Are Your Practices Creating the Future You Desire?
We are shaped by practices and shape ourselves through practices.” Bob Dunham
Are your practices creating a more powerful life for you? Or, are they creating more of the breakdowns limiting your life? I recently read a great blog by an associate and friend of mine, Jerry Holtaway, entitled “My morning disconnectionism“. Jerry breaks down how his practices were having a negative effect on his daily routine. The article reinforced what I know to be true in my life and in the life of every one of my clients. Our practices shape how we see the world. Are you willing to look at your practices?
From an ontological coaching perspective (ontology, the study of being human) we look at three factors that shape how we see the world:
The Body- We exist in our body – you can not escape this reality. It is the ship that navigates your life. What are you practicing in your body?
Are you practicing a body that is strong and healthy, benefitting from exercise and healthy eating. On a daily basis is your body radiating energy and expanding, ready to embrace your interactions no matter how complex they may be?
Are you practicing a body that is worn down and tired, shrinking from the daily demands of life? Do you fill your body with chemicals and manufactured foods? Is your body contracting, merely getting you from place to place, and conserving what limited energy you have?
Language- Language is the fundamental human tool. We are linguistic beings and we create stories through language to understand the world around us. What are you practicing in language?
Are you making powerful requests that allow you to create the future you desire? Are you having effective conversations for action with those around you? Are you unlocking the potential that allows you and your team to fulfill on your promises?
Are you practicing using language to create stories that allow you to stay in your victimhood? Are you complaining about another, instead of making a request so that they can fulfill your request? Are your conversations for action more like conversations of inaction and disgust and frustration?
Moods and Emotions- As humans we are emotional beings. Moods and Emotions shape how we see the world and give our stories their meaning. What are you practicing in your moods and emotions?
Are you seeing the world through powerful moods and emotions such as gratitude, acceptance, peace, ambition and wonder? Do your moods and emotions allow you to see what is possible and what beauty the world has to offer?
Are you seeing the world through limiting moods and emotions such as resentment, anger, resignation (shows up as a rational excuse why things cannot change.) and anxiety? Do your moods and emotions limit what you see as possible and hinder your ability to see the beauty the world around you has to offer?
So, what are you practicing? As Bob Dunham stated: “We are shaped by practices and shape ourselves through practices.” Therefore, whatever we are practicing, we are getting better at. We are always practicing. What we practice we become good at it. For most of us, we have decades of practice, some of these practices help us, and some limit us. What we as leaders need to do is to choose what we practice. After all, we are only living the one shot at life we have. It may be time to change some of our practices.
Advisors Will Be Extinct in 5 Years Unless…
I’ve had financial advisors for more than 40 years. Not once in those years have I called my advisor to find out what stock/funds I should buy or sell. But I have called to find out where I should get my first mortgage, when to sell my house, or how much income I could get in retirement.
In short -- and I think I’m pretty typical – I was looking for financial advice, as it relates to my life.
Here’s the disconnect, what most advisors do is simply manage their clients’ assets. They determine what to buy, and what to sell, they think about risk management, about growing their practice by finding new clients and about getting paid.
Historically that has been the business model. But as more women take control over financial assets, they, like me, will be looking for a different experience. And unless the financial community is willing to change ….. advisors, as they are today will be extinct in five years.
Advisors who want to survive will have to do a lot more than just manage money – they will have to provide genuine “advice”. That means doing what’s right for the client, not pushing product and pretending it’s advice.
Women especially, but all investors generally, are becoming more and more cynical. They says, “If I want advice about reducing my debt, that’s what I want and not ‘here’s more debt’ because that’s what my advisor gets paid for! And if saving taxes is what I want then saving taxes should take precedent over selling me a product.”
You may be thinking that spending your time providing advice isn’t lucrative but the reality is that in the long run – it pays off in spades. The advisors who take the time to build real relationships with clients, who provide advice as it relates to their clients’ lives, even when there is no immediate financial benefit to themselves, those who don’t simply push product – are the ones who over time have the most successful practices.
Generally women understand and value service, but they will say, “If I’m paying, I want to know what I’m paying for: Is it for returns? Is it for advice? Is it for administration? I want to know. Then I can make up my mind what’s worth it and what isn’t.”
Investing is becoming a commoditized business and technology is replacing research that no one else can find. Today the average advisor is hard pressed to consistently beat the markets, and with women emerging as the client of the future, unless they start providing real advice, their jobs will likely be extinct in five years.
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