Managing stress was at the center of a coaching discussion I had with a CEO a few months ago. He was very successful and his success is attributed to the hard work he put in to his job. He gave his job first place and was willing to work late in to the evening, work on weekends and travel extensively for the success of his organization.
He had not adequately developed his team to take over responsibilities as he preferred to get things done on his own. While this worked for a while, it was taking its toll when the organization grew to a larger scale. He was also having issues at home as his two teenage sons had lost interest in studies and sports and preferred a lazy life engrossed in video’s and games using the expensive devises the father had purchased for them. He wife had given up trying to get him involved in family matters and was trying to manage on her own, but the absence of the father’s love, guidance and attention could not be compensated adequately by her. This is a source of stress when he returns home.
Click on the above link for the presentation related to the keynote speech to be given by me at NAFLIA 2019. Conference participants are invited to download the presentation and use it to follow the keynote speech.
This blog is written in service of life-Insurance Advisors in Sri Lanka, specifically the members attending NAFLIA 2019, the National Forum for Life Insurance Advisors scheduled for the 2ndof September. My attempt is to articulate the key messages of the keynote speech that will be delivered by me.
As I was reflecting on the topic for the annual conference, ‘Assuring Tomorrow Dream Today’. The questions that come up are, what is the action we need to take today to assure our dream of tomorrow? How do we know the action we choose to take today will assure our dream tomorrow? I realised this is a very complex question and that there is no standard answer to this as the action to be taken depends of the world each person lives in. What I mean by the ‘world’ is the immediate world of each person starting with him/herself, family, friends, organisations they belong to, organisations and people they interact with etc. The answer is personal.
As I reflected on this, it dawned to me that most personal aspect, which is unique to each living being. is their purpose in this world. Living our life purposefully today would be a path to assuring the dream we have for tomorrow. Therefore, this blog post is concerned with helping life-insurance advisors to figure out their dream of tomorrow and what it means to live their life purposefully as explored in the next two paragraphs respectively.
Tomorrow’s dream is a very abstract concept and very subjective. The dream can range from being peaceful by learning to live a life of non-attachment to material aspects in one extreme and amassing material possessions that provides a luxurious life on the other extreme. It could range from giving to getting, from being to becoming. While I personally dream of a life of being non-attached and experiencing happiness from giving, each person needs to articulate what their dream is. I personally prefer to hold it lightly – rather than having specific dreams – and to allow God or the higher powers or the universal energy system to decide how such dreams are articulated and manifested. Again, the choice is personal.
This blog series has examined the notion of purposeful living from various perspectives. While those interested in this notion can deep dive into the various posts in this blog, those interested in discovering what their purpose might be, could find some ideas in the blog post; A Glimpse of our Purpose; once a glimpse of the purpose is seen, it becomes easier to live purposefully. Ideas about how to live purposefully can be seen in the blog post: Building ourselves to be fit for purpose. I believe that purposeful living is the steps we take daily to build ourselves to be fit to be of service to this world, using our natural and learnt talent that makes us feel alive and being of service to the concerns we have about our world.
While this is an evolving notion in my mind, I do not claim this is the right answer and I am open to other opinions. However, I believe this notion can be a good starting point in giving some food for thought for life-insurance advisors to live their life purposefully today, as a path to assuring the dream they have for tomorrow. It is interesting that these professionals use the word ‘advisors’ instead of ‘sales persons’. This shows their intention of positioning this profession in a manner that overcomes the negative image that ‘selling’ has acquired due to the crafty, cleaver and devious nature of some sales people. This idea is also discussed in my last blog post; Is Selling a Purposeful Profession?.
Selling is a noble profession, if it is conducted in an authentic manner based on solid values. In such cases selling becomes an act of love and generosity. While ‘love’ is such a complex notion, I believe that love is the act of extending ourselves for the growth of others and ourselves, even when it is inconvenient to us. Therefore, the responsibility of ‘sales professionals’ is to advise, guide, and educate customers with the intention of helping them make the best choices that helps improve the quality of their life. Improving in the quality of life involves growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, ecologically, socially and in temperament. Therefore, selling is an act of love as it helps customers grow in these important areas. It is also an act of generosity because it involves giving of their time, opinions, knowledge, care and advise unconditionally. It could also go to the extent of letting the customer know that a competitor product better suits their need, even at the expense of losing a sale. Yes, the sale may be lost, but the loyalty gained cannot be compared to the financial loss of losing the sale.
What does living purposefully mean to a ‘life-insurance’ advisor? Since being purposeful is concerned with being of service to this world, let examine how these professionals are of service to people. They serve families by offering a form of saving that could result in a lump sum payment to the insurer on maturity or to the family due to an unforeseen situation. This improves the quality of life due to peace of mind, education, harmony in families, health care expenses, etc. that their service provides. However, it is important to conduct this profession with a set of noble values such as authenticity, transparency, flexibility, patience, care, empathy etc. for them to be truly purposeful. Living in this manner helps accumulate positive energy, which attracts opportunities to serve and to gain the required wherewithal to build a life that can help live their dream of tomorrow.
The question I was attempting to answer in this blog was; how can insurance advisors assure tomorrows dream by living purposefully today? The exploration in this writing shows that life insurances advisors are well placed to live purposefully and if they choose to conduct their lives and profession in this manner, it will help them assure the dream they articulate for tomorrow.
The way this question impacts different life-insurance advisors are different, given their mind-set, role and various other aspects of life. I recommend that you reflect on the steps you can take to use this experience to make sense of your purpose and help others in your life make sense of their purpose, with the intention of living a better life to make this world a better place.
My blog post of the last five months addressed the impact of violence, religion, politics, sports and the sales profession on the lives of people and how to makes sense of various world events from the frame of purposefulness. We continue to explore purposefulness, this time in relation to life-insurances advisors.
This new phase in this series on ‘purposefulness’, which I started eight months ago, is dedicated to address living issues and struggles related to purposeful living. I hope this short blog post inspires you to find ways of making sense and dealing with experiences and struggles you encounter in trying to live purposefully.
Have you ever had a situation where you have a purpose different to the purpose of a family member, such as a spouse, parent, sibling or child? Has this situation led to misunderstandings, arguments, anger, violence or estrangement? How did you handle the situation? Has it made you become disgruntled about the notion of ‘purposeful living’. I will try to address this issue in this blog post from the limited experience I have had in dealing with such situations.
Recently I had the opportunity of counselling a couple who were facing such a situation; the husband is a successful chief executive of a company and the wife is a senior manager in a bank. They have two adorable children. The family is financially sound with means of passive income. The husband was very caring to the family and they were always happy. The wife had always been supportive of the husband, specially in the early days of their marriage when he was struggling to move up the corporate ladder, while caring for the children. Continue reading “When Purposes Clash in Families – Purpose of Living – Part 24”→
We explored the notion of purpose from various viewpoints in the first ten blog posts in this series. We then started making sense of our purpose in the next ten blog posts. I invite you now to reflect on the ninth aspect in the model of purposeful living– inspiring (the dark blue colour circle in the model). While this is the ninth and final circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine circles, it’s not necessarily chronological. There could be also other circles that are yet to be discovered. Once we gather momentum in living purposefully, we start inspiring others to live purposefully as well.
This blog-post deals with our responsibility to inspire others to live a purposeful life. We can inspire others by design or by accident. On one hand, others can get inspired when they see the improvement of our quality of life as we attempt to live a purposeful life. Living a purposeful life includes; living with a set of positive values, engaging in spiritual activities, looking after our health, building quality relationships, building financial stability, developing intellect and allocating time for purposeful activities. On the other hand, we could use our roles in life to inspire others. These roles include being a parent, sibling, relative, teacher, leader, colleague, author, speaker, and social figure such as a sportsman, entertainer, business leader, religious leader and social leader etc. Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 21: Inspiring others to live a purposeful life”→
We explored the notion of purpose from various viewpoints in the first ten blog posts in this series. We then started making sense of our purpose in the next nine blog posts. I invite you to now reflect on the eighth aspect in the model of purposeful living– Learning & Growing; the bronze colour circle in the model. While this is the eighth circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine circle process, it’s not necessarily chronological. Learning and growth that occurs due to an experience could make us feel fully alive and of service to the world and this can make us reflect and find purpose. Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 20: Learning & Growing as we Struggle to be Purposeful”→
We explored the notion of purpose from various viewpoints in the first ten blog posts in this series. We then started making sense of our purpose in the next eight blog posts. I invite you to now reflect on the seventh aspect in the model of purposeful living– Responding (the dark green colour circle in the model). While this is the seventh circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine circles, it’s not necessarily chronological. An opportunity received could make someone feel fully alive and of service to the world and this can make him/her reflect and find purpose.
This blog-post deals with responding to the opportunities provided to us from the universe. I use the word universe to describe the energy system, a higher power that makes this planet tick. Those who are religious would make sense of this higher power as God, Allah or the Almighty. Whatever we call this power, I feel we are not intelligent enough to understand this higher power and it requires faith or a brilliant scientific mind. I believe the opportunities can come our way or we can go looking for the opportunities. Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 19: Responding to the Universe”→
We explored the notion of purpose from various viewpoints in the first ten blog posts in this series. We then started making sense of our purpose in the last five blog post. I invite you to now reflect on the fourth aspect in the model of purposeful living– Building – the light blue colour circle in the model. While this is the fourth circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine steps; it’s not necessarily chronological.
This blog-post deals with building ourselves to be fit for purpose. I believe that God almighty or the universal energy system, or whatever way you make sense of the energy that makes life tick, would send us the opportunities to make our contribution to life. It could be a calling, a vocation, an opportunity to serve or an opportunity to further develop ourselves.
When I had a glimpse of my purpose 22 years ago, I decided to build myself by developing my spirituality through regular prayer and meditation, my health through regular visits to the gym, my relationships through spending more quality time with my family and team members, and my knowledge through re-introducing the reading habit to my life. These are four areas where we need to build ourselves; spiritual, physical, relational and mental. I started improving in these four areas and I felt successful and happy as a result, giving me peace of mind resulting in the improvement of the fifth aspect; emotional. I found I was getting less angry and was less frustrated when things did not go according to my plans. Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 16: Building Ourselves to be Fit for Purpose”→