Give Yourself Room to Think
Greetings this is Carl. You are listening to Behavior Gap Radio. This is episode five of a series I’m doing on Below the Waterline Activities. If you have not listened to episode one, the introduction to this series, please go listen to it now so I don’t have to rehash a bunch of material. It will be worth your time. Go listen to it.
The short version is, I’ve appointed myself vice President of unspeakable things to talk about some really important things that we need to address in our industry so that we can lower advisor burnout. So that you will be around mainly for the benefit of your clients, for the benefit of you too because I care about you, but I really care about those people you serve. They need you around. If you’re going to be dealing with this sort of level of unknown and anxiety that’s almost like just part of our jobs, you’ve got to do some things that we never talk about in our industry, and I’m talking about it. We’re to the fifth one, and it’s sort of just emotional/mental preparation.
Just finding chunks of time where you not constantly bombarded by new information. Just looking to build in moments of peace into your day is what I’m talking about. Now, you can go so far as to start a meditation practice. Nobody I know that’s done that regrets it. My favorite book on that is I think it’s by Dan Harris. It’s called 10% Happier. We’ll put it in the show notes. You should read it. Everybody I’ve recommended to read that book has come back and thanked me. You should read it. 10% Happier, by Dan Harris; super good. It’s in the show notes below.
Even if you don’t start a meditation practice, just looking for chances to practice. Like in the line at the grocery store … I know what you’re going to do. I’m going to be in line for 37 seconds, boom, out comes a Smartphone, check twitter, check Facebook, check ESPN, check The New York Times. Maybe just take a breath when you go to reach for the phone and go, “You know, I’m just gonna sit here for second.” That may be the easiest, most powerful, the activity with the most leverage when it comes to the mental, emotional aspect of this. Just finding little spaces of time. Maybe in the car. I’ve practiced in the car not having the radio on. Then, of course, you can go a step further and start trying to find specifically even just a minute or two of meditation or prayer.
I’ve also started engaging in some activities that require completely different neural pathways than I’m used to. Like I’m learning to kite surf right now my kids. It involves long stretches at the beach just hanging out in the water. It involves using my hands, my eyes, my feet, my body, a bunch of different things at once. I come back completely refreshed and excited from my lessons at kite surfing. Finding something for you to do that won’t hurt you … I guess kite surfing can’t hurt you … but is completely new. Like my wife is taking sailing lessons right now. Same sort of experience where it’s new, it’s opening up new neural pathways, it’s giving us some new experiences, it’s giving us a chance to feel like a beginner again in something. Those things are amazingly impactful.
So, meditation, prayer, building in little moments of breaks, taking a proper lunch hour maybe. Then the next piece is some social interaction, where the interaction has no purpose other than just catching up with a friend. Specifically building that into your day, in your week; lunch with a friend. That sort of social, mental, emotional preparation; incredibly important.
I’m going to mention one more thing. It’s sort of like a pro-tip, and that is getting a coach. Even a therapist … I’ve worked with a number of therapists over the years. Some for really serious issues, emotional issues, and some just because I wanted to have somebody to talk to. I always get way more than my money worth in terms of the impact it has even on my business, let alone my personal life, my relationships. Way more than my money worth. Find a therapist. There’s nothing wrong with it. Every professional athlete I know has a coach. Why don’t we? Why don’t we? Many times the coach’s job is to help us deal with the emotional and mental aspect of our jobs. Not like an Excel spreadsheet coach or a Monte Carlo calculation coach. It’s a business coach. You end up talking about unspeakable things with your business coach. Super valuable.
That’s the mental, emotional aspect of Below the Waterline. I’m telling you it’ll make a massive difference. That wraps up this episode of Below the Waterline on Behavior Gap Radio, the podcast for real financial advisors all over the world. That is episode five of six. All you have left is the conclusion. We’ll talk to you soon.