As many of you know, I have spoken openly and honestly about my health scare several years ago. At the time I was really stressed and pushing myself really hard to take my business to the next level. I felt stuck, exhausted and all the warning signs of burnout. However, I ignored all the signs and I continued to push myself at a very alarming pace. However, I noticed my heart beating really fast and intense chest pains. I thought maybe I was just experiencing anxiety. I was alarmed and thought I might be having a heart attack. How in the world can someone so young be experiencing this? It was because my life was out of balance and I had to put things back in order. Thankfully, I was not having a heart attack but it was a wake-up call for me and it forced to make major adjustments in my life.
Here are a few lessons I learned during that season of my life.
1. You have to discern between the important and the insignificant.
Prior to my health scare, I made a lot of things important that were really insignificant. Two of my closest friends were warning me that I needed to slow down. In fact, one friend encouraged me to take a break and this friend was very concerned about me. I promised the friend I would slow down. However, I continued to add more and more responsibilities. As I look back in retrospect, I realize that you have to set your priorities. The thing I have discovered is that priorities protect precious moments and preserve your peace. Do not allow others to create fires and emergencies in your life. You must prioritize what is really important and stop investing time and energy in insignificant things that do no elevate or enhance the quality of your life.
2. You must get clear about what you really want.
As someone that has empowered people around the world, I know a bit about fulfilling purpose and maximizing potential. I also know a bit about clarity and establishing clear priorities in your life. However, at the time my business was struggling and I moved away from clear intentions to just trying to survive. This was my last chance to save the business and I was stressed and under an enormous amount of pressure. After my health scare, I had a heart to heart with myself about my health and my future. That day I decided that I needed to get clear about what I really wanted. In other words, I had to create a clear plan and pace myself. After all, it would make no sense to pour all my energy into the business at the expense of my health. I had to get clear that success would require me to create new boundaries in my life. Those boundaries would help me to keep everything in perspective and remain focused on what is really important. We spend so much time expressing what we do not want in our lives. However, very few people ever take the time to clearly define what they do want. You will never attract into your life what you want without being absolutely clear.
3. You have to learn how to define success on your own terms.
The old me would define success as grind, hustle and succeed at all cost. However, as I have matured I now realize that your definition of success will change throughout your life. I now understand that success at the expense of my health, peace or relationships is not success at all. This journey has taught me to define success on my own terms. Thankfully, my business is succeeding now and my work is respected all around the world. Success to me in this phase of my life is living true to my values, making my health a priority, preserving my peace and having meaningful relationships. While I know the importance of hard work, I also know the importance of enjoying the journey. No longer am I willing to sacrifice my joy, peace or fulfillment to chase profits, notoriety or success. I live life on my own terms and I have found a way to make the business fit into my life and not consume my entire life. In addition, I am now able to share these strategies and insights with leaders and entrepreneurs all around the world. My passion is to see healthy, thriving and robust organizations making an impact.
4. Pursue the thing that sets your heart ablaze.
Prior to my health scare, I found myself pursuing projects that were not really in alignment with my true passion. When you find yourself in survival mode, you find yourself doing whatever it takes to keep your head above water. However, I now have a totally different perspective on life and business. I believe that life is too short not to be lived from a place of significance. In other words, I believe that you should find the rhythm of your life and dare to pursue the thing that sets your heart ablaze. The thing that ignites me is developing leaders and entrepreneurs to unlock greatness and release their greatest potential. I found myself drifting away from that and that is when my life started to get out of sync. I want to challenge you to stop playing it safe and pursue the thing that sets your heart on fire. One thing I know to be true is that you will regret living your life out of rhythm. Stop putting off opportunities and telling yourself that you will do it tomorrow. Success begins with owning this moment in your life. You will find yourself living with greater passion and purpose. Most of all, you will live with a greater sense of freedom and fulfillment because you are doing what you were born to do. Do not create space in your life for things that do not feed your soul with significance.