Have you ever heard someone say, “don’t take your health for granted”? I know I have, and it probably was while I was downing a bag of Cheetos. I have learned one of life’s most important lessons. Your health is your most important asset. So how does this affect your business life?
I have increased my productivity by at least three times over the past couple of months by making a decision to be more active.
There are a few things that drove me to this decision.
- Vanity – When I looked in the mirror I didn’t like what I saw.
- Tiredness – I was tired and irritable.
- Just felt sluggish – Think of an old truck trying to start but the carburetor keeps sticking.
A bit of personal athletic history
At one time I was an avid sportsmen. I played sports: baseball, basketball, and football. Baseball has always had a special place in my heart, however. I remember the feeling of hitting a home run, man that is the best feeling ever.
During and after high school, I got into more ‘personal challenging’ sports at the time as I liked to call it: skateboarding and snowboarding. I wasn’t “in” to the team sports thing any more as I was thinking so out of the box that it sickened me to spend many hours a day to train for something that I wasn’t purely passionate about.
Don’t get me wrong. I support sport programs and encourage others to participate. But this is my story.
After high school and into college, I continued my ‘personal challenging’ sports taking on rock climbing for a time, mountain biking, hiking etc.
I was in good shape, felt great, was at a prime.
Then it all stopped.
Somewhere, I don’t know where, I had made a decision to stop taking care of myself, to stop caring. This isn’t an evaluation of my psychology at the time, or what led me to this, but I have a few ideas:
- Wasn’t happy with the current career path – I felt like I hit a ceiling and my ambitions couldn’t take me any further. (Thankfully entrepreneurship solved this for me.)
- Too busy – Now I know this is a myth, but at the time I honestly believed I was too busy to keep up on the “sports” and exercising. I tried for a time, but failed, because I got “busier”.
- Lack of motivation – I was being lazy. I think too many people are lazy. I know because I have been the king of lazy at times.
The necessary change
There are thousands of resources, books, videos online and many of them are great, but what it took for me was a little encouragement from a friend, who said face to face to me, have you ever tried running? Now right about this time a couple of other friends of mine had been training for marathons and half marathons. Yes, I was the lazy man hanging out with brutally fit gentlemen.
I hadn’t ran since high school, I had done elliptical machines at gyms since but I don’t think they compare. Different results. I dreaded it, thinking my body isn’t designed for it. So on July 7th of this year (2011) I laced up my shoes and forced myself to get outside and walk. Walking would get my legs stretched and ready to run later. I walked a couple of miles for about a week and then said I am going to experiment with a run and see what happens.
This would be my first real “run”, so I ran 2.1 miles at a 13 minute pace. OK, so there was hope for me I guess. I might have bit off a bit more for a beginning runner, but was bored of reading all of the “beginning runner” plans that are all over the Internet. Those were written for somebody else’s body, not mine. I know my limits.
Since then I have been more consistently running about 3 miles, trying to get my pace under 11 minutes per mile, and improve over time.
Will I train for a marathon like some of my friends? I don’t know. At this point I don’t care. I just feel so much better and its spilling in to everything else I do.
Business results come easier
In addition to physical exercise, I have been putting my mind through the ranks as well. Reading more, coaching with a business development expert, and learning about life, through my family. I am listening more and speaking less. When I speak now it is clearer and more focused.
While climbing uphill builds character, wouldn’t you rather build character uphill, than to build it rolling down the hill?
So, to sum it up, my health is my most important life and business asset, and I wager to say it is, and should be the same for everyone else.
If you are on the fence whether or not you should focus on taking better care of yourself, in spite of a “busy” life, quit whining and just do it. There will never be more hours in the day and you have to learn to manage your time better. I have had to do this, so if the king of lazies can do this, anyone can!
Question: What are you doing to think out of the box and increase your productivity and health in life and business? If you aren’t, do you plan to, or what might help guide you there?
(photo credit: nonanet)