Recently, having survived the bedtime routine, it dawned on me how in the early stages of life our wellbeing, diet and even bedtime is to a large extent in the hands of others. Out of our control, it is our parents, schools and the surrounding environment that heavily influence and shape our experiences, quality of life and often attitude.
Our childhood influences undoubtedly affect the person we become in adulthood. But as we become weaned from such close influences and institutions, moving into perhaps higher education or the workplace, the responsibility for how we go about life and how we conduct ourselves shifts almost entirely to us.
So what advice could I offer those embarking on their business life and looking to get the most out of themselves in order to lead a fulfilled life?
Firstly, it is important to be engaged and have open and honest communication with colleagues. Resolving any disputes that may arise, keeping channels of communication open and investing time and care in these important relationships all pay dividends in the future.
Be decisive. A lack of decisiveness costs companies thousands of pounds every day whether through lost opportunities, waning productivity or eroded morale. Conversely leading American business advisor, Ram Charan, suggests clarity of thinking improves self-confidence and helps us manage daily stress levels more effectively. So, be in control of your choices and be decisive, thinking through available options rather than letting things drag on.
Keep an open mind. A challenge or change should be embraced as a positive influence that lifts us out of our daily routine and changes our mind set to a more positive way of thinking. As Darwin points out, sometimes life can be as simple as ‘evolve or die’.
Take care of yourself. What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain. As well as pumping more oxygen to the brain, regular exercise can also boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep and feel better. The same goes for diet, eating a healthy diet is proven to improve problem solving as well as performance both in mathematical and creative tasks.
The above is all well and good but I guess the over-riding message I’d pass on to my boys is that whether at work, rest or play, be in charge of your actions and attitude. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Make the most of yourself, because that’s all there is of you.”
by Andy Dawson, Managing Director