Financing Life’s Motion

Big Picture

There is no such thing as sitting still.

The Earth rotates on its axis relative to the Sun. How fast you are traveling depends on your latitude. In Cincinnati, OH, where I live, I am moving at 807.79 MPH.

The Earth revolves around the Sun once a year. Since Earth’s orbit around the Sun is an ellipse, it travels at different speeds during the year. On average, Earth revolves at a speed of 66,629 MPH.

But wait, the Sun revolves around the Milky Way Galaxy once every 250 million years. Seems like a long time, but the Sun is booking it at 514,495.347 MPH.

The Milky Way as a whole is moving at a velocity of approximately 1,339,200 MPH.

Little Picture
The average electron is traveling at about 4,921,260 MPH. (For reference, the Speed of Light is about 670,616,629 MPH)

The average speed of a carbon atom in a molecule is about 5,592 MPH, and about 3,355 MPH for a hydrogen atom.

When water is at room temperature (68 °F), the average speed of the water molecules in the water is approximately 1,300 MPH.

A blood cell will travel through your entire body in about one minute moving at approximately 2.05 MPH.

Point: Everything everywhere is moving. Are you holding on to something?

Life and Movement
“Movement is the essence of life.”—Bernd Heinrich, Winter World

It is fascinating to watch scientists chase the answer to the question, “Is there life on other planets?”

We are grappling more and more with the need to define the critical distinction between machine life (AI and robots) and living human beings.

In recent decades scientists focused enormous energy and allocated significant funds in order to establish laboratory approaches to creating test-tube life.

What exactly is life?

Interestingly, the National Library of Medicine posted an abstract on the subject of what actually is a living organism and made this statement: “Some scientists and philosophers of science suggest that it is not possible to define life.”1 This is an observation found on an official website of the United States Government.

Life? Can’t define it.

According to another arm of the United States Government, the Natural Park Service, “Living things have very specific characteristics. All living things need food, water, reproduce, grow, move, breathe, adapt, or respond to their environment, and produce waste, though they do these things in very different ways.”2

The National Institute of Health (another arm of the United States Government) concurs:

“In biology, it is generally agreed that organisms that possess the following seven characteristics are animate or living beings and thus possess life: the ability to respire, grow, excrete, reproduce, metabolize, move, and be responsive to the environment.”3

Okay, maybe we can define it.

Point: For purposes of this article we will assume that we can define life, and that one key component of a living thing is movement—the ability to move.

The Importance of Movement to Human Existence
“Movement is a fundamental aspect of life. It affects everything from circulation to digestion to metabolism to immunity. The body contributes far more to our lives than just physical attributes such as strength and endurance—it plays a major role in emotions, learning, and relationships.”4

Human beings are meant to move and keep moving. Remaining stationary for long durations contributes to possible negative health outcomes such as cardiac complications, increased risk for certain cancers, and even early mortality.

Participating in regular movement (i.e. physical activity or exercise) benefits human minds and bodies. Movement:

  • Releases endorphins and helps relieve stress
  • Allows for breaks from everyday challenges and responsibilities
  • Helps emotions move through physical bodies
  • Provides an outlet for self-expression

And yet, “Modern Americans sit for 13 to 15 hours per day.”5

The Mayo Clinic recommends:

  • Use a standing desk when possible.
  • Set a reminder to stand and move at least once per hour.
  • Take a walk over lunch.
  • Walk during phone or conference calls.
  • Park far from store entrances and enjoy your walk to and from.
  • Skip the elevator and use the stairs.
  • Walk around your house when doing routine tasks like brushing your teeth.
  • Take your dog for a long walk once daily.
  • Walk on a treadmill while watching TV.
  • Do yard work, such as mowing your lawn, raking leaves or planting flowers.

“Health gets better with movement, productivity gets better, and people enjoy their jobs—and lives—more.”6

Helping Financial Services Clients Move
As Independent Financial Professionals (IFPs), we are concerned about our clients in a holistic manner. Our desire is for them to thrive. In that regard, is it possible we can contribute to their health by creating opportunities for movement?

Practical Applications:

  • Ask clients when they exercise and if they like to exercise alone or with other people.
  • Ask clients if they prefer indoor activities or outdoor activities, or both.
  • Ask clients to self-describe their own fitness level.
  • Schedule client appointments at times that will not conflict with their exercise routines.
  • Lead by example and engage personally in physical activities and movement.
  • Create a work environment in your office to allow staff to move freely throughout the day when they are the most motivated to do physical activities.
  • Schedule client meetings in outdoor spaces and include walks.
  • Use standing desks for client meetings.
  • If you give gifts to clients, consider pedometers as a physical activity initiative.
  • Consider raising money for a worthy cause by inviting all your clients to participate in a 5 K run/walk or other physical event already scheduled for your community.

Point: IFPs have personal contact with numerous clients every year. In each encounter IFPs can encourage the clients to pursue physical movement as a way of strengthening their own physical health.

Financial Moves
IFPs can also influence clients to make wise financial moves. These actions may not impact physical health directly but will certainly improve financial health. Consider reminding your clients to make these moves:

  1. Review the family budget and cut out unnecessary expenses. Over time individual financial decisions accumulate and can collectively impact financial lives negatively, neutrally, or positively. When it comes to budgets, aggregated decisions rarely have anything but negative impacts. Encourage clients to review these areas:
    – Debit or credit card balances
    – Discretionary spending on entertainment and eating out
    – Underused or even forgotten apps, subscriptions, and streaming services
    – Property and Casualty Insurance Premiums
  2. Review the balance in Emergency Funds. Rarely does the need for an emergency fund decrease over time. Major home improvement and repair projects, automobile repairs or replacement, uncovered medical bills—these grow over time with deterioration and age. Clients may need to move money to bolster their Emergency Fund.
  3. Review Retirement Savings Goals. The forces in the economy that impact savings goals do not rest. Inflation, market trends, interest rates, and volatility require clients to annually reassess retirement goals and current savings. Adjustments and money moves are frequently necessary.
  4. Review Passwords for any and all financial transactions conducted digitally. Cybersecurity risks demand that clients periodically change passwords and even consider using a password encryption service.
  5. Review Data and Document Storage, Files, and Record Keeping Practices. Every client’s electronic copy of important documents should be stored in a password-protected format on a removable flash drive or an external hard drive and kept secure in a location known by family and estate executors. Paper copies of important documents are best stored in a fireproof and waterproof safe or safe deposit box. Again, spouses, adult children, and estate advisors should know the location. Clients should make the move to use document shredders in order to safely destroy outdated physical statements.
  6. Review W-4 Tax Withholdings. Life moves fast. Children move out. Parents move in or pass away. Having too much money withheld from paychecks causes clients to give the government an interest-free loan.

Human life is movement in time and space. Movement is necessary for life and health. This is true of physical, mental, emotional, and even financial health.

American Ellen Glasgow, a Southern novelist, once wrote:

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”

As an IFP, you can have a measurable and positive influence on your clients by encouraging movements that accrue in growth and forward progress.

Jerry Seinfeld, American Comic said:

“To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.”

Clients sometimes need our help. So why are you still sitting?


  4. Washington University in St. Louis, Human Resources:
  6. Ibid.

CLU, ChFC, FLMI, is a director, vice president, team leader, speaker and mentor for Global Leadership Partners.

For nearly four decades Murphy worked in the financial services industry, and has held positions in sales, marketing, product development, training and development, distribution, agency management, and recruiting. In his latest role he was responsible for managing National Account relationships. In this role he shared business leadership and practice management concepts with business owners, marketing organizations and independent financial professionals. He is a frequent contributor to industry trade journals and a keynote speaker at industry events.

After 37 wonderful years in financial services, it was time for Murphy to give back, to share with others the training, development and experiences he enjoyed by God’s grace, and encourage others who are just starting out or seeking to grow.

Global Leadership Partners identifies, equips and sends business leaders to speak at leadership seminars in partnership with organizations primarily in Eastern Europe, but eventually, around the world. The intent is to foster development of foreign leaders who will courageously stand for strong values and a high ethical standard. This work is based on the belief that the world will be a better place when filled with leaders who lead according to proven values and bedrock principles.

Murphy is a frequent contributor to industry trade journals and is available as a keynote speaker for life insurance industry meetings and training events. He can be reached by telephone at: 312-859-3064. Email: Twitter: