Nearly 300 years ago, a British physician, preacher and intellectual by the name of Thomas Fuller said, “Health is not valued till sickness comes.”
Such sage historical wisdom still holds true today. Those who hope to achieve the highest heights in the 21st Century economy need to take care of something as simple as personal health. Making a commitment to healthy living is a prerequisite for success. But it’s not only physical health that matters.
Those who enjoy long-term success realize that their personal lives must be in order. That means you should care for your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health as much as the health of your career.
It is very difficult to be successful at work when your personal life is a mess. If your marriage is dysfunctional, it’s hard to focus on high-level career achievement. If you lack a set of core beliefs, you may not be able to create philosophy of life that guides you to some great achievement. If you are barely keeping your financial head above water, you don’t have the financial ability to take on entrepreneurial endeavors. Whatever the problem, you will be more successful in all facets of life if you take care of things at home.
A good attitude does wonders for your success. Think positive thoughts and constantly reinforce yourself in your own mind. As Norman Vincent Peale taught us in his famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking, you can cause successful outcomes by forcing yourself to be optimistic.
After you adopt a positive attitude, there are several other things you can do that will make you a healthier person.
If you have a faith, I recommend you practice it. Believing in and answering to a higher power has an amazing affect on career success. Prayer, meditation or whatever you choose to call it, purges the toxins from your mind and gives you strength and confidence.
After faith comes family. No matter how ambitious you are, your family should be one of your highest priorities. Do whatever it takes to protect your familial relationships. If things ever get really tough, you want to be able to depend on those who share your blood. Stick up for your family members and look out for their interests. In the long run you will be far richer if family comes before career.
Close friends are almost as important as family. A long-time friend who truly understands you is worth his or her weight in gold. Put the important people in your life on a pedestal and make them your priority. If you go out of your way to put people first, you will have more business opportunities than you can handle.
Because family and friends are so important, you should adopt an attitude of acceptance. Let them be who they are and enjoy them in spite of all their flaws and weaknesses. Forgive them any time they wrong you. Bite your tongue, when you feel like saying something hurtful to a friend or family member. These relationships are so important, that it’s foolish to put them at risk over some temporary passion.
While relationship-building contributes to career success, so does physical health. You don’t have to be an obsessive gym rat, but being in shape and consuming the right nutrition gives you more energy and stamina.
Keep your home life organized. Make sure your house is generally clean and tidy. Have a good system for organizing your bills and other important papers. Develop systems and routines for the simple, daily things. If you run a tight ship at home, you will have time for important things. After all, it’s awfully hard to conquer the world if you’re constantly misplacing your car keys.
Hobbies and recreation are also parts of a healthy life. Having enjoyable stimulation outside work recharges your battery and contributes to creative thinking. Just don’t go too hog wild with your hobbies. Some people get so deeply involved in hobbies that they hurt their job performance and drain their bank accounts.
Speaking of bank accounts, personal financial discipline is part of a healthy lifestyle. Just as you need to get your body in shape, you need to shape up your financial condition as well. A long time ago, philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.”
There has always been a portion of the population that has chosen to live on the edge of the financial abyss, recklessly spending all they have, investing little or nothing. Unfortunately, that portion of the population has been growing rapidly, and it’s becoming quite a problem.
Living a financially reckless life will eventually catch up with you and hurt your career. If you have no savings, you have no “go-to-hell-money,” the power to walk away from a job or a client when you’re not happy. A lot of financial debt can prevent you from taking some lower paying job that might actually make you happier. For every minute you spend worrying and fretting about how you will make ends meet, you are taking away time from your grander goals.
It sounds so elementary, but it’s worth a reminder. Live a balanced and healthful life in order to reach the top.
That said, let’s end with one disclaimer: don’t be obsessive-compulsive in your quest for a healthy lifestyle, because as comedian Redd Foxx said, “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”