Self-Discipline, Self-Obedience, for superior life insurance sales! Benjamin N. Woodson, CLU

Coaches Corner... Self-Discipline... Self-Obedience

Benjamin N. Woodson, CLU (Mr. Life Insurance) was probably the best-known life insurance man in America at one time. Besides heading a major life insurance company, for more than 20 years Woodson wrote a monthly column in the National Underwriter… To inspire life insurance agents. Here is one of his articles on Self-Discipline… Self-Obedience for superior life insurance sales!

Self-Discipline… Self-Obedience… (For superior life insurance sales)… By Benjamin N. Woodson, CLU

WITH THE PASSING OF THE YEARS, I am ever more convinced that one of the most meaningful traits of superior men and women… Is their ability to make themselves obey their commands.

This characteristic, this ability of exceptional persons to make themselves carry out the orders they give themselves… Is not merely evidence of their superiority. I submit to you, but rather is a basic reason, a fundamental ingredient contributing to their achievements for superior life insurance sales! This ability to tell themselves to do what they know they should do. And then make themselves do it. I am convinced, is truly a major contributor to their successes and their superiority in life insurance sales.

Most of us know which things we are doing from day to day are things we should not do. And we know equally well those things we are not doing which we should do.

Most of us can tell ourselves, easily enough, to do some of those things which would be useful or helpful to us. Most of us know the things we should do. And we faithfully intend to do them “someday.” But once having so directed ourselves, we lesser people often forget the command. Or we disregard it or postpone it. Finally, the order has become of no effect. And its intended value is lost forever. By contrast, superior beings prove their superiority by carrying out the order. By obeying their command. then by doing what they have directed themselves to do. And thus evidencing their capacity for Self-Discipline… Self-Obedience!

“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.” Harry S. Truman

SUPERIOR PERSONS CAN ORDER THEMSELVES to eat and drink in moderation – and make it stick. They can direct themselves to keep reasonably regular hours, to get enough sleep and at least a modicum of exercise, to work earnestly while they work, to play wholeheartedly while they play, and to keep the two in proper balance – and can make it stick. They can remember their intentions, and remember the reasons they had for arriving at those intentions and for issuing their commands. And can successfully require themselves to do what they tell themselves to do. They have Self-Discipline… Self-Obedience to make it happen!

Superior men and women direct themselves to lose five pounds in the next five weeks, or ten pounds in the next ten. And having so instructed themselves can make the order stick. They can push themselves away from the table when they have satisfied their hunger. And can restrain themselves from eating merely to satisfy their appetites. They can step on the scales each morning and record their progress truthfully and impersonally. They can stay with their plans, direct their efforts, and realize their goals.

Superior beings can list the jobs to be done tomorrow and can designate the order in which they are to be tackled. And, when tomorrow comes, can see that they do what they have told themselves is to be done. Thus, if something must go undone, it is a task of lesser importance, for the day’s priority list will have caused them to give attention to the work of the day in order of essentially, and not in order of appeal, or convenience, or even of urgency.

“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” Mark Victor Hansen 

SUPERIOR PERSONS CAN TELL THEMSELVES to start on time so that they can and will arrive on time. And having issued the command they can make themselves obey it. They have self-discipline and consequently, they become famed for their punctuality. And for their consideration thus expressed for those with whom they have appointments.

Superior men and women can maintain their solvency without excessive pain and can achieve continuing financial progress… By telling themselves to save a suitable portion of every dollar that goes through their hands – and having issued the order, can make themselves obey. They can require of themselves fiscal fitness which will assure that their net worth will increase annually in proper proportion to the constantly diminishing aggregate value of their paychecks still to be collected. They can tell themselves to balance their budgets. to save the first pennies out of each dollar of income, to invest their sacred savings in guarantees before allowing themselves to invest their optional funds more aggressively. And they can make their orders stick.

“We all have dreams. But to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” Jesse Owens 

SUPERIOR PERSONS CAN TELL THEMSELVES that they give some portion of their every day to continuous study. And having thus directed themselves, they have the Self-Discipline to make themselves carry out the order. They must do this not merely because no one ever yet has had time enough to learn all that remains to be learned. But equally, because civilization progresses at such a rate that much of what we should be studying today was unknown or undreamed of a decade ago, or even a year ago.

In short, I am convinced that the very essence of the superiority of those relatively few superior beings who surround us lies in their greater ability to make themselves do what they tell themselves to do for superior life insurance sales!

It is easy enough to know what one should do that now goes undone. It is easy enough to know what one should not do which now is being done. Achievement rests only in small part upon knowing what one would do, and only in small part upon telling one’s self to do it: it rests principally upon one’s ability, having issued the command, to cause the order to be obeyed… Self-Discipline… Self-Obedience!

I turn your attention now to an immortal line from Shakespeare, which reminds us that it isn’t giving voice to the command that counts. It’s the effectiveness of the order that matters for superior life insurance sales!

Let us look at a scene from the third act of King Henry IV, Owen Glendower, the renowned braggart, holds the stage. He is addressing his cousin and rival, Hotspur. We hear him proclaiming with characteristic vanity that he is “extraordinary.” and endowed with greatness: that “the heavens were all on fire, the earth did tremble” at the hour of his birth: that he can “command the devil.” and can summon supernatural beings from the depths of the ocean. In this vein, we hear him say. “I can call spirits from the vastly deep.” And to this Hotspur replies. “Why so can I or so can any man, – but will they come when you do call for them?

THAT IS HOTSPUR’S CHALLENGE, and that is the point of my story. Many can direct themselves to mend their manners, change their ways, and do the things they know they should. But, having done so, will they obey the command for superior life insurance sales?

Everyone can command! But only a few have Self-Discipline… Self-Obedience to make themselves obey for superior life insurance sales!

Benjamin N. Woodson

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