“Put down your phone and talk to your family,” although David Beckham’s life advice is simple, consistently putting it into practice is hard. Whatever you might think about him, the man has 115 England football caps, 54 million Facebook likes, and his family fortune is worth a casual $400 million, so his “simple formula” for happiness is worth a listen. Even if it doesn’t magically transform you into a top-tier professional football player with more brand partnerships than you can kick a ball at, it will help you achieve a better work-life balance.
The 43 year old father of four was in Hong Kong this Monday as an ambassador for AIA, Asia’s largest insurance company. Not just a retired football legend, Beckham has become something of a fashion and lifestyle guru. As such, his Hong Kong fans took his words seriously when he told them to put down their phones and spend more time with their family. As reported by The South China Morning Post, Beckham said, “I really believe in the need for people to take small steps to make healthier decisions and take better care of themselves.”
“From my perspective, my motivation is my family. It’s always been about family, how to help them live a better longer life, to let our children do the same.”
How do you achieve that? “Smile every day,” he said, “And at dinner with my family my phone will be turned off.” He also shared a few more insights, which may surprise die-hard football fans: “I think all exercise helps in having a healthy lifestyle. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to join a gym or commit to a football team; the simple things like going to the park, walking to school or taking the dog out can really make a difference and also you can spend quality time with your family” (Morning Post).
Beckham is in China helping AIA launch their new and improved “Vitality” programme, which markets their insurance services by providing rewards to policyholders who do more exercise and live a healthier life. This is part of an ongoing five-year-old campaign now operating in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, which has up to one million participants.
“As Asians have become wealthier, they haven’t necessarily become healthier,” Stuart Spencer, group chief marketing officer at AIA, told The South China Morning Post. This is why it’s such a valuable (or opportunistic, depending on how you look at it) program, with Hong Kong ranking second lowest in terms of health satisfaction in the AIA Healthy Living Index. “It’s stress, and there are a lot of challenges when it comes to enjoying a work-life balance. Hongkongers work very hard, they work very late, and may tend to overdo it,” Spencer added.