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Guest contributed by Laleh Hancock
Yes, the pun is intended! It’s well documented that executives who ignore the warning signs from their body put themselves at risk of serious illness and injury, if not death.
I am not about to give you a list of do’s and don’ts. You’re smart. You’re talented. You’ve read it all and you know what’s required. You’re a leader and an executive, and yet you are reading this for some reason.
Maybe you have started to notice some of those warning signs, such as being tired all the time? Maybe you’re being distracted by your busyness and you just need some assistance with implementation? Maybe, even though you have it all – the job and the life that everyone wants – you are not as happy as you thought you would be, and you feel like there has to be more to life?
You can have, be, and do it all. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Best of all, you don’t have to give anything up. In fact, you need to include more! You need to include YOU and your body!
It is not about ‘balance.’ It’s about mindfulness; remaining aware of everything, no matter what is going on, and taking effective action, which includes making YOU and your wellness a priority.
It’s easy to ignore all those whispers from the body when you are busy – “Sure, I need to go to the bathroom, but I’ve only got one hour to get this done. I can wait.” But can you really afford to? The more whispers you ignore, the more likely your ‘glass hammer’ is going to turn into a ‘sledge hammer’ to the back of the head! It starts with whispers, but if you don’t pay attention, it ends up shouting at you with debilitating illnesses or injuries that force you to take a break.
Three things can turn it around for you:
1. Breathe – Focusing on your breath reconnects you with your body. Try taking a breath up from under your feet, to the top of your head, then release it back down to your feet; reconnecting you to the contributing energies of the Earth. This has a calming effect, adds oxygen to your body, allows you to refocus your attention and energies on the thoughts and actions that will create your desired outcome with greater ease.
2. Ask questions. The point of a question is to gain additional information and awareness, not rely on answers we’ve already concluded. Questions are expansive, and they put what you desire out into the ether, so the universe can contribute back to you and your body.
Start with, “What would it take?” questions. Ask them often, and expand your sense of the possibilities available to you that you may have not considered.
For example: You’re on a tight deadline, but your body wants to move. Ask, “What would it take to move my body and meet the deadline?” Really wonder about it. Then continue with your activities and see what ideas shows up. Asking the question without a conclusion in mind makes you more receptive to possibilities that you may not have considered before. Ideas might come to you that enable you to do both, such as taking your phone to record ideas while you walk around the block. You can have a planning and creativity session with yourself on more effective solutions, and still give your body the contribution it was asking for.
3. Expand Your Zone of Awareness. It’s so easy to become myopic when you are busy, yet this is so contractive and counter-productive to the creativity required for success.
Throughout the day, stop and ask, “Where is my focus?” and expand it. All you have to do is ask, and it will automatically expand.
Also ask, “Is anything required of me?” and follow any ideas you might have. You may find a particular project pulling on your attention, or you might hear a whisper from your body.
The more you include your body in your goals, the more your body will have your back. It’s a two-way street!Like most of us with ambitious goals, Laleh Alemzadeh-Hancock tried to do it all. Climb the corporate ladder, be a great spouse, and the perfect mother. She would self-sacrifice, eat at her desk, stay late, and still manage the household. Both her family and her work were priorities. The only one who wasn’t was herself. Now, Laleh is a management consultant, Joy of Business facilitator and the CEO of Belapemo and Global Wellness For All. With nearly 30 years of experience in operational excellence, change management, and organizational wellness, Laleh has inspired and empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals, including Fortune 500 executives, to seek greater success, happiness and wellness.
Laleh Alemzadeh-Hancock is a management consultant, Joy of Business facilitator, and founder and CEO of Belapemo and Global Wellness for All. A passionate change-agent, Laleh has empowered thousands of individuals including Fortune 500 executives, government agencies, not-for–profit organizations, athletes and veterans to achieve optimal growth.