At the age of 16 or 17, fledgling adults earn their driver’s license, and excitedly purchase their first vehicle. Whether it’s a decaying relic, or a brand new coupe, they are taught the crucial importance of appropriately changing the oil, monitoring tire pressure, and making sure to never run out of gas. Without proper precautions and considerations, their precious new vehicle for freedom cannot be expected to perform adequately. Much like this proverbial vehicle, our bodies require similar proactive care in order to leverage maximum performance, focus, wellbeing, and overall life success.
While taking care of one’s personal needs may seem like a very basic principle, self-care admittedly takes a back seat for many professionals, who may often find themselves juggling multiple roles. For many multi-tasking professionals, the notion of “indulging” in self-care can sometimes feel impossible, or even inappropriate, in the face of stressors, hectic schedules, and ever-increasing demands. However, in a classic tale of irony, not partaking in self-care tasks as a result of desired workflow increase, elicits the exact opposite response. By ignoring one’s intrinsic and basic physical and mental wellness needs, many professionals find themselves feeling “burned out”, unable to focus, and limited in productivity on a long-term timeline.
Within my own experiences and through the establishment of my company, Everest Group, I have come to recognize the transformative power of proactively ensuring my own success through adequately caring for my physical and mental wellness. With strong convictions regarding the company’s mission statement, and the type of bespoke services I wanted to provide, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the extensive level of customer service for anything. Thus, with a well-considered plan of action regarding the company’s vision, I set out to proactively achieve this vision, while consciously devoting available opportunities to ensure my own abilities to function at the highest level possible. Through these fruitful experiences, I have discovered various tactics that have allowed me to effectively navigate a bountiful professional life, alongside a health-conscious existence.
Professional Goals Require Health
During every in-flight safety instruction presentation, airline personnel remind individuals to put on their own oxygen masks before attempting to assist anyone else, in the case of emergency. While we have all heard the speech countless times, the basic principles of this approach can be applied to all circumstances. Without the basic abilities to perform needed tasks independently, and from a strong offensive position, one cannot be expected to succeed in the aid of others, completion of tasks, or fruitful advancement of the task at hand. While having professional goals is paramount to setting the tone for success, no professional goal will ever be achieved if you aren’t healthy enough to pursue it. With that understanding in mind, it then becomes imperative toward business success to focus on one’s own health, stress management, and overall wellness for the betterment of professional output, and overall life enhancement.
Wellness Requires Attention
While some things can merely be “phoned in”, maintaining a healthy mental and physical well being requires conscious effort, consistent maintenance and attention, and a multidisciplinary focus that is tailored to each individual. From remaining accountable in regard to daily food choices, to finding time for daily exercise and meditation, a concerted effort is required to create healthy habits, and to maintain those habits in the presence of professional stressors. Thankfully, there are countless tools to assist with long-term maintenance of health-related goals. Much like apps designed to increase workflow and productivity, there are a slew of vastly helpful technological advancements aimed at maintaining healthy habits.
Utilizing the assistance of various data-tracking fitness apps can be vastly helpful in the quest to maintain accountability. From counting calories and macro nutrients, to tracking water consumption throughout the day, health tracking apps can even signal reminders during meal times, reminding otherwise preoccupied professionals to eat a healthy meal. Workout apps can be a great motivator, and provide new and exciting workout circuits that can be completed on-the-go, at the gym, or throughout a break. Similarly, guided meditation apps can provide the perfect respite during much-needed ten minute breaks throughout the day, and can help to instantly center and calm individuals throughout smaller chunks of time. All of these tech integrations can be automated, and fit seamlessly into a demanding schedule, somewhat taking the guesswork out of “finding the time” for health-related tasks and activities.
Start The Day Right
While it is sometimes difficult to pass up the opportunity to hit the snooze button a few times, the benefits of starting the day off on a proactive and consciously healthy foot far outweigh an additional amount of semi-sleep constantly interrupted by an alarm. In my own experience, I have recognized several positive effects of working out prior to getting to the office. By waking up early, and committing to some form of alternating physical exercise, I set the proverbial tone for the day. With the release of endorphins, and a confidence that I have invested time and energy into my physical well being, I remain empowered to make good choices throughout the remainder of the day, including eating healthy foods, and remaining hydrated. Simultaneously, I am also invigorated and ready to tackle professional endeavors by the time I reach the office, having already accomplished an early-morning task. While each individual responds differently, I have come to relish the notion of beginning each day in the most proactive way possible, reaping the benefits of increased focus, drive, and motivation throughout the remainder of the day.
Work/Life Balance and Personal Growth
While professional goals are motivating, and being fulfilled professionally is an integral part of adult life, maintaining interests outside of work, and spending time with loved ones, are both equally crucial to maintaining a positive work/life balance. In recent decades, increasing numbers of studies have suggested that working professionals are finding it more difficult to achieve this balance, with real-time communication methods making it difficult for engaged professionals to “step away” from their work after hours. With the ability to connect professionally at all times via tech-based platforms, some professionals are feeling increasingly pressured to maintain constant availability. With these changing global workplace parameters, maintaining an appropriate work/life balance is crucial to avoiding burnout, maintaining a positive workflow, and remaining proficient.
Setting distinct parameters for being fully engaged in family activities, daring new adventures, or personally fulfilling hobbies is key to following through with those meaningful activities. By placing proactive dates, activities, and family engagement times within a calendar, and setting reminders, one becomes personally responsible for proactively engaging in the activities planned. By proactively gaining control over time spent outside of work, one can spend time on meaningful activities with loved ones, and ensure a positive work/life balance.
Additionally, exploring interests outside of daily professional requirements allows for personal growth, and increase in breadth of character, knowledge base, and personal fulfillment. While it may not be feasible to dedicate countless hours to a growing pursuit, carving out even the smallest amounts of time for the pursuit of hobbies can have profound effects, and amount to a long-term deeper understanding of the topic.
Pursue What You Love, and Success Will Follow
By passionately and aggressively pursuing goals, professional milestones, and areas of interest, one can achieve success through consistent effort, motivation, education, and practice. Without the underlying motivation and passion, however, success cannot truly occur. Working in only one direction, this notion acts as a reminder of the integral importance of being intrinsically driven by professional goals, rather than simply motivated by potential financial gains. Thus, finding intersecting paths between genuine interest and professional opportunity is key to fueling the fire for success, and maintaining interest and wellbeing throughout the journey.
As a Managing Partner of Everest Group, I often find myself engaged within multiple arenas of the business, caring for the successes of clients, and applying all needed solutions to successfully problem-solve on a daily basis. While I wear many hats, and take on substantially lofty tasks regularly, I am also vastly motivated by my passion for my business, and field. Confident in my intrinsic interest in the field, I am able to parlay my skills with conviction, motivation, and a genuine interest that renders me professionally fulfilled on a daily basis. Similarly, I have found the best methods for ensuring my ability to perform at a high caliber professionally, and those methods are directly related to the conscious maintenance of my physical and mental wellness. Through a few direct practices and purposeful engagements, I am able to successfully and proactively ensure my own happiness, health, and ability to be fully engaged in life from a personal, emotional, and professional standpoint.