Today was the final day of 5 days workshop delivery and tomorrow I head off to India to work with a new client on developing an internal brand and culture strategy connected to 5-star service delivery. That is quite a mouthful and as I write this I realise that I must take some time and just refocus and relax my brain. It has been running on high voltage for the past week and now it seems to have just reverted to robot mode and repeat what it knows. During this workshop, we discussed the habitual mindset and how this can alter one’s perception of change. This week has shown me the importance of time to allow the brain to shut off and recharge as this ‘always on’ not only impacts health it also dulls forward thinking and creativity. I am sure it is much like how Buster felt the one time I saw him chase his tail. He did try for about 5 spins and then realised it was not for him. His active brain saw no sense in it and off he went in search of something to sniff or eat – got to love a beagle. I appreciate that some people find solitude in sameness and in routine and that is what makes us all unique in our own way. However, if I was to speak on my behalf and for others with dyslexia or with ways of thinking that need more autonomy and scope of creativity and change, it is important that we look at employees more as individuals. To be healthy we need to feed the body with the correct level of nutrients and hence the mind is equal in finding the right balance of workload. Over the next few months, I plan to monitor this more with myself between my need for sameness, creativity, exercise, social and me time. What I have truly recognised is just how out of balance I am in these 5 zones. It is like I live in excess in 1 or 2 of them till I drain the bucket and then I move to another and with excess, I drain the other. In order for my creative brain to find the nutrient that it needs to be happy and healthy, I must start to balance the filling and draining of these 5 areas with more conscious and forward-thinking strategy.
Mantra: Be kind to your creative brain
Today was a bit of a hard day to get going and I am not sure if it was some residual aftershocks from my session with Martin or maybe consuming more alcohol than I should have following it and without question not eating a balanced diet on Sunday have not helped. All this has not left me feeling full of beans today. It is important to recognise that not every day it’s going to be great and with a more conscious mindset I can see how different influences can have negative impacts on my overall wellbeing. I had to smile today as I overheard three people on the underground all discussing how they hate Monday’s as if it was their last day on the miserable earth. As the narrative continued they bounced from one person to the other in their office – with more blame as to how they did this or that! All the time ignoring the part that they played in this corporate battle of the ‘I am the star’. I appreciate that for many without ever considering the prequel that might have played out only days before might be the factor which distorts this view of “Mondays”. If I was to take ownership of what I do on the weekend and fully appreciate what impact this will have on how I feel on a Monday – would I still do it. Mmm often times yes, as I am only looking and living in the now and not focused on my personal wellbeing. I haven’t been kind to myself or utilised my downtime in a manner that promotes wellness in my mind, body or spirit. Potentially the way I see Monday is a reflection of the way I have treated myself over the last two days looking back over the weekend when I was not kind to myself and I utilised old habits to find some form of solitude. That definitely is impacting on the way I feel both physically and mentally about the start of the week. It is important that leaders recognise this both in themselves and in their teams. Promoting wellness in an organisation should not just be during the working hours if we are creating a culture of wellbeing and a belief in promoting all aspects of it to ensure that our people understand the benefits not only about wellness at work but how to maintain it as part of their everyday life. This comes in the form of greater education and as a higher purpose for the way in which they treat themselves and then respect others. And in this we can help support staff to find a much better work-life balance.
Mantra: wellness is mine to own
Today was a little bit of a slow day and something that I needed to own. Of course, we need to have some downtime time however what I have started to recognise in myself is just how destructive I have been to all three of my zones of mind, body and spirit. When left unmanaged I was not nourishing them appropriately and then one would have a knock on effect to the other, the balance between them lost. Falling back into my poor diet habits of just not to eating clearly sent my body into shock as it was enjoying its new diet. This is surprising as I have been feeling great after eating breakfast and a healthy lunch and a balanced dinner and today I did not eat until early evening(if that is what you’d call it), as I consumed two pieces of toast with cheese just before bed. Having explored my diet with Victoria this was one bad habit that I fell back on and the result was clearly not great for my motivation or my sleep. However, this time was slightly different as I chose to consciously feel the effects on my body and mind and I could see a negative correlation. This has been a pattern that I have been doing over the last couple of years blind to the real impact that it was causing. In my first consultation with Victoria, we discussed the importance of nourishment and what the right food brings to the bodies and the impact it has on our wellness. From my perspective, I often fall into bad habits just at the brink of introducing a new one that would benefit me. The question I have been challenged with is – why? I have worked on several organisational transformation programmes and found the answer in the people and businesses that I have worked with over the years and those of which have been challenged by change. Even though the current environment is not benefiting us, it offers comfort in the fact that we know what we know and we know what we get. So often we will either stay in or return to this behaviour as we draw comfort from it. In many cases, we will extend our reach just far enough to get to the edge of our comfort zone and then return home. As a species, I guess this is something we have been doing since our hunter and gatherer days and the early formation of cultures and communities. This cycle just repeats itself whether it be a single individual or a company – reinforcing my point that businesses behave like humans because they are driven by humans. My advice to organisations that want to embark on any transformation is to ensure that you choose the leaders to manage the change carefully as it takes an inspirational leader that is not challenged by risk and has the resilience and open mind to drive it through to the end and beyond.
Mantra: Feed my spirit with the foods I eat.