I ran into an old friend and client recently. The last time I saw Tom was a few years back, when he was still working out out at the gym I coached at and starting his own business.
We caught up quickly on what was going on in our lives. He talked about running his business — his challenges, his plans, his hopes for its future, and everything he was doing to move all of that forward. And we talked about all the actions he was taking.
He started to gripe a little bit about the state of his health. Since he left the gym, he hadn’t done much to keep up with his fitness or his overall well-being. He tried jiu-jitsu, but got tired of feeling beat up all the time. He plays basketball a couple times a week, but as his team has grown, he doesn’t spend as much time on the court.
There were a lot of reasons why he “didn’t have the time” to take care of himself.
How Do You Run Your Life?
Tom said that running such a small company, he feels guilty if he doesn’t work a lot every day. If he wasn’t the one doing something on any given day, nothing would likely get done. It’s all on him.
It struck me that in addition to his business, he was in charge of a much smaller company as well — a company of one. A company he was going to run for the rest of his life. One in which if he didn’t do anything, it was guaranteed that nothing would get done.
Think about it: would you run a company the way you head up your own health, wellness, and fitness?
Tom is clear about his challenges, his plans, and his hopes for the future. But unlike with his business, he wasn’t taking action to move things forward with himself. And he could feel it.
No matter what you are doing, no matter what your responsibilities are to the people you work for or who work for you, and no matter how many people count on you, you cannot escape your ultimate responsibility — your own life.
No one else is going to manage it or pick up the slack. You can’t delegate the jobs and there is no back burner.
Your life is never on hold. Every action you take — or don’t — has an effect on the bottom line. You are running things, whether you are paying attention or not.
Improve Yourself and Improve the World
In spite of the fact that you are a company of one, your customers and your stakeholders are the people who you work for, who work for you, who rely on you, and who care about you. When you take care of yourself, you are, in turn, taking care of them.
We all work hard to create a better life and a better world. Don’t forget that you must treat yourself like you’re a part of the world. It can’t be another way.