In our bizarre modern world, the ubiquitous “work hard, play hard” mentality has driven a misconception that achieving career success and a luxurious lifestyle is inversely correlated with maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. It seems to be widely accepted that achieving better job titles and compensation means working long hours, dealing with stress, and attending evening meetings that involve food and drinks, all of which contribute to less time for exercise, worse nutrition, less peace of mind, and ultimately, worsened health. As a society, we have come to accept this as the nature of the beast, much like I did when I allowed my goals and drive to impact my health, which eventually led to a complete shut down of my mind and body from illness. It is a ludicrous notion that we can be fine with sacrificing our physical and mental health in order to live the lives we desire.
Why is it that most people treat their mind and body as working against them in meeting their goals and attaining their dream life? Exhaustion and brain fog commonly hold people back from reaching their highest heights. It is time to let our bodies work FOR us, not only in living longer, increasing energy, and feeling good, but also in boosting performance to bring the best version of ourselves to our jobs and our personal relationships each day. Humans are born with all the tools, but we just need to develop the skill of self-mastery by training our mind and body to HELP us in achieving greater career and personal outcomes.
The O.C. Tanner Institute conducted a study that found the correlation between an individual’s well-being and work productivity. The study states that those who have poor well-being deliver a sixty-four percent maximum work output, whereas those who have excellent well-being deliver an eighty-three percent work output. Well-being in this study is measured as the combination of physical, mental/emotional, and social health.
The rise in awareness around personal wellness should shred the misconception that taking care of one’s mental and physical health means deprioritizing career achievement. Taking good care of your mind and body will not only make you happier and healthier throughout your life, but will also make you more successful in attaining what you desire. Sounds like a win-win!
Training your mind and body to work for you requires intense discipline, but is skill that can be developed. Firstly, you must accept that you will be making an upfront time investment to understand what styles of meditation, yoga, breath work, and energy work will best improve your performance based on your individual habits and goals. Once the optimal set of mental, emotional, and physical techniques are established, you will need to incorporate these techniques into a daily practice. A daily practice of roughly thirty to forty-five minutes is sufficient, just like a quick gym workout. Consider this your mind-body workout.
What you will find, as I found when I first established a regular meditation and yoga practice six years ago, is that you will more than make up for that time spent training once your mind and body are properly aligned. You will suddenly notice that tasks that typically took you an hour to complete can now be completed in thirty to forty-five minutes, your ability to retain information heard in meetings and presentations will improve, and your ability to convey your thoughts and feelings in a more articulate, direct, and intentional manner will save you from hours of procrastination, deliberation, and rework.
If you have experienced success to some degree, you probably know the value of efficiency and intentional action. Creating better focus, awareness, energy, and internal calm will result in a more consistently sharp, calm, and ultimately successful version of yourself.