This article first appeared, here, on The Studio site.
There are moments, as someone who works for themself, where the “getting going” can be tough. I sometimes struggle to find the energy or even just remind myself to continue fostering my creativity. It’s strange, to me, because I am actually one of those people that loves what he does – when I actually get to do it; I have built a strong practice built on even stronger relationships.
These vulnerable moments where the future almost always seems uncertain or totally absent from view are a normal part of life and business.
Even with this at the forefront of my mind, like everyone else, there are still days I hate waking up in the morning if I know there are less than pleasurable tasks ahead of me or that the day to come will have no room for exercise or mindfulness. The feeling was worse and far more frequent when I was in-house for a short time a way back, but it’s most definitely gotten better.
The trick is to take better care of yourself; prioritizing your mental and physical health above all else. Below are some talking points that’ll help you gain (or regain) momentum in life and business. Ready?
Come to terms with the reality that ‘normal’ does not exist. The concept of normalcy is not only unfair, it’s is unrealistic, too. Our ideas of normal are basically reflections of the lives we see around us but it’s important to remember that everyone’s life, struggles, and journey are different; based entirely on their individual circumstance, level of privilege, and determination.
The best thing you can do is surround yourself with the right people. Personally and professionally, it’s important to audit the pool of people that make up your life. You want to make sure your personal relationships are benefiting the personal side of things and that your professional ones are equally as fulfilling. You’re looking for quality over quantity; fulfillment over distraction.
Start paying attention to the advice you receive. More important than listening to advice is analyzing it. Make mental note of its value and credibility and track your source’s success rate over time. Is the person preaching familiar with the topic, you, or even remotely close to the level of success you want? Afterall, you wouldn’t take directions from a tourist. Would you?
#LifeHack: Find or fix up a 1” x 1” piece of paper and write the names of those closest to you on it. Your friends, family, and most trusted colleagues. These are the people that matter most. These are the people we need to think about before we speak and those that should have the most influence on our lives.
Find a mentor. There is no one on this planet who has or will ever accomplish anything without the help of another person; emotionally, physically, and mentally we are all in this together. Your mentor needs to be someone who directly relates to your career path or life trajectory and they shouldn’t be so far ahead of you in that journey that you’re unable to keep up. That’s important.
Get a grip on your time. Time is our single most valuable asset. It depreciates every single second and we never know when the market is going to tank completely. We need to cease every single moment possible and you’d be a fool to waste a day – especially the younger we are. I tell everyone [who asks] to work as hard as they can to get to an 80/20 Production vs Consumption ration; to be mindful of every hour we spend consuming (content, lectures, media) we should spend another four producing.
Finally, listen to yourself and invest in your own flourishing — in whatever way possible. It has always been my belief that our focus needs to be on these four key areas: Education, Wellness, Audience, & Character. They’re the things that make us who we are and the topics we need to revisit weekly – if not daily – to ensure we remain on a thriving path.
I had always felt confident with my ability to analyze and correct the areas of education, audience, and character. Generally speaking I am a very inquisitive and relatively mindful person; it’s easy for me to seek out new learning and audit the people that influence my life, as well as check myself into when and how I need to recalibrate. But, in the summer of 2017, I chose to no longer ignore my struggles with my weight, body image, and confidence and worked tirelessly to embrace a new wellness plan. I hired Jamel (my trainer) and an amazing nutritionist, Raquel, here in Philadelphia; together they filled in a gaping void that had been deteriorating a very long time.
Remember, no matter where you are on your journey – you get to decide what happens next. It’s never too late to regain control and implement positive habits to shape the future.