On Learning, Habits, and Snowballs
When was the last time you learned a new skill or acquired a new habit? How did that happen? Odds are there were a bunch of ingredients...
“As awareness grows regarding the importance of the interpersonal aspects of financial advice, Mary is THE guide for advisors in doing the real and challenging work of mindfulness to increase well-being and show up more authentically in life and as a thinking partner with clients. Just like Mary's classes, this book is an experience. Mary Martin guides you through the real work as if she's right there with you, step-by-step with curiosity and humor.”
Julie Fortin, CFP®, FBS®, CeFT®
Recipient of the Journal of Financial Planning’s 2021 Montgomery-Warschauer Award, for the most outstanding contribution to the field for co-authoring
Integrating Interpersonal Neurobiology into Financial Planning: Practical Applications to Facilitate Well-Being
Hi, I'm Mary Martin
I created the 8-week course, Mindfulness for Financial Advisors (7.5 CFP CEs). I wrote this book for people who aren't likely to take the course and who want to learn the practices on their own. My intention was to make it as close as possible to the course, including the topics and questions that tend to arise.
I've been teaching mindfulness and speaking about it for over a decade, and you can click here to learn more about me and here to submit a speaking request and check out my other offerings.
I found the personal stories and humor you bring to this work refreshing and real. It certainly is a bit of a mind-shift to realize that you have value in just being. Congratulations, it is a masterpiece.
This is one of those books that elevate the quality of my life.
A very valuable read . . . I keep highlighting . . . I feel that you are actually talking directly to me/the reader as if it were a ‘live’ course. As an advisor, I feel listening is the most important skill in our toolkit."I hear what they need now, from me as a planner and from me as a human being."
Such a beautifully direct, honest, loving and no-BS approach -
so refreshing in the mindfulness space!
Simona Ondrejkova, CFP®
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction and Arrival Practice
The case for a mindfulness course for financial advisors is compelling and includes award-winning research on the positive impact of mindfulness on financial advisors and their connections with clients. My intention in this book, however, is to show you, through your experience and reflections, that mindfulness can enrich your life and client work. The model I’ve chosen for this inner journey is: Experience, Capture, Reflect, and Integrate. We jump right in with a brief arrival practice.
Chapter One - You’re the Kind of Person Who Reads a Book Like This
This chapter explores how our identity is expressed through all of the many choices we make each day. It includes interactive exercises to guide you through your own investigation of the intersection of identity, values, and decisions. It also gets into the neuroscience that is foundational to mindfulness practice.
Chapter Two - A New Way of Being for Advisors
How do you define what you do, who you have to be, and how you have to be to succeed? What’s success, anyway? I pose those wonderings and more in this chapter, in addition to asking what you think will be most valuable to your work in 20 years. Despite advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence, there’s one thing you will always be better at for the foreseeable future, for good or bad: being human. What is the significance—what is the advantage—of being human? You have a way of being, and it can be shaped with attention and intention. It can be shaped through mindfulness practice.
Chapter Three - Mindfulness: It’s Not What You Think
Mindfulness isn’t about thinking, not thinking, relaxing, or going someplace else in your mind. It’s about developing the ability to be present in your life and to meet whatever comes your way in a skillful manner. This chapter ends with a brief practice around identity.
Chapter Four - Mindset: It’s What You Think
Mindsets are beliefs that we have. They literally are what we think. We have mindsets about ourselves, our work, the people we serve, how we think life should be, and what comprises a good life. In this chapter, I discuss topics you might have a mindset about, and I invite you to reflect on what comes up for you as you consider them.
Chapter Five - Getting Stressed Out: The Call is Coming from Inside the House
This chapter describes the various ways our bodies and brains behave in the presence of threats, such as launching into fight or flight. It ends with a resilience practice to remind you of what you already have within you that can help you in times that are uncertain or potentially upsetting.
Chapter Six - Our Bodies, Our Selves: The Body Scan Practice
The first foundation of mindfulness is mindfulness of the body, therefore the body scan practice is as important as it gets. Attention and clarity are crucial for work and life, and they’re not just about what’s happening in your head. Your body is constantly communicating important information, and this chapter shows you how to listen for it. Guidance for the body scan is included, with plenty of room for reflection.
Chapter Seven - This is Your Brain on the Red Pill: The Focused Attention Practice
Who among us doesn’t need a little help with sustaining attention? Our world is full of distractions designed to capture our eyeballs and keep them engaged. This chapter provides a practice that helps you learn what focus and attention feel like in your mind and body.
Chapter Eight - What’s Movement Got to Do with It?
Movement is highly underrated as an awareness practice. This chapter introduces various practices that bring mindful awareness to our movements, usually by slowing them and experiencing them as never before.
Chapter Nine - We Become What We Practice – Habits for Well-Being
Our days are composed largely of habits, whether we realize it or not. This chapter presents 10 tips for improving well-being through your daily habits. And there are plenty of notes with links to the research.
Chapter Ten - Putting it All Together: Humans Being Financial Advisors
This chapter puts it all together by showing the practical application of mindfulness as a way of being—what it looks like in real life. From presence to listening to compassion to working with your own emotions and those of the humans you serve, it’s all in here.
Finally, we revisit who and how you are after whatever it is you did with this book. Even if you read the words and didn’t do the practices, you’re a changed person, as you now know. I hope you’re considering the direction of the industry and your place in it, and I hope you’re experiencing the joy of fully inhabiting your life, no matter what it brings.