Effort vs achievement, disconnecting from social media and the importance of life insurance.
I’m sending this to you from the beautiful city that is Boston. Home of Harvard university, the Cheers bar (where everybody knows your name) and the Samuel Adams Brewery; it is this year’s venue for the annual MDRT global conference. Over the last 2 years, the conference has been held as a virtual event, bringing a wide variety of speakers to the convenience of our homes and offices, but I can’t help but feel that sharing the learning points, ideas and overall experience with colleagues from all around the world in person cannot be replicated through a screen.
Whether it’s over food and drink, taking in the historic sites whilst walking the Freedom Trail, or while running along the coastline, stepping out of your usual environment allows you to see a different perspective, as well as merging fun with business - something I am a huge advocate of. No one said work couldn’t be fun, so think about how you too can merge business with the things you love.
Episode 74: Jodie Stimpson did her first triathlon at age 8 and went on to a massively successful career on the short course, winning 2 commonwealth gold medals and was a 4 x World Triathlon Series winner. She has now moved up to the 70.3 middle distance triathlon and has already notched up wins and iconic races.
Claire and I got to chat to Jodie about the challenge of moving up to the longer distances, the iconic races she is targeting given her more flexible race selection and missing out on the Olympics, something she worked so hard for and came so close to.
What I’ve Been Reading
One of the speakers at the MDRT conference this year was Angela Duckworth, the author of Grit, so I wanted to read it in the lead up to seeing her speak. It’s another excellent book that takes a look at ‘effort’ vs ‘talent’, and Duckworth has some fresh ideas as well as her take on some of the classic theories in this space like ‘growth mindset’ and ‘deliberate practice’.
One of my favourite takeaways is that, whilst we instinctively give more credit to talent over effort, effort actually counts twice in achievement. She shares her belief that effort x talent = skill, and then skill x effort = achievement. The fact that effort counts twice in comparison to talent once in this calculation is actually a much truer reflection of how successful people achieve what they do. Another great book for coaches, parents and anyone interested in this highly debated argument.
App I’ve Found Useful
Not so much of an app than a strategy for apps. Whilst at MDRT I observed someone sat in front of me repeatedly pick up his phone, scroll through Instagram for a few minutes, put it down to concentrate on the speaker, and then be back on Instagram less than 2 minutes later. I’ve noticed this a lot here with drivers waiting at the lights. They cannot wait the 2 minutes without more endless scrolling, and I am certain that lockdown has exaggerated this trend.
Given that social media does have benefits in both work and pleasure, three strategies I have found that work really well to take a step back are: firstly, I have turned off all notifications, so I control when I think about them, not Meta. Secondly, I moved these apps to a folder on final page on my phone, so I am no longer drawn to the distraction of them when checking something useful like the weather. Finally, I have added a 5-minute time limit to these apps. That way, after 5 minutes I get told my time is up and whilst I can extend the time if I am doing something productive, it is a repeated reminder of how long I have been on it, and I rarely need to extend my time.
Social media does have many benefits, but in a time when we’ve never been so well connected, we’ve also never been so disconnected. Take back the control and remember, if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product!
Quote of the Week
‘Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.’
- Angela Duckworth
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
One benefit of attending the MDRT conference is seeing how advisers from around the world do things very differently. One common trend is that many of the US advisers spend much more time focusing on selling life insurance, something that is often seen as a taboo in the UK industry.
One US adviser talked about the way he helps people focus on consequences rather than probability in this area of finances. Would you let your children travel in your car without their seatbelt on? Of course not. The probability of it being needed is almost zero, however the consequences of it not being available if it eventually would be unacceptable to deal with. Not having the correct insurance probably won’t be an issue for you and your loved one, however the consequences if the worst happens can be truly devastating, so make sure you are focusing on the right area when giving it the consideration your family deserve.