One of the key challenges and frustrations for a business owner is how to maintain high energy levels and the strength that is needed when the business is going through a major change.
Unfortunately, many CEOs do not make this a priority in their lives, because taking care of your personal health and well being can easily get lost in the shuffle of a busy day. The thing is, we don’t appreciate what we have until we lose it!
I had this experience some years ago, just as I was really succeeding. I was going from one big contract on to the next, selling high-ticket IT services, and taking on more and more responsibility. Then, through experiencing a loss in my family, my mental state and health spiraled down at an alarming rate. It took many more months to recover from that set back both personally, and as a result, professionally.
During that time my business was definitely compromised. I lost my motivation and had to take time away from an over-committed daily agenda because I was not well and I struggled to function effectively in the business. Had I known then what I know now, I would have ensured I took care of my body and mind first thing in the morning. That would have given me the extra capacity to handle my work and life during this rough time. But, instead, I was reacting rather than responding. I was closed to taking on new opportunities and I had to overcome these set backs, as a result.
We all have lessons to learn in life, and this was a major life lesson for me: Take care of my health as it’s the foundation for my success.
As your business grows it is essential to give yourself the gift of time and reflection just for you in the morning. One of my CEO clients made a commitment to rise at 4am and spend one hour on reading and inner reflection. It has made a massive difference to his business and he reports he can now think more clearly. All of this has opened his mind to generate better ideas for new opportunities.
An acronym I share on group calls with clients when it comes to taking care of health and energy is remembering the 4 Fs:
Let’s go through what the 4 Fs are and how you can use them for increased energy and well-being.
This is about taking time to reflect, meditate, or pray for 5 to 10 minutes each morning. You can do this for longer if you have the time. If you are not into meditation, you could read something that will inspire or motivate you. I call this “training for the mind”. Create a workout for your mind to install positive, uplifting thoughts and feelings first thing each morning, or as often as possible. You’ll be building your focus and training your brain to zone in on making your day the kind you want everyday. (Bonus points for writing your positive thoughts down to reinforce them longer!)
A flexible body means a flexible mind. I ensure I do some kind of stretching each morning for a few minutes. Basic Yoga stretches is a great way to start an exercise routine and to warm up the body. Or simply create your own stretching routine for a few minutes. There are a number of great resources on YouTube such as Yoga With Adriene, that are free to access. If you prefer, go for a morning walk around your neighborhood upon waking, and just take a few minutes to get the blood flowing and your eyes looking out to the horizon. It will get your energy going and is ideal to get your circadian rhythm aligned for a great day.
Fortitude means building your strength. Ideally you want to use some weights to push and create resistance for the body. This really helps to release positive chemicals in the body, which is great for dealing with stress. When the heart is pumping, positive chemicals are released to handle the stress responses later in the day. If you don’t like weight training then try some basic push ups, squats, or doing a yoga plank position for core body strength. You can always google ‘Month Long Plank Challenge’ and discover some excellent 30-day challenges to build core strength, which will help your entire body and mind grow stronger. And of course, there’s always that new gym membership if you just need a bit more motivation and company to get back into building yourself up.
Doing exercise is great. However, there is a saying “You are what you eat”. The body needs certain nutrients and supplements to help it perform properly throughout the day. And, if you are exercising, you need the right kind of food to recover quickly and maintain higher energy levels. The body requires alkaline foods, such as vegetables and fruits, though most of us eat more acid-based diets. Drinking alcohol or coffee, or eating too many breads, cakes, pastas, or refined or sugary foods will mean you’re eating many more acidic forms of food than the body needs.
If there is too much acid in the system then we get tired often, we struggle to stay focused, and, if acid builds up in our systems, this causes diseases and illnesses in our body. Our physical and mental health relies on alkaline-based foods, such as all the green foods that grow out of the ground. Examples of great alkaline choices are broccoli, kale, cucumber, avocado and various fruits.
What I do personally after a morning work out is make a green shake with some vegetables and fruits and then drink that down. The body feels replenished and my energy is set for the day.
Successful people and successful businesses understand that having a system is what leads to repeatable and growing success and achievements. There are systems for studying, making money, building businesses, and clearly also systems to build or maintain higher energy and health levels. Applying a simple system, such as the 4Fs my CEO clients enjoy incorporating into their day, can make all the difference to your success, too. Consider some of the benefits of following this 4Fs approach:
Why not reflect on the 4Fs approach and see how you can integrate some, if not all 4 approaches above to help raise your personal energy? Chances are excellent doing so will mean you will witness further growth in your business due to being able to embrace more and better opportunities.
If you want more tips or ideas on how to raise or maintain higher energy levels to become the Energized CEO you want to be, please go to the contact page and get in touch with us. We offer a variety of training opportunities that have helped 100s of others.
And if you have a tip for how you like to stay on top of your physical or mental health so you can perform your best every day, please share your tip in the comments section below. We know your comment will be able to assist another to keep going strong!
When coaching CEOs and business owners the theme of getting more “me time” seems to be a common thread in order to stay balanced, sane, and on track.
Until recently ‘mindfulness’ and business leaders did not seem to have much in common. Mindfulness, or what I prefer to call meditation, was perceived to be for hippies and people who are “soft” and “sensitive” and even “lost”.
But, that perception has been changing over the years as big firms such as Apple, Google, Nike, Yahoo and many others are embracing this “productivity strategy”, as I would call it. It helps business leaders, heads of departments, and employees to get more focus, feel more inner stability, clarity of thinking, energy, improve memory, and so much more.
Meditation helped me and even saved my life when I went through a serious life shift at mid-life. I needed to answer some of the deeper life questions for myself after losing a family member, a marriage, a business and a home all in the space of a few months. I was pushed from within to find out and learn how to meditate.
I attended various meditation workshops. I went on Buddhist silent retreats and listened to powerful discourses around the applications of meditation and working with wisdom to surmount what seemed like impossible challenges. They helped me come though that life crisis with more strength and awareness. The tools I garnered from that phase set me up to coach and support like-minded individuals who did not have the time to go on silent retreats or read spiritual texts.
The key to meditation is the development of awareness. When you have awareness, be it around a business issue, health, or relationship problem, it sparks the beginning to make important changes in order to improve your situation to go to the next level. Awareness requires one to create space in the mind. When you have space around your thoughts you are able to see things clearly and calmly.
As a coach I notice when clients work with me over a period of a few months, they are able to create a “Thinking Space” for new ideas and break through their glass ceilings of personal limitations. Clients gain deeper insight and awareness around their business and life issues and it happens quickly. Two brains are more powerful than just one person trying to work things out with filtered thinking processes or from holding onto old assumptions.
Unfortunately, most business leaders are too busy doing and doing and have no time for Being. After all we are human Beings and not human Doings!
In a future blog, I will offer some basic tips to get you going on your own mindfulness or meditation path.
In the meantime here is a list of CEOs and heads of large firms who have practiced meditation daily. (Taken from an article from Business Insider):
The video posted above this blog is of Russell Simmons CEO of Rush Communications and various other ventures, who has a Net Worth of over $340 Million. As Tony Robbins, the Personal Development Success Guru says, “Success Leaves Clues”.
What are your views on this theme? Leave a comment or write to us if you’d like some pointers of where to start with Mindfulness and Meditation as a tool to enhance your daily productivity and focus.