By: John Allen Mollenhauer Co-author, The Curse of the Capable, and founder of PerformanceLifestyle.com
We all strive to be successful in life; however, sometimes our lifestyles hold us back from fulfilling our dreams and pursuing our goals. This guest post by John Allen Mollenhauer proposes several key points as to how we can all take the initiative to change our story and move forward, leading healthier and happier lives. – WST
The most precious resource for business people is not time, but rather energy. Today’s fast-paced world often depletes our energy and wears us down, resulting in a trend that is difficult to recover from. Therefore, we need to find ways in which to better manage energy to stay healthy.
In our all-access, information age, which is biased toward constant output, productivity and achievement, it is deceptively easy to deplete our energy, our very force of life, by partaking in too many activities and subjecting ourselves to unhealthy lifestyle practices in order to deal with the stress and fatigue.
Time vs. Energy
Don’t get me wrong, time is extremely important, but time without enough personal energy is limited. Just living, being, hanging, relaxing and recuperating your energy during “downtime,” (not necessarily achieving) is not really downtime; it is preparation for productivity, especially when you proactively recuperate. This time is more productive than half-baked work time, which is perceived as wasted time in many cases, or what has come to be known as time that is not fully engaged.
You can be somewhat productive when you are half-baked but not for long. You will eventually hit the wall, leading to unhealthy lifestyle practices to deal with stress that often leaves you overweight and, eventually, with health complications.
Got the Picture?
So why do so many of us fall prey to that downward trend of chronic overwhelm and exhaustion (for some, fatigue) from too much stress, leading to an inevitable lack of recuperation and, over consumption (for some, under-nourishment from nutrient poor foods), being super busy despite physically inactive, while the pounds just keep creeping up and up?
The Answer to That Big Question is Multifold
It simply can’t be boxed or isolated into one cause. There are several “underlying causes,” which is why the only term that can encompass them all is “your lifestyle,” or how you think and live. More specifically, your lifestyle is how you manage your energy, including the quality of the food you eat and your activity levels. Your lifestyle is responsible for the majority of the results you experience, and whether or not you achieve your goals with any modicum of quality of life in the process.
The exceptions are various aspects of your environment over which you have no control. Even though we are responsible for how we respond and steward our environment, as best as possible, we do not control it. So our conversation becomes one of lifestyle and the fundamentals of sustaining success and staying healthy with high energy in a fast paced world.
Lifestyle Choices: Strength Vs. Weakness
For the purposes of this article, I will break the subject of lifestyle down into the two primary reasons business people, who are the most directed people in society with the greatest levels of demand on their time and energy throughout the year, have difficulty managing their lifestyle and staying out of that downward energy trend.
- Many cannot slow down, are not emotionally fit to make changes at the right level and are caught up in addictive habits used to deal with stress. The addiction least suspected is to performance, constantly performing. Otherwise known as workaholism or overachievement.
- They don’t have the lifestyle skills that promote healthy performance and sustainability, or what we call the “performance lifestyle” skills, the opposite of a performance addicted life.
Every day we, as business owners, wake up to accomplish tasks, achieve goals and realize some vision we have for our lives. Our lifestyle is what enables us to work and achieve our goals and do so either in a position of strength or on that downward trend, which is a position of weakness.
A position of strength is the result of having enough support, balance, sound thinking, motivation, clarity, a game plan, the right work load, goals that inspire us and the practical skills of recharging our energy, including healthy eating and exercise that keep our bodies strong. This is a successful or “balanced and healthy” lifestyle.
A position of weakness is the result of trying to achieve our goals without enough support, living out of balance with distorted thinking, unclear of our motivations, by winging it, getting little sleep, eating and/or drinking whatever, staying busy, perhaps over committing, overwhelmed with little energy left to exercise, with ever-increasing anxiety and pressure as we sink into that downward trend. This is not a successful lifestyle.
Making a Difference in Your Life
What makes the biggest difference between those who have successful lifestyles and those who don’t? Well, it starts with their story, their thinking or, what I call, their “mindset.” If your mindset is not working for you then it’s working against you, and it needs to be adjusted.
You can start anywhere in the lifestyle equation, but if your thinking is not supporting you and your lifestyle or how you manage energy, food quality and intake, activity levels, etc., it will all be thrown out of whack with any spurt of change short lived. You simply won’t have the resilience you need to sustain a high quality of life.
The key is clearing or “resolving” the thoughts or “stories” running in your head that are driving you nonstop, perhaps a little bit crazy and taking your focus away from being present in the world you live in today with a lifestyle plan and goals that work for you.
If you want to surely remain stuck, then leave issues in your life unresolved and let your ambitions (many of which may be an attempt to feel better about yourself) outpace your ability to take care of yourself. Achievement ultimately can be a cover up for many forward-moving people who aren’t ready to face their life or the current condition.
Taking the First Step: Finding More Information
I co-authored a book with Arthur P Ciaramicoli PhD to help people resolve and clean up the hidden challenges to living a balanced, healthy, potentially high achieving life. In particular, the story(s) that prevents capable people from moving forward in a position of strength, sustainably and successfully. The Curse of the Capable will help you with the change process and support you in making positive changes to your story and your thinking, so that you can eat, think and live better.
About the Author: John Allen Mollenhauer AKA John Allen or “JAM” is a lifestyle entrepreneur, trainer and coach who has spent a significant portion of his adult life identifying the most dependable lifestyle skills that would enable anyone to live in balance with vibrant health and peace of mind, while achieving even their most ambitious goals without sacrificing their life. He publishes PerformanceLifestyle.com and delivers online training to help people live healthy in a fast-paced world.