Emotional Investing 101

AdviserBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice

In this issue: Take these simple steps to protect your emotional reserves for when you need them most.

paul-kingsman

Watching today’s headlines can leave us anxious and exhausted. The real problem is that we actually don’t realize how much this takes out of us until we need to tap into our emotional stores, and then find out, when it’s too late to keep something in reserve, that we’re already drained. We often don’t see it coming and, worse, sometimes just get used to performing sub-optimally. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way!

When I was a young swimmer, we used to compete in an outdoor, unheated pool in the summer. Some kids would relish sitting in the warm sun after they’d been in the cool water for the warm-up before competition started. They wouldn’t notice the sun’s slow drain on their energy levels, but when it came time to race and the pressure was on, their reflexes had slowed, energy levels were diminished, and the sharpness they felt in the morning warm-up time was long gone.

There were just a few kids who would regularly seek out the small shady spots available. The other swimmers often thought they were unsocial, but they were protecting their physical condition so they could swim at their best. They were more concerned about keeping focused on the job they were there to do instead of seeking out what felt good in the short term or worrying about how fellow competitors perceived them — and they tended to be the ones who won their races!

There are some valuable lessons to be learned from those kids. Today in our hyper-connected, media saturated environment, we all face a constant stream of opinion-shaping, emotionally charged events and commentary. Whether it’s headlines about hijackings, hostages, or healthcare, we respond and absorb often out of habit, telling ourselves we must keep current with what’s going on.

But should we?

What if the emotional price to keep up with it all becomes too expensive? Do we really need to know everything that’s going on?

Events and issues such as political violence, starving populations, and human trafficking are important and should stir in us desires for social justice. But often we need to be more diligent about what we permit to consume our attention and limit those things that only cause helpless melancholy feelings, create a sense of hopelessness, and diminish our drive.

Consider the time you spent last week perusing details about the days' headlines on-line or in the daily paper and then evaluate how much of that news you actually used in discussions with clients. Chances are, very little of it was relevant.

We don’t want to be completely unaware of the world around us, but we can be discerning about what we allow to consume our energy and emotions. We don’t have to devote time to taking in and interacting with all the minute details of every event just because the stories, photos, videos and comments exist.

Consuming a constant barrage of bad news can drain you and make you as sluggish as those swimmers who sat in the hot sun for hours. It’s only when you most need your energy and focus in the race that you find out it’s been depleted, and at that point, it’s too late to do anything about it.

It’s the same with our emotions. While we can care for many things, it’s ok to not see or have an opinion on everything – especially the lousy things. We need our emotions to remain clear, on-point, and directed toward what really matters: our relationships with loved ones, our health, our careers, and our clients.

To better monitor and protect your emotional reserves:

  1. Be discerning about what you emotionally consume. Be stringent about what you allow to impact you, especially when you can’t or don’t intend to try to positively influence the situation.
     
  2. Protect your eyes and ears. Be discriminating about what others want you to know or see. Just because someone creates the information doesn’t mean it should be important to you.
     
  3. Don’t feel guilty about tuning out irrelevant stuff. By consciously taking in more positive information and minimizing the negative stuff, emotionally you’ll be in a much better place to help others.

By maintaining control over what you permit to influence your emotions, you’ll remain far more effective for other people who need some hope, encouragement, and a sense that life has purpose. Reserve your emotional energy for pursuing your dreams, your ambitions, and the awesome results that your Creator has made you for.

— Paul

Copyright Paul Kingsman 2011
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As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an adviser, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisers. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching he equips them to overcome distractions so they can get the money they need, the clients they want, and the time to do what they love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit paulkingsman.com/coaching or email him at Paul@PaulKingsman.com


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