Ninas Rule Watch Your Posture

Nina, a good friend and a personal trainer, shared with me the fact that one of the first things she works on with her clients is their posture. That surprised me because I would have thought the first thing she'd teach them would be exercises. When I asked her to explain, her answer was remarkably simple: Posture is exercise, and our posture in daily life—the way we sit at a desk or stand in a line—has a bigger impact on our physical well-being than we could imagine. It is a more important exercise for our health, she explained, than the crunches we do or the weight we press. While the best of us work on our muscles a little each day, our posture is at work 24 hours a day. Medical research supports her point of view. Posture has a measurable and profound impact on a person's health.

The challenge is that posture is unconscious—it's a habit. Unless you're thinking about it actively, you aren't usually aware of whether you've got your shoulders square and your back straight. (If you just sat up straight in your chair after reading that last line, welcome to the club.) Thus, Nina's first job is to ask her clients to start paying more attention to their posture and in doing so build stronger, healthier bodies. Since habits, even physical ones, are the product of one's focus and thinking, one could say that an able body is the product of an able mind. Nina sold me on the principle, and I've come to think of it as Nina's Rule. What's surprising is how applicable it is to your financial health.

To restate Nina's Rule in the context of personal wealth, your ability to build financial wealth is determined as much by your everyday "financial posture" as by your not-everyday big financial decisions. I'm talking about the unconscious and

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