Blog #20 Passion in Unexpected Places

Passion in unexpected places, sounds like a trashy romance story haha.

I was at a breakfast this morning hosted by an insurance company, not an uncommon thing here in Edinburgh. I was looking forward to it and seeing some familiar faces but it does seem a pretty unlikely place to come across anyone with real passion, rows of bored businessfolk going on about interest rates and so on, I was there representing the bank with a bacon roll in one hand and black coffee in the other. My signature breakfast, it is turning me into one of the cartoon bankers you see. Banker bod and proud! I am sitting with a pizza as well while I write this, good grief.

One of the speakers was talking about the dangers of underinsurance, I’m sure like me you could feel your eyelids growing heavy at the mere thought. How wrong I was. He was so animated, so passionate about the topic, to him fighting this issue was every bit as important as a crusade. I was really impressed by how genuine his enthusiasm was.

For those of you who don’t know, including me before today, underinsurance is when you insure a £10,000 house for £5,000. If the building blows up, you might think “oh well, at least I get £5,000” You may have calculated that you don’t really want to make those pesky insurance payments and getting half of what the building is worth is actually okay. Plus the odds of anything happening to it are so remote anyway.

Well, no. And many families have learned that to their horror. You see, insurance companies can apply an average and say since you only insured 50% of the building, they will only give you 50% of the insurance, so not £5,000 but £2,500. That’s us dealing with small numbers, when you hit millions, it gets crazy.

He gave us stories of businesses and families ruined by this, thinking they were beating the system by skimping on the insurance and only getting pennies in return rather than what they thought they were getting. Rather than rail against the system, this gent goes around making sure people are aware of the consequences. It isn’t a sales pitch, he is on the other side of the fence, and is hired to investigate claims. Having seen this happen repeatedly though, he is spreading the word.

Now I don’t think this person was born wanting to be an insurance expert but he clicked with this field and pours his energy into it. A lot of us would probably fall into that category.

We often have this image that as soon as a baby hits the ground, it gets up on two feet and knows exactly what it wants to do. It is alright not to know this and when you find a passion, go for it. Don’t tell yourself that you have always wanted to be X since you were born and although you really like Y, it isn’t what you want to do. If you find something you are interested in, go for it. We romanticise ideas like destiny, that you should have always known what you have wanted to do. I find this tends to result in you missing opportunities.

For me, writing and banking are things I slowly developed into and am interested in, I didn’t emerge from the womb with these passions.

Be realistic when looking at your life and goals, stay open to interesting options and don’t beat yourself up that you haven’t wanted to be a marketing executive since you were four.

On a slightly less serious note…jam flavoured wine? Well it is meant to be paired with BBQ, so my bbq pizza must tick the boxes.

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