“There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.” Arlen Specter
Without good health, we have nothing! It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, when your health is compromised your quality of life will drop significantly. If you sacrifice your health for business success then business success is truly worthless.
This is where business leaders often run into trouble. It is so easy to disregard living a healthy lifestyle because we are putting the needs of the business first. We only have so many hours in a day and exercise, proper diet and rest take away from our “productive time”. However, living an unhealthy lifestyle will always catch up with us and it usually does so when we least expect it and when it is least convenient!
During the course of my career, I have worked with a few people who have had heart attacks or other significant but completely preventable health related issues. Fortunately, these people survived but the negative impact that they, their families and businesses sustained was substantial. I know they would tell you that taking the extra time each day to maintain your well being is much less painful in so many ways than going through a major health crisis like they did.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how valuable our time is and how it is not a renewable resource. In a similar fashion, health can also be an unrenewable resource. Once we lose it, it may be impossible to get back. Consequently, we need to invest time in ourselves every day by doing things that keep us healthy in the long run.
From strictly a physical health point of view, I recommend a rather disciplined approach to diet, exercise and rest. In today’s world of online knowledge, there are an infinite number of resources available to help you with physical health so I won’t get into it too much. However, I will say that you must make physical health a priority and consciously block time in your calendars for it. I have compiled a list of resources that I have referenced in the last twelve months that some of you may find useful;
- Dr. Axe – A great website with a ton of great information on diet, vitamins and supplements, rest and exercise. I particularly like the burst training information.
- The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First – a great book documenting the link between digestive health and overall physical and mental health.
- The Brain Diet: The Connection Between Nutrition, Mental Health, and Intelligence – similar to Ultramind Solution, this book documents the link between digestive health and mental health.
- Anticancer: A New Way of Life
– a great resource to explain how your body processes foods and how some foods promote cancer and how some foods can help prevent cancer.
- On Immunity: An Inoculation – this book explains that the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the risks and that we are a global community of individuals and the lack of immunity in single individuals will definitely impact the whole of the community
- A friend of mine runs EvolveWell. They do executive health assessments among many other services.
- I have another friend that runs Active Back to Health Centre. They offer many health care services including chiropractors, nutritionists and psychologists.
- Dr. Henry Cloud – Provides a lot of great resources for psychological health
Besides taking care of ourselves physically, we need to be properly balanced in seven areas;
- Personal development – we need to be constant learners. If you don’t continually learn, you become stagnant.
- Relationships – we need to nurture our relationships with others and form new relationships
- Business/career – obviously our businesses and careers need to be factored in and balanced with the other six areas. Without a business or career we would not have the financial resources to be balanced in the other areas!
- Financial – we need to pay attention to our finances and make sure that we are financially healthy (e.g., minimizing debt)
- Health and wellness (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) – Health and wellness is not just about the physical aspect. Don’t forget about your mental, emotional and spiritual health. These can be even more important than your physical health.
- Contribution – we all need to give back to those around us. This could be charitable giving, mentoring, coaching, volunteering, etc.
- Recreation and rest – we all need to take a break to recharge. A day or two on the weekends just doesn’t cut it over the long term.
It is easy to get out of balance in one or more of these areas. It takes discipline and honesty to review these areas and ensure that we are not over investing in one area or under investing in another.
Take a few moments this week and do a “well-being” assessment. Are you balanced across each of the seven areas listed above? What areas do you need to give more attention? Don’t be the person that works so hard to be a business success that other parts of your life become areas of failure. This unbalanced approach is what makes business success worthless!
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The World Health Organization
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