Yeah, I watch Wrestlemania. Tim grew up on the stuff, so I started watching with him. I have to say, it can be pretty fun.
Yes, I’m aware that it’s all scripted, but there’s a certain kitschy charm to it all. I think of it as modern-day vaudeville. Or more precisely, modern-day melodrama. The audience knows when to clap and who to boo, while the people onstage ham it up for all they’re worth.
This year I noticed a few lessons that could easily apply to money:
Do what works for you
Most wrestlers are huge, hulking beasts. (And a little overly fond of spandex, but that’s a subject for another day.) But one of the more famous wrestlers, Rey Mysterio, is 5’6” and 175 lbs. He can’t rely on sheer strength, so he takes advantage of speed, leverage and sometimes just wriggling past opponents.
Personal finance is, well, personal. People’s priorities and capabilities differ, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. People are far more successful when they figure out what works for them, not what the gurus says they should do.
The unexpected happens
There was an Andre the Giant Memorial match. We assumed they’d have the Big Show win. He also has gigantism and even wears the same type of wrestling suit Andre did. But in the end, some (comparatively) scrawny guy hoisted him over the top rope.
In the PF realm, it can be even harder to predict the future. You can’t know when an emergency will hit. You can’t foresee every bump in interest rates or what your house will be worth in 10 years. There’s no definite narrative, no set story arcs in the real world.
Risk is, well, risky
Some wrestlers get on the top rope and fling themselves at their opponents. It can do a lot of damage, but it carries risks. They may hurt themselves in the process, or their opponent might catch them in mid-air. Other times, the wrestler is jostled and gets to introduce the rope to their family jewels.
Personal finance has a fair number of risks. Risky investments can return huge rewards… or plummet your portfolio’s worth. Side hustles might affect your performance at work, endangering your main source of income.
Ultimately, we all have to take risks sometimes. But it pays (as it were) to remember that there are dangers as well as rewards. And vice versa.
There will be reversals
The average professional wrestling match has at least three almost-pins before the real one happens. And if one guy is dominating before the commercial break, you can be he’ll be getting a beatdown when the show comes back.
Similarly, your path to financial security will see bumps, setbacks and false starts. That new job may not work out. The kids may go through unexpected growth spurts. The car breaks down. A pipe bursts.
You can either waste time, energy and sanity trying to avoid the unavoidable, or you can accept it and try to get through it.
Speaking of which…
Get back up. No, seriously, GET UP!
In a match, the hero will get slammed down on the mat. He lies there “stunned” while his opponent readies another attack. Everyone is willing the guy to get up in time (or half of everyone if it’s John Cena). And usually he does, at the very last second.
When all the fit hits the shan in your finances, everything can feel overwhelming and hopeless. It’s tempting to just lie there stunned. (Or, if you’re like me, hide under the covers.)
And that reaction is perfectly fine… for a short amount of time. But if it goes on too long, more things fall by the wayside. Which makes it even harder to catch up/cope. So eventually ya gotta push yourself back up before the baddie bills pounce on you again.
Does anyone have any more lessons to take away from spandex-clad men hamming it up and/or beating one another senseless?