Written by Peter Horsfield

What the world needs now is love sweet…Not just for some but for everyone one.

A song was written fifty-five years ago in 1965 by Burt Bacharach and Hal David at the time the world was diving deeper into conflict and war (Vietnam); is just as relevant today as it was back then.

If we were to look back on today’s times some fifty-five years from now, what would we say about our modern world of today?

My best guess is historians will conclude. It was a time of massive disruption and division on a global scale. Change that affected everyone down to an individual basis. Be it careers, families, health, religion, governments and society.

All that has been achieved from great leaps in technology and the improvements to people’s quality of life, resulting in the majority of the population never feeling more isolated, uncertain and fearful.

John F. Kennedy (USA President) said “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.”

What are some of the opportunities in the crisis we face today?

  • Changing working environments- improved work-life balance
  • Online services and stores- improved time and efficiencies
  • Social sharing services- lower cost, convenience, greater choices
  • Social activism- improved environment and accountability.

What are some of the risks in the crisis we face today?

  • Redundant industries and careers- loss of peoples livelihoods
  • Increased isolation- mental, emotional and physical health
  • Self-interest - division, ignorance leading to increased crime
  • Consumerism- waste, wage abuse and pollution.

I’m an advocate for change. Heck, I went so far as to uproot and move my financial services and planning business and family from Sydney to Cairns and I couldn’t be happier, however, change is never easy.

Be it that we find change has been forced upon us or we ourselves are the instigators of change. Experience has taught me that the level of growth, success and gratitude we experience is in direct correlation to our level of acceptance and empathy regarding the situation. Extending beyond our own situation and to others.

Additionally, our resistance to change only elevates the experience of discomfort for ourselves and others, resulting in the process of change taking longer and a lesser/more divided outcome for all.

When I was first trained as a financial planner (last millennia) I was taught 101 sales tactics and it made my skin crawl i.e. find the client’s fears and vulnerabilities, dig into these until they bleed and then offer them your solution/ a Band-Aid.  Shortly after that experience I left that institution and started my own firm.

Maybe I’m a soft touch. I definitely prefer to see the good in others and encourage them rather than finding faults and criticizing them.

However today more than ever I believe true success is less about selling more stuff and more about deeper relationships and this is best achieved through acceptance, empathy and non-judgmental encouragement.

Being a financial planner and helping clients live more authentically and with greater confidence is an honour and a privilege. It is at all times both a challenge and at the same time deeply rewarding. Especially when witnessing the profound impact as a change for good in our client's lives.

For anyone considering financial planning as a career, or in fact, anyone who is seeking to help and improve the lives of others, start with empathy, loose the ego and trust that love sweet love is not for some but everyone.

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