Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Relax, Recharge, Succeed

We live in a world of 24/7 connectivity. Add the fact that we have been going through the worst economic crisis in decades and it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to keep pushing and pushing to get ahead. (Nothing like putting a little pressure on yourself)

We all have responsibilities. Responsibilities to our business, our employees, our employer, our family and to our community. But let’s make sure we do not forget the most important person on that list. You have responsibilities to yourself. You cannot possibly live up to your responsibilities if you do not take care of yourself.
Stress robs you of energy and of good health. You need to plan into your schedule some time to relax, renew and recharge your body and spirit. You have to give your brain some down time – you have to occasionally unplug from the 24/7 chatter and simply relax and enjoy your surroundings.

On a recent vacation I walked into the restroom just off the hotel pool deck and noticed a man talking quietly on his cell phone. He appeared very relieved that I was not a family member and he had not been “caught” on the phone. He was talking to the office and looked very guilty in the process. What a shame I thought. He is so tied to work that he cannot even relax while on vacation in sunny Florida. He had to hide the fact that he had his phone with him. What kind of vacation (and life for that matter) was this man having? How could he relax and recharge when he was both worried about staying in touch with the office and worried about being caught with his phone. What a sad situation.

I am not saying that it is wrong to check in occasionally while away from the office but if you have to hide that fact, or simply feel lost if not connected, you have a problem. My premise has always been that true success involves your head, heart, health, wealth and world. If you do not step away from the hustle and bustle of life to simply enjoy your family, friends and the world around you, you will never achieve true success. You will not enjoy a happy balance between the five elements of success.

It is not only okay but it is essential that you plan some down time (day off, long weekend, extended vacation, etc) into your schedule. Your overall performance can only stay at a top level if you give yourself the time to recharge. How often have you said to yourself “I really needed this vacation”, or “I waited too long to take this break”. It is only through the process of recharging that you can achieve the highest levels of success in all areas of your life. So right now – before you get distracted – plan your next break. Write down when, where and what you are going to do. Get it scheduled and enjoy both the countdown to and the break itself. You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quote for the week

“Continuous improvement, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking your potential” – Winston Churchill

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quote for the week

"It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you could do alone." - Andrew Carnegie

Achieving True Success is a Marathon, not a sprint.

You might think that running a marathon is a solo endeavor but I can assure you that your thinking is incorrect. While the actual performance on race day is between you and the course it is only with the assistance of a whole host of people that you will arrive prepared and ready to go on race morning.

Finding success in your life is much the same. Yes, it is your life but you cannot do it alone. Without the help from and interaction with other individuals, groups and organizations you will never achieve the levels of success you are capable of.

I recently ran my first marathon race. Had I trained on my own I would have failed miserably. I assumed that to train you just ran a little farther each day until you could run the distance. The reality of training is much different and it was only through working with my team coaches that I was able to go from not being able to run a mile to completing a 26.2 mile run in just 7 months. Training consisted of runs at various lengths (including backing off for recovery) as well as learning about proper hydration and nutrition before, during and after training runs. Proper shoes and running gear were additional subjects to become familiar with. It just isn’t enough to lace up your old tennis shoes and hit the road.

It’s just not enough to head into life in search of success. You need the advice of those who have done it before and can help you avoid making costly mistakes. Mistakes that might cost you both money and/or time. It’s great to think about blazing a trail, but you do not want to burn out in the process. Enlisting the help of other s will prove invaluable in more ways than you will ever know.

No one, even the so called overnight sensations, simply sprint to success. It takes discipline. It takes commitment. It takes planning. It takes vision. And most importantly it takes a team. Asking others for help is a sign of strength, confidence and intelligence. Realizing that the assistance of others will help you achieve your dreams more quickly is a vital part of the process.

Achieving true success is indeed a marathon. You have to keep putting one foot in front of the other – but as long as you keep moving forward you will eventually find yourself pushing past the “finish line” and into levels of success you had not even thought possible.