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Posts tagged ‘Work Life Balance’

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS ARTICLE NOW AVAILABLE WITH JUST A CLICK

 

Samuelson Article – High Performance Wellness

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HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS ARTICLE

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The full seven-part article  on High Performance Wellness is now available in PDF at no charge. If interested, just click…

Samuelson Article – High Performance Wellness

Michael

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A SPECIAL “HELLO” TO THOSE WHO ATTENDED MY WORKSHOP ON “HIGH PERFORMANCE BALANCE” AT THE ABC CONFERENCE IN ORLANDO.  IF INTERESTED IN A COPY OF THE WORKSHOP SLIDES, JUST CONTACT ME AT THE EMAIL ADDRESS ABOVE AND I’LL SEND THEM OUT ALONG WITH ANY OTHER ESSAY YOU WOULD LIKE.   IT WAS MY PLEASURE!

www.SamuelsonWellness.com

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part VII – Summary (So What?)

 

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part VII of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture.

As someone who’s been both a successful entrepreneur and a successful intrapreneur, helped raise three terrific kids, talked my wife into sharing her life with me for forty years and lived long enough to be called, “Grandpa Sam,” I consider this article on High Performance Wellness to be of utmost importance.

I am reminded of a billboard I once saw, many years ago, when I was traveling to give a speech in the shadow of Mt. Shasta in northern California. I can’t recall the sponsoring organization—may have been the Adventists—but I remember the words:

 “What Good Is It If You Are a Success at Business But a Failure at Home?”

 At that point in our lives, I was on the road two – three weeks a month trying to build a national company while my wife was at home managing a household, raising three little kids (ages 11, 6 and 4) and working fulltime as teacher. Both of us were burning the candle at both ends… from both ends of the country. The chance glimpse of that billboard was a watershed moment for me.

“What Good is it…”, indeed.

Immediately after that trip I vowed to spend more time with my family and less time on the road. It wasn’t easy. There were bills to be paid, a steep mortgage on a new house, country club dues (for the children, of course), new car and the ubiquitous Jones who lived everywhere in our neighborhood. I wanted it ALL! Of course, as I would learn over time, I already had it all. I had three terrific kids, a woman who loved me and a clean bill of health that would one day—if I continued to take care of myself—allow me to live long enough to hear a precious little one call me, “Grandpa Sam.”

“What Good is it…”, indeed.

_____________________________

  • Without a personal mission statement, you’re traveling this life road without a roadmap. Write one, today.
  • Review your business mission statement and if it is not in harmony—supports and advances—your personal mission statement pay particularly close attention to how you are living your life. You should be operating under a cautionary yellow flag. If you can’t see it, open your eyes and drop the arrogance. Beware of assimilation.
  • If you buy into the notion that the six dimensions of wellbeing (physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social and economic) are important, conduct an internal assessment of how you are currently nurturing each individual sector to strengthen the whole you.
  • If you were to die now, today, this minute, how would you rate your life with respect to achievements and failures?
  • IF you were given another ten years, what would you do with those years?
  • Take a look at your list of goals, both short term and long term. Are the goals yours, or are you someone’s proxy?
  • Test your level of passion and commitment to your stated goals by completing the seven-day validation exercise in Part VI.

Next Article Coming Up:  Be Aware of and Beware of … THE CHRONOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR!

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part VI – How Do I Validate and Support the Goals I CHOOSE?

 

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part VI of a seven-part essay on work/life balance.

 

Advancing/Hindering Personal Goals & Personal Happiness: A 7-Day Exercise

Understand that, in the moment they occur, all actions are selfish. All of them. Decisions are made, and actions are taken, in the context of what we regard as meeting our best interests. There is a perceived emotional payoff. This is not in itself right or wrong, it simply is.

Writing down and announcing goals like losing weight, quitting smoking, starting an exercise program or finishing the Great American Novel make us feel valued, even righteous. Friends applaud, mom is happy, Oprah smiles, society is delighted with our decision. In fact, the external shouts of approval often drown out our internal hesitations, fears, doubts and even desires. Externally driven “Shoulds” trump internally driven “Wants.” And, while the “Shoulds” in life may get you engaged the “Wants” are the key to sustainability.

To determine whether your goals are actually yours and not just the urgings of your Aunt Betty, Dr. Phil, or your significant other, you need to monitor whether or not YOUR actions are advancing or hindering YOUR understanding of personal happiness. If you are constantly blocking goal attainment, it’s time to examine your passion or just maybe you need to restate your goal is terms of what you truly want.

 

 

For the next seven days — within an hour of getting out of bed — answer the three questions, below:

Coming Up:

Part VII:  Summary (So What?)

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part V – Once I CHOOSE a Goal What’s The Likelihood I’ll Stay With It?

 

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part V of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture.

The Process of Change (That’s Really What We’re Talking About)

Change!  No matter how badly we want it for ourselves or for others, sustainable, meaningful, change is a process, not an event.  The process is linear and sequential.  It progresses from intellectual, to emotional, to visceral before it becomes cellular.

  1. The Intellectual Phase:  We are informed (passive)
  2. The Emotional Phase:  We are engaged (active)
  3. The Visceral Phase:  We are moved to action (active)
  4. The Cellular Phase: We are the change (passive)

The KEY stage is the visceral stage.  Or, as Howard Beale would say, the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” stage.

Measuring Passion, Opportunity & Probability

Respect the power of the possible. Probability is the product of statistical variables, possibility, however is a defined empty cup waiting to be filled to the brim by your courage and determination.  Without passion, setting long-term goals are meaningless regardless of available resources.  In all cases passion will trump opportunity.

Using The Probability Gauge,™ select one of your achievement goals and chart both the passion you feel toward the goal as well as your available resources (opportunity).  The point of intersection will give you an idea of how feasible this goal is.

Sustainable change does not exist…until your soul awakens and your bones start shakin’

Coming Up:

VI:       How Do I Validate and Support the Goals that I Choose?
VII:     Summary (So What?)

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part IV – If Life Gave Me a Do-Over What Would I CHOOSE to Do-Over?

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part IV of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture.

 

DISCOVERING YOUR PASSION

You know what moves you, what stirs your soul and shakes your bones. You’ve always known. Problem is that a lifetime of listening to others, quieting your inner voice, tempering desire with compliance and compromise, and applying a thin, comforting, facade of “Someday” have buried your spirit under a confusing tangle of noise, shadows and distortion.

As you think about a life “Do Over,” spend some time with the poem below. The first half reflects our lack of confidence and our dependence upon everyone else to see what is best for us. Our inner voice and spirit pleads to be heard but, like speaking to a child, we shush the voice so that the “adults” can be heard. In the second half of the poem, we have learned to pay attention to our gut, to our heart, and to our instincts. We appreciate the interest of others but focus on personal accountability and self-direction. 

______________________________________________________________________________

Be Very Quiet & Listen…

 – Michael Hayes Samuelson

 My ears accept your words but that’s where they seem to remain

The vibrations are clear and, yet, distant — yes, there is logic and the gift is truly appreciated

However, a persistent mute tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

 

Be still, I say, there are others talking and you must be quiet & listen

 

I pay attention; I really do, however, I only catch a spark and then it’s gone

What did you say?  I heard you speak but I can’t seem to follow

A muffled breeze tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

 

Be still, I implore, let those who know — speak their truth — you must be quiet & listen

 

I nod my head; follow directions, and give thanks for such strong support

Often the direction takes me to a place where I feel safe but somehow not secure

An echo of a whisper tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

 

Be still, I shout, who are you to contradict — you must be quiet & listen!

 

The companion voice wishes to speak but is smothered by noise from the street and

Daunted by scolding doubts from within

_____________

Years, reflections, and nurturing wisdom bring clarity to the voices

I listen with all my senses and pay close attention to the whispers — particularly those of

A used-to-be-mute that tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

Speak up, I say, and I will be quiet and I will listen

 

I pay attention as I strain to hear the pleas and questions hidden among the words

What did you say?  Sometimes, my ability to understand is impaired by the noise of emotion

The goddess tugs at my sleeve bringing both a cleansing breeze and a basket of dreams

 

Speak up, I implore, and reveal the truth — I will be quiet and I will listen

 

I nod my head, follow directions, and give thanks for such strong support

Often the direction takes me to a place where I may not always feel safe but I do feel secure

A clear voice tugs at my sleeve and protects me from distractions

 

Speak up, I shout, keep me aware of contradictions — I will be quiet and I will listen

 

The companion voice speaks freely high above the noise of the street and is

Encouraged by a growing confidence that glows from within

_____________

 

Exercise:  Discovering Your Passion…Clearing the Jungle

Write down three risks you’ve consider taking but you were stopped by the “Yeah, But…” syndrome. 

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

Write Your Obituary (assume you die today…sorry)*

  • name (including nickname, if any
  • age at death
  • residence
  • date of birth
  • education
  • employment
  • charitable, religious, political affiliations
  • ACHIEVEMENTS
  • disappointments
  • a published quote that sums up your life
  • six words to sum up your life
  • hobbies, sports, interests, activities
  • designations, awards and other recognitions
  • names of parents
  • siblings
  • marriage(s) date of, place, name of spouse
  • children (name(s), current residence(s)
  • humorous story

* at a minimum, write down “ACHIEVEMENTS” and at least one other item in bold

 Great News! You Get to Live Another 10 Years…Edit Accordingly

  • ACHIEVEMENTS:
  • DISAPPOINTMENTS:
  • HOBBIES, SPORTS, INTERESTS, ACTIVITIES:
  • SIX WORDS THAT SUM UP MY LIFE:

helpful, but secondary…

  • Make a list of the books you’ve read over the past five years
  • Ask your best friend where your passion lies (immensely helpful)
  • What magazines do your read (online or traditional print)
  • Favorite Websites
  • What kind of movies do you like (action, romance, comedy, independent, documentary…)
  • Reflect on the above and journal your thoughts (no more than 3 pages)
  • Go back and re-read your two obituaries

Exercise:  Discovering Your Passion…Clearing the Jungle

What I Expected (no surprise)…

  • ______________________
  • ______________________
  • ______________________
  • ______________________

What I Discovered…

  • _____________________
  • _____________________
  • _____________________
  • _____________________

Coming Up:

Part V:       Once I Choose a Goal, What’s the Likelihood that I’ll Stay with It?

Part VI:      How Do I Validate and Support the Goals that I Choose?

Part VII:     Summary (So What?)

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part III – How Do I Currently CHOOSE to Advance My Thrival and Wellbeing?

 

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part III of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture. 

thriv.al,  \ˈthrīv\-əl\: a steady state of achieving higher levels of physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual awareness by living a life of integrity, curiosity, authenticity, compassion, and dedication to the collective needs  of all beings.”

In the following exercise please list those activities that appeal to you in each of the “Six Dimensions of Wellness and Thrival.”

–  MH Samuelson

Definition of Terms & Sectors:

Physical (nutrition, sleep & exercise) – health professionals can objectively introduce the newest USDA food guidelines, introduce you to the five food groups and explain the difference between healthy and unhealthy oils, but they can’t govern your personal preference for the preparation, presentation, taste and texture. They can tell you to eat dark green vegetables, but you have to decide if you like broccoli, romaine lettuce or raw baby spinach.  They can also objectively point out the importance of following exercise guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, but you and your doctor have to decide if it will be moderate for 30 minutes a day, five days a week OR vigorous for 20 minutes a day, three days a week.  And, while an educator can show you a whole host of strength-training exercises, you will have to decide which 10 exercises you enjoy enough to do eight – twelve repetitions, twice a week.

Intellectual Stimulation – A health educator can objectively discuss the latest findings regarding brain plasticity and show you the brain “use it or lose it” research, but you have to choose activities that not only stimulate your brain, you also enjoy! Chess may light up neurons, but it may also drive you crazy! Is it Mozart? How about the classics or a decent comic book? Learning a language works at any time but so does learning a new musical instrument. So, what language? What instrument? How about crossword puzzles or Sudoku? Professionals can tell you to stay engaged and to continue learning new things, but only you can make the personal choices that will keep it fun and encourage you to be a student until your dying day.

Emotional Health, Happiness & Positive Psychology – A health educator can objectively guide you to research touting the importance of nurturing your emotional health and the importance of striving to be happy (make that happier). Tal Ben-Shahar from Harvard, Martin Seligman, author of “Authentic Happiness” and the Dalai Lama are among the many that will show you the evidence and present logical arguments that support positive psychology. The experts and the literature can explain the “whys” and the “hows,” but YOU have to look for, identify and protect what aids your emotional health and makes you happy (a happier you makes for happier people around you…). Is it time with your pet? How about time with kids and family? Maybe — for you — emotional health is buoyed whenever you complete your daily “To Do” list or spend time outside playing in the sun. You know what makes you happy so plan time each day to do it!

Spiritual Engagement and Mind/Body Development – A health educator can tell you that spiritual growth puts life in context, it gives meaning to your every thought and action. Regardless of where you find it — bricks and mortar, open fields, tops of mountains, desert canyons, ocean waves, or cuddled inside a child’s laugh, spiritual essence is all around us. As the poem states, “[Spirituality is] forever present without the need of definition, transparent to some, blindingly radiant to others, existing without beckon; eternally ours….”

Christ, Moses, Buda, Mohammad, Lao Tzu, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet also remind us of the importance of finding and following the path to happiness and freedom for ourselves and all beings. But, where is your path? How do you know when you are traveling the right road? Where does it lead, today? Tomorrow? Tough questions. Once again, only you will know (know already) what actions, activities, people, places, thoughts, and dreams bring peace to your spirit and strength to your body.

Social Interaction – A health educator can tell you that John Donne nailed it when he wrote: “No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And, therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

Though written in the early 17th century, the sentiment and fact remain true. We need each other for our safety, economic growth, advancement of science and art and for our emotional and physical well-being…our wellness.

Health educators can show you empirical information all day long that points to the importance of staying connected with others, but they can’t tell you what type of human contact is best for you! Join a square dancing club? How about a bowling league, church choir or a softball team? Maybe you’re quiet and shy and would prefer to remain anonymous. If that is the case, how about using email, a chat forum for your favorite hobby or a social network like “Facebook.”

Economics and Personal Finances – A health educator can tell you that a failing economy and poor personal financial management are a tremendous source of illness-causing stress, but you have to know your personal danger signals and take appropriate prevention measures. A financial advisor can tell you about the hazards of a balloon mortgage and the dangers of escalating interest rates on credit cards, but you have to accept responsibility for risky investments, reckless spending and payment defaults.

The six dimensions of thrival and wellbeing:

Here are possible elements and activities …

Keep in mind the fact that one element may fit into several sectors.  For example — for many individuals — exercise scores in many sectors.  A sunrise/sunset bike ride may trigger spiritual satisfaction; walking with your family may earn social, emotional, AND physical marks.  Swimming laps and light jogging is known to stimulate the release of nitric oxide triggering “eureka” moments that lead to problem solving (intellectual). Playing Frisbee in the park with your dog may fit into physical, emotional, spiritual and social.   You get the point … it’s up to you!

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part II – What do I CHOOSE to Stand For?

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part II of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture. 


“Each of you is perfect the way you are…and, you could use a little improvement.”

– Shunryu Suzuki

What is my purpose in life, what do I choose to stand for? Age old question, “Why was I born?” “What is My Purpose?”

Let’s start by developing a first draft of a personal mission statement. Don’t worry about the fine-tuning. For now, just write what comes to mind. To help you get started, here’s an example:

“My personal mission is to progressively and consistently achieve measurably higher levels of physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual awareness by living a life of integrity, curiosity, authenticity, compassion and dedication to the collective needs of all beings. And, to assist others in doing likewise.”

A bit lofty, perhaps, but a personal mission statement should reflect an ideal that you aspire to, something grand, an oath proudly pledged. It needs to be straightforward enough to always recall, subjectively as well as objectively measurable and dynamic to the extent that it is continually evolving.

Another example:

“My personal mission is to be a constant and continuous positive role model for my children and grandchildren. I will demonstrate this by my acts, my deeds, and—most important—my intentions.”

Okay, your turn.

“My personal mission is to …

Now, what is your company’s mission statement? Are the messages in sync? If not, you are heading for trouble. It’s pure hubris (look it up) to suggest that it won’t impact you in some negative fashion.

At the Health and Wellness Institute, our mission was to:

“… progressively and consistently achieve measurably higher levels of physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual awareness by living a life of integrity, curiosity, authenticity, compassion and dedication to the collective needs of all beings. And, to profitably assist others in doing likewise.”

The only difference between my personal mission and the mission of the company that I was charged with managing and growing was the introduction of the word, “profit.” Not a small difference, you might be thinking, and, you are correct—no margin…no mission—but the general philosophy is in perfect harmony.

Okay, your turn.

My company’s mission is to…

Is this in harmony with your personal mission statement?

Coming Up:

Part III:      How Do I Currently Choose to Advance My Thrival and Wellbeing?

Part IV:      If life Gave Me a “Do Over” What Would I Choose to Do Over?

Part V:       Once I Choose a Goal, What’s the Likelihood that I’ll Stay with It?

Part VI:      How Do I Validate and Support the Goals that I Choose?

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part I – First I Must CHOOSE to Wake Up

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

– MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part I of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture. 

Because we are human we do not always do what our mothers taught us to do. We make mistakes. We slip. Sometimes we feel guilty, sad and remorseful. This is followed by a strong commitment to change; to get back on the right path, to do all those things that mom, our first-grade teacher, Captain Kangaroo, Bert & Ernie, Mr. Rogers and Oprah told us to do. Unfortunately — just like when on a bike path — once we slip off we slip off our designed life path we tend to make deeper and deeper grooves in the soft grass and mud. If we stay too long the grooves just get deeper until we find ourselves in someone else’s tracks; someone who slipped off the path long before we came along. Without fast action, we quickly adapt to this new trail. It seems so much easier to just continue along in the mud. The problem is that we know we are in the mud and that we would be much safer if we could break through the rut and get back on the stable road. However, when we try to leave the sloppy and increasingly dangerous trail we are intimidated by the bumps as we smack up against the groove’s edge. So, we settle back into the rut (we’ll try again, later). We lack the courage, strength or will to risk the initial jar so we stay where we are.

Such is life both on and off a bike path. The difference between life and a bike path is that, on the life path, there are plenty of people willing and anxious to tell you what’s good for you — what you need to do to live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life — to get back on the right path. Parents, teachers, priests, rabbis, monks, brahmas, mullahs, your Aunt Betty, Dr. Phil and the next-door-neighbor stand ready to offer (push) advice your way. Mostly, this advice is well intentioned, but it is often general in scope with little or no personal relevance.

The Science of Life and the Art of Living

Any newsstand magazine, professional website or internet blog can give you a broad wellness formula made up of good sense tips (mom told you all of this a long time ago) like eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep, stay away from tobacco, drink alcohol moderately or not at all, exercise regularly, spend time with family and friends, read a good book, see your doctor and dentist annually, wear your seat belt, believe in a higher power and stay away from a steady diet of cable news.

The science of life is general and objective. Foregoing bad genes and catastrophic events, evidence shows that a life accented by a healthy blend of proper nutrition, physical activity, rest & recovery, intellectual stimulation, emotional support, spiritual engagement, economic security and social interaction tends to be long and relatively free from illness and infirmity. Science can show you how to construct a strong skeleton but YOU have to lay down the muscle and tease out the connective tissue that makes your unique system work, for you.

So…What Do YOU Want?

There are countless “How To…” books outlining the objective science of life complete with full-color templates.  But, only YOU can explore, discover, design and nurture the unique, subjective, deeply personal, art of living your life.

The question is: What do YOU want?  Where do YOU want to go? What predictably triggers and sustains those moments when you feel truly happy and satisfied with the life you’re living?  Is it yoga or deep breathing exercises? How about The Bible, The Koran, The Torah, or “The Four Noble Truths?”  Is it truly better in the Bahamas … and does it simply take a trip to Jamaica to feel all right?

Perhaps, for you, well-being — high performance wellness — kicks into gear when you read a good book, spend time with your kids, go the movies, buy gifts for your grandchildren, drink a cold beer on a hot summer day, watch television or work till dawn on a project that comes to life and tickles you each time you give it your undivided attention? For me, every few years, it’s a quiet far-far-away mountaintop, exhausted, sleeping alone in a tent surrounded by strangers who quickly become forever-memory friends. For my wife it was once the thrill of climbing out of a perfectly good airplane, hanging from the wing strut, letting go, and floating through the sky (YIKES!).

How about you? Of course you want to increase and sustain your life satisfaction but first you must WAKE UP! You must become AWARE and take inventory of what brings meaning to your life, today. You must open all your senses and pay attention.

Life Satisfaction & The Art of Living

As stated above: Because we are human we do not always do what our mothers taught us to do.  We make mistakes. We slip.  However — the good news — because we are human, we can also symbolize, anticipate, learn, self-regulate and self-reflect.

Because we are human, we can change.

Just maybe you fell off that life path because your wheel wasn’t balanced properly — for you! Maybe you fell off the life path because not only was the wheel balanced for someone else … you may have been on someone else’s life path, as well. Time to get on your own path and balance your own wheel!

Designing and Balancing Your Own Life Wheel

Think of life as a wheel divided into six overlapping sectors: social, spiritual, intellectual, physical, economic and emotional. Each sector is made up of elements (spokes) that support and strengthen the wheel. They are both dependent and independent aspects of what makes you, you.

On a bicycle wheel, the spokes pull the outer rim toward the hub.  Likewise, on your life wheel, the elements and activities (spokes) connect and pull the outer rim — the universe — toward you.  YOU are the hub of your universe.

The responsibility for selecting, securing and maintaining sector elements — the spokes — is yours.  Happiness (life satisfaction) is influenced by the integrity of each spoke.  To maintain high life satisfaction you need to routinely check and, as needed, adjust the composition of each spoke as well as the overall balance of your life wheel.

Should you choose to advance your high performance wellness, the sections that follow will help you awaken to what is meaningful. Not just what your head says is meaningful but—way more important—what your belly and heart says is important, those things that touch your soul and shake your bones.

Caution: This journey is not to be taken lightly.

Awakening brings acute awareness, accountability and a profound understanding of choice. No longer will you readily assume the role of victim when confronted with obstacles, disruption and hardship. Nor will you will routinely subjugate your joy and passion for the interest of others. You will instead own and be responsible for the moments of your life, all of them. Clarity lifts the gauze that both protects and restricts what you see and feel.

Do You Choose to Wake Up and Balance Your Own Wheel?

Coming Up:

Part II:      What is My Mission in Life, What Do I Choose to Stand For?

Part III:      How Do I Currently Choose to Advance My Thrival and Wellbeing?

Part IV:      If life Gave Me a “Do Over” What Would I Choose to Do Over?

Part V:      Once I Choose a Goal, What’s the Likelihood that I’ll Stay with It?

Part VI:      How Do I Validate and Support the Goals that I Choose?

Part VII:      Summary (So What?)

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Effectively Balancing Work, Home, and Community


well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 NOTE 

What follows is a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture.   

 

Once Upon a Time…

 …when I was the CEO of the Health and Wellness Institute, I had this photo blown up and hung in our main conference room. Let me tell you why.

Back in 2001, I was on a 14-day trek that would take me from Lukla to the Mt. Everest basecamp and the summit of Mt. Kalapathar, in Nepal. And, no, I didn’t summit Mt. Everest, nor did I attempt to do so. The trek to basecamp and the pre-dawn scramble up Kalapathar was plenty enough challenge and quest for me, thank you. The mountain and glacier views were spectacular, of course, but it was Nepalese and Tibetan cultures and people that made the trip awesome (true sense), a true once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

This is not the time or place to tell you about all of my adventures on the road to Mt. Everest but it is, in the spirit of The Reader’s Digest, the perfect place to tell you about one of “My Most Unforgettable” characters.

Tenzing is the name of the young man pictured, above.  I took this picture after he rested on his 27 mile  journey from Tingri, a small border village in Tibet, to Namche Bazaar, a trading center in the High Kumbu region of Nepal.  The basket of blankets—with his gear on top—weighed approximately 50 kilos (~110 lbs).

Checkout the moonscape. Tenzing was fifteen years old. He was wearing flip-flops.

When I met him, he smiled, bowed, and wished me, “Namaste.” While we talked (translated by Ang Nima Sherpa) he smiled and laughed. As he started back on his journey he smiled, bowed, wished me “Namaste,” and started singing.

Tenzing didn’t know he was miserable. He didn’t know he was working. In the language of the High Kumbu there is no word for “work.” There is only life and living. Trading blankets is what he did, his home was wherever he happened to be at the moment (Buddhist), his community was whomever he met on his journey. The only balance he was concerned about was strapped to his forehead.

“Work/Life Balance” is a western construct. It is both a blessing and a curse birthed from affluence and comfort. It suggests a paradox of duality; a dichotomy, a plural world of singular opposites that we must identify, separate, divvy and balance. What nonsense. Yet, it is our nonsense so we must deal with it. And, so we will.

The underlining theme of this article is “Choice.” And, yes, you do have a choice. We may not be able to control circumstance, but we can control choice.

This article is divided into seven parts and includes some opportunities for self-reflection. The reflection is, of course,  up to you. Remember, it’s all about choice. You can choose to be like Tenzing and whistle and sing while you work live or you can moan and complain. Like I said, it’s up to you.

Coming Up:

Part I:      First, I Must Choose to Wake Up!

Part II:      What is My Mission in Life, What Do I Choose to Stand For?

Part III:      How Do I Currently Choose to Advance My Thrival and Wellbeing?

Part IV:      If life Gave Me a “Do Over” What Would I Choose to Do Over?

Part V:      Once I Choose a Goal, What’s the Likelihood that I’ll Stay with It?

Part VI:      How Do I Validate and Support the Goals that I Choose?

Part VII:      Summary (So What?)