen Joe Sangl get hurt doing it (yes – he got excited at our house one time too and did a cart-wheel that didn’t end well – Skyler has such an influence on us to test our acrobatic inability).  As I made the approach all of the red flags were flashing through my mind and in a split second I thought, “I shouldn’t be doing this” and “I got it, it’s ok”.  Then…


The bottom of my foot, at the inside part of my heel crashed onto the corner of our coffee table.  Thank goodness I didn’t break anything, including my foot..  I rolled around on the floor in pain with my wife Shawna laughing at me the whole time, and then of course I got up quickly to act like everything was alright.  I had made the same mistake I normally advise Skyler not to make.  I wasn’t practicing what I had been preaching.

That can happen in lots of areas of our life if we’re not careful.  In marriage it is important to live by the same expectations we have of our spouse.  As parents it is important to set the example of what we expect our kids to follow. As leaders it is important to be living what we are teaching.

That is one of the most important things we teach financial coaches – to be living what we are teaching.  It can be so easy to slack off and not be disciplined to stick to the plan or the budget.  It can be so easy to put off reaching that next goal over and over again in order to do spontaneous and fun stuff whenever we want.  In order to effectively teach others we have to be living what we are teaching.

When is the last time you slipped up and failed to practice what you preach?  My heel still hurts  🙂

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