Sunday, July 15, 2007

What I think all the self help stuff misses

So you've read all the business self help books you can find. You got all these really great ideas about how to improve your business and your life but you still feel something is missing. I couldn't agree with you more. What is that something? I believe that it is simply - Personal Health.

Scientific studies show that the fitter you are the better your body is able to cope, the better your stamina and that you generally lead a much better life. Unfortunately, the trend in today's Western society is definitely the opposite. We spend more and more time sitting in front of computer screens during the day and TV screens at night. It is well documented that today's society is getting fatter and fatter with demands for 'fast food' growing.

Personal health and fitness is not just a passing fad that you do for a while it must become part of your life. Why do most diets fail? Because they are only for a very short period of time. Once you come off a diet what happens? Usually you stack on the pounds plus a few more for good measure. Why? Well if your body is cruising along for a number of years on a certain intake and style of food then it gets used to it ( you call this conditioning ). Then all of a sudden your make a radical change and don't eat as much what happens? Well, the body is smart, it starts converting more food into stored energy ( ie fat ) until the previous eating pattern returns. When you end the diet the body doesn't know that and keeps storing more enegy until it recognizes the diet is finally over.

It takes about 6 months for you body to actually realize “Oh, I see, you are doing things differently, I'll have to adjust”. so any change you want to make is going to take about 6 months before it starts showing any results. The problem is that the most effort required for change is always required up front. Unfortunately, we can't say “Hey, can I pay for this change with set payments over a few years?”. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. This is reason most people fail to make change, they aren't committed to the significant up front charge.

If you want to improve your business, I think the first thing is to take a look at yourself. Am I eating right? Am I getting enough rest? Am I exercising enough? Do I spend time away from the business releaxing and recharging? Most business owners would probably just laugh at these ideas and say that to be successful you can't afford any of these. Well I hate to tell you that if you get sick you probably won't have a business because the whole thing depends on you. Generally, no work, no money is the tune for most small businesses.

Improving your personal health will allow you to do more, work harder when required and bounce back but best of all it will lead to an improved life. Isn't that what we are all striving for? What the hell are you doing if you aren't about improving your life?

Now don't get me wrong you don't have to go out and start running a marathon tomorrow morning at 6am. The secret to achieveing anything is small incremental improvements. As I have said before if you are going to climb a ladder you take it one rung at a time, you don't try and jump seven or eight at a time. The challenge is to develop the discipline to not only make these changes in your life but to stick at them. Remember - anything worthwhile requires sacrifice.