Business has a lot of ups and downs, so it's good to focus on keeping yourself healthy and in a positive frame of mind. Here are six shortcuts for stressed execs everywhere.
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Some things never go out of fashion. The ancient Greek saying “a sound mind in a healthy body is an ideal that everyone should strive for” has never lost its resonance. In fact, if you want to succeed in business in 2015, there isn’t a better ideal to aim for.
Maybe I’m biased though. I have always loved sports and I’ve found throughout my career, I can improve inspiration and motivation throughout my team by making sure both mind and body are both well exercised on a daily basis .
It’s one thing to have a sportsman’s dedication and drive, but quite another to be able to bring that - in a positive and meaningful way - into your working life. But that’s exactly what I strive to do as Chief Sales Officer - it’s my job to keep my team motivated, communicating with each another and aiming for more each and every day. Here are my top tips for motivating your business self:
1. Strong posture, strong mind, strong body:
Think back to your childhood - I know my teachers were always saying, “shoulders back, chest out.” Perhaps that’s why I never sit down at work! I stand at my desk which keeps me on my toes all day, literally.
People who sit down can be prone to slouching. This makes them more introvert and less inspired. But longer term, bad posture can also affect your health. If you stand, you are likely to gain a more confident posture, which translates into the way you work.
2. Work out before you clock in:
There is no doubt in my mind training hard at the gym every morning gives you an edge. It has the double benefit of clearing out my brain while training and re-focusing my mind once I’m done. Plus those endorphins help to blast away unnecessary stress.
Getting to the gym early also cuts out excuses about not having time at the end of the day, feeling too tired or being pressured into after-work drinks with your mates. If you exercise in the morning, you can feel good about yourself for the rest of the day, knowing your workout is ‘in the bag’. Trust me,that feel-good feeling radiates from you and, if you channel it in the right way, has a positive impact on everyone around you.
3. Meet your demons head on:
It’s probably fair to say that everyone has demons. Don’t let your past hold you back. There’s plenty you can learn from previous encounters, mistakes or pressures.
Personally, I tackle demons during my daily workout - whether it’s me against the weights, against my personal best time on the rowing machine or knee deep in mud on the single track on my mountain bike. Whatever your demons are, beating them will leave you feeling on top of the world.
There’s no better motivation. Afterwards you will feel enthusiastic, determined and up for anything.
4. Share the pain & the gain:
When you first think about it, you might imagine that working out in the gym is a solitary experience. But everyone there has the same goal - to better themselves and be the best that they can be. That gives regular gym goers a sense of camaraderie - a knowing nod to the poor guy doing his ‘legs day’.
This is one of the subtlest lessons to apply to your working life, but one of the most important. Sometimes it might seem like you’re on your own with an impossible challenge, but you can draw strength from, and give support to, the people around you so long as you remember you’re all in it together and have the same goals.
At Adapt, the team is our most important asset. We are able to excel because of the knowledge and technical skills across the entire company. It’s important to respect the skill of different individuals and work to bring out the best in everyone. ‘Succeed together’ is the most important mantra in our business and is the most important motivational tip I can share with you.
5. Find your inner strength and harness it:
You will never succeed in business if you don’t feel compelled to work hard for your achievements. Draw on the strength you find at the gym for that extra rep, or your last burst of energy that helps beat your personal best. And then bring that determination to work with you.
Doing anything by half measures will only get you halfway to success. People that excel in business are often compelled to chase the thrill of achievement. It’s addictive. In order to truly achieve, you need to state your objective, then commit to it and then find the strength within yourself to meet it.
6. Don’t accept ‘No’ for an answer:
If someone tells me I can’t do something, I become determined to prove them wrong. Turning negativity into a challenge is a great way of motivating yourself. I live by this - I even have a tattoo that says ‘find a way or make one' in Latin.
When you’ve denied someone the satisfaction of ‘no’, you’ve probably just done something incredible for your business. Maybe you’ve made a groundbreaking deal or found a solution to a complicated challenge. Either way you’ve set yourself apart from the rest of the business world.