I had a phone call yesterday from the husband of one of my network members.
She became so unwell on a recent holiday abroad that she had to be hospitalized and is now out of action for at least 3 months.
He was perfectly honest about it – she had been overdoing things and the holiday was all too little too late. The health issue is all stress related due to overwhelm, it has happened before and she just needs to rest, recover and re-charge her batteries.
It really made me think about how we manage our lives in this fast paced world we live in, trying to keep up with the latest trends, the changing markets, the constant upgrades in technology and digital marketing, the need to keep evolving, learning growing – how on earth are we expected to fit it all in and maintain some semblance of family life, ‘me’ time, health and fitness and quality R&R?
I was at Fast Forward Your Business on Saturday with renowned Futurist, Roger Hamilton. He is fascinating to listen to as he reveals the next ‘Waves’ we need to be aware of to stay ahead of the crowd.
I came away feeling inspired and also a little overwhelmed at the thought of all the things I ‘should’ be doing to keep at that cutting edge of my industry and have been hit by a slight dose of ‘paralysis of analysis’ – what on earth to do first and how to keep ahead of the game with so many other pressing demands on my time.
One of the change-makers at the event is a highly successful coach who invests £100K/year on his own personal development and reads for 2 hours every day.
I came away feeling that I don’t spend nearly enough time developing myself.
Yet, I am a great believer in investing in ourselves and frequently attend seminars and conferences where I can learn from some of the world’s thought leaders.
I am a member of the Professional Speaking Association and attend both the London and Reading events every month to listen to some incredible speakers and learn how to run an effective speaking business.
I hang out with some amazing people through the various networking groups I both run and attend and I work with a business coach to keep me accountable and moving forward to achieve my goals.
Yet I found myself telling my daughter this morning that I just don’t have time to keep on preparing fresh Juice for everyone every morning and preparing fruit salads for them to take to work every day – it just takes up too much valuable early morning time which is when I am most creative and productive. Yet it is such a great start to the day and fulfills my need to still nurture my family.
So when are we doing enough to nurture and grow ourselves? What is enough? Are you living life in ‘flow’ or are you verging on ‘overwhelm’?
A few questions to ask yourself?
- Do I wake up feeling refreshed and excited about the day ahead?
- Do I have clear goals and a plan of action to achieve those goals?
- Am I taking even small steps towards my goals daily?
- Do I feel I have moved forwards at the end of every working day?
- Do I take time for my own development? Do I learn something new every day?
- Do I share my new knowledge with clients and colleagues?
- Do I get great feedback from my clients?
- Do I know what value I add to my clients?
- Do I value myself?
- Do I take time just to ‘be’? To think, meditate, appreciate all he good things in my life?
- Do I look after my health and well-being? Do I eat well, exercise regularly, get enough quality sleep?
- Am I excited about the future? Loving what I do and doing what I love?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to all of these, you are probably living life in ‘flow’- playing to your natural strengths and doing work that you are totally aligned to that comes easily and effortlessly. You will consistently deliver at a very higb standard and be really trusted as an ‘expert’ in your field.
On the other hand, if you –
- Are often tired, always have way too much to do and not enough hours in the day
- Wake up early feeling anxious about all the things you should have done
- Jump from task to task and never quite finish anything
- Often have to do tasks that you are not inspired by
- Are not moving towards your goals or don’t have any clear goals
- Don’t have a plan of action every working day
- Have clutter all around you
- Never have time to exercise
- Frequently eat on the run or at your desk
- Often work in the evenings and weekends
- Never have time to read or attend webinars or seminars
- Are too busy to meditate or just ‘be’
You are out of ‘Flow’ and probably on the verge of overwhelm.
Life is so short and I am sure none of you want to take 3-4months out of your hectic life to recover from driving yourself so hard.
So stop, evaluate what’s important to you, reach out for help from others, delegate those tasks that drain your energy, value your greatest asset , which is ‘YOU’ and take quality time to rest, reflect and re-charge those batteries.
Work with a coach and take time to set goals and a plan to achieve those goals with someone who can keep you accountable.
Be totally present wherever you are and for whoever you are with and take time to savour the magic that is all around you every day.
Steve Jobs on his Death bed said –
“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.
However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.
At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.
In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of god of death drawing closer…
Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth…
Should be something that is more important:
Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days
Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.
The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.
That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.
Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.
What is the most expensive bed in the world? Sick bed…
You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.
Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life.
When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – Book of Healthy Life.
Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.
Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.
Treat yourself well. Cherish others.”