Over the last century, Advisor Today (formerly Life Association News) has been dispensing good advice on how to stay motivated and grow as a professional. The editors have chosen two motivational articles from our archives to show you that good advice never goes out of style. The article below is from April 1960; be sure to read the July 1932 article, “Checking Up On Ourselves.”
Once in a while there comes a moment for each of us when we become really conscious of the passing of time, of change. There is an uncomfortable amount of truth in saying that many men die around 30, although they may not be buried for another 50 years. The only way you can remain truly alive throughout your life is by continuing to grow, to accomplish.
We can have success if we possess one thing—capacity. By capacity, I mean your capability of doing the job. Not all of us are brilliant—not all of us have had a good education handed to us—we were not all given 10 talents. But we all have at least one talent—the ability to learn—and as long as we don’t bury that one, more talents will come to us.
How long has it been since you deliberately reviewed in your own mind some of the fundamentals for improving yourself as a life underwriter: your mental attitude, living in the present, remembering the mistakes of yesterday only for the lessons to be learned?
It’s time to take stock
It is important to keep little things from worrying you to the point they ruin your efficiency. Enjoy your social contacts; seek out people; enjoy their company. Or are you staying at home because it is too much trouble to visit or to have friends in? Have you forgotten the importance of making decisions promptly? Have you given up all your hobbies and outside interests and become mesmerized by TV?
Have you checked up on your habits lately? I mean good habits as well as bad ones—your habit of keeping your records up to date, following up on age-changes, regular prospecting, giving prompt attention to leads.
Have you taken a good look at yourself recently? Other people have! Is your appearance making the good impression you want it to? Are you as neat as you used to be? Or have you gotten a little careless?
How long has it been since you deliberately reviewed in your own mind some of the fundamentals for improving yourself?
What about your personality? How long has it been since you honestly tried to discover what may be weak points in your own personality—and tried to improve? Have you tried consciously and conscientiously to be genuinely interested in the other fellow and like him? Tried to build your self-confidence, to improve your memory for names, to plan the use of your time? Add all these things up and they determine your capacity.
Have you taken the LUTC courses? Or are you still telling yourself, “I’m going to do it next year?” Have you started on your CLU work? Don’t tell yourself you can’t afford the time. You can’t afford not to!
An ongoing process
So you ask, does it never end? No, not as long as the world changes, and people change and things change. As needs change and demands change, insurance and its application to those demands will change.
This is the challenge to each one of us as individuals: a challenge to increase our capacity—to keep up with a changing, a more demanding world and business; a challenge to resolve now to take stock of ourselves, to rate ourselves realistically and honestly as to our capacity—and to increase that capacity. Buddha said, “Though one should in battle conquer a thousand men a thousand times, he who conquers himself has the more glorious victory.”