I recently attended the National Speakers Association's (NSA) national convention. It's a place where smart people (authors, speakers and consultants) who help people be more successful in business and in life get together to learn from each other.

Some of the conversations and experiences I had there inspired me to share a few ideas in my column this month that may help you be a more successful financial advisor and a happier human being.

One of my favorite people in the NSA is Peter Vidmar. Peter is a gymnast who won two gold medals and one silver at the 1984 Summer Olympic games in Los Angeles. He is currently the chairman of the board of USA Gymnastics, and this year he turned 50 years old. That's important to note because he's still very fit. And being fit is vital for a man who makes his living giving speeches and demonstrating key principles about success in tights on a stage using a pommel horse as a prop. What's a pommel horse, you ask? See photo. The contraption below Peter is "the horse."

When I first met Peter he was 35. And I thought it was impressive that at age 35 he could still perform on the pommel horse the same routine that had scored a perfect 10 at the Olympic Games, thus winning him the gold medal and making him the first U.S. male gymnast to win any Olympic medal. At age 50, he's still doing that routine! By now I thought he would be telling the stories while showing video of what he used to be able to do on the pommel horse.

We chatted for a couple of hours at this year's NSA convention and I asked him how he's still able to do that pommel horse routine on stages in front of hundreds or thousands of people at a time at age 50. His response was simple. "The reason I can still do it is because I never stopped doing it."

How many ways does that apply to you as a financial advisor?

For some things, personal and professional, you can probably pat yourself on the back because you never stopped doing them and you're glad you didn't because you are strong today as a result. Maybe there are some other areas where you have let important success muscles atrophy and you need to get them activated again so you can achieve your goals. Consider those things that you must never stop doing in order to be successful and remain successful in the financial services business.

Peter has another great saying that I have been quoting for 15 years, "To be a champion you only have to do two things: 1. Work out when you feel like it. 2. Work out when you don't feel like it." And the same is true to be a champion financial advisor. To be successful, you have to do things that produce results on the days when you do feel like it and on the days when you don't feel like it. The financial markets have been volatile. The economy is fragile. Governments are broken. The world is chaotic. Let yourself be distracted by these external events and you will struggle to be a successful FA. Do the work of acquiring and serving ideal clients regardless of all the external events you can't control and you will have the career of a champion.

Watch a video of Peter in action at www.petervidmar.com.

Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., www.agewave.com, is a gerontologist who has spent the better part of the past four decades studying the aging population, especially the baby boomers.