Laura and I have a business meeting in New Orleans and as luck and planning would have it, we had an opportunity to shoot in a sporting clays tournament on the way. The club that we shot at is probably the biggest in Louisiana, surrounded by farms and swamps. After we turned off the paved road, we started down a 2 mile dirt road that would have given Red Farmer pause. We parked our car and went into the clubhouse to check in, pick up our score cards and our cart. While we were waiting in line, I couldn't help but notice several participants wearing snake boots. I didn't say anything to Laura, hoping she didn't notice. Later on, Laura admitted she also saw the same snake book wearing participants and hoped I didn't notice either. This was going to be a different experience.
Once out on the course, the heat and humidity began to take hold, it literally felt like we were sweating from every pore in our bodies. As we began to shoot through the course, we came upon a station that began to malfunction. The traps had a intermittent delay that made it difficult to set up and threw off our shooting rhythm. The squad in front experienced the same thing and shot about as well as we did. We moved on to the next station and the same thing happened. I got very frustrated and began to get angry. Laura was getting discouraged, neither of us have ever shot a tournament with machines like this. As we sat in the cart hydrating ourselves and keeping a wary eye out for snakes and alligators, I began to think about what my coach, Wayne Mitchell, would tell me. Stay with your routine, focus on the target and shoot the damn thing!! I ignored as many distractions as I could and got back into my routine. I ended up winning my class. Laura shot well to, placing in the ladies class.
The point of this is, distractions come at us almost daily. With our financial and retirement plans, it is easy to fall victim to headlines, victim to the emotions of greed and fear and countless other things that will make us question our plan and our strategy. There is never going to be a shortage of issues or events, but with careful planning and someone to help you to remain focused and coach you through them, you can reach your goal. Don't have anyone to help coach you? Give us a call!
*I had to have my picture taken in front of this helicopter. Apparently, a squad of shooters had shot this course before and eliminated at least one distraction, driving the road into the course.
Mike Mickels is President of CochranMickels Retirement Specialists and an avid sporting clay competitor. CochranMickels Retirement Specialists provides personalized planning and investment services to individuals approaching and in retirement. They also provide retirement and benefits training to Federal employees. Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. CochranMickels and Cambridge are not affiliated.