Business leaders are pressured from all angles. How can C-Suite executives successfully toggle between the busyness of day-to-day demands and the balance so many yearn for? The answer is to find “flow” or “the zone” as some refer to it.
Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi, the best selling author of Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience is often attributed to popularizing the concept. Simply put, “flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.”
How can time starved, pressure packed executives consistently achieve such a state. The formula for “flow” is methodical and achievable. Leverage the following suggestions to create your life balance.
Meditation is extremely powerful yet for many very difficult to do. There are countless blogs, books and YouTube videos that can be referenced to find “your way.” A common approach to meditation is to simply and slowly count your breaths. By focusing only on your breathing, one becomes lost in the present moment. To empty the mind of all thoughts may sound easy but is quite challenging. Try to sit and not think. Really. Stop thinking. Not easy!
Exercise is equally important to creating a balanced executive life. Much has been written about the positive ‘feel good” quartet of chemicals in the brain to include, Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin. Endorphins are the naturally occurring dream drug producing “runners high.” Beyond a positive feeling endorphins in the blood reduce stress and anxiety. Exercising is the all-natural and completely organic way to experience euphoria. Beyond the physical benefits, regular movement makes you feel great, increase personal self-confidence and provides the motivation to accomplish goals.
Regardless of life’s challenges, we all have something to be thankful for. Rather than supplicate for what you desire, turn your focus on the many blessings you may have in your life. Examples might include, health, intelligence, home, family, friends, food, laughter or fun. Appreciate all that life serves up; the good and the “bad.” Then find the silver lining in life’s twists and turns. Be grateful.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. The ageless cliché continues to this day. Yet, beyond planning, balanced executives prioritize. By consciously deciding what we focus on vs. allowing distractions to drag us in competing directions, executives can radically increase productivity and energy through intentional clarity. The late Stephen Covey’s classic 7 Habits of Highly Successful People suggests high performers start with the end in mind. Crystalizing key priorities is critical to achieving desired outcomes.
Once core deliverables are determined strong executives passionately pursue each objective until completion. Only through continued actions are life’s endless challenges overcome.
It takes roughly 21-35 days of applied application to create new habits. Creating a defined process and then committing to carry through for roughly one month is all it takes to begin the journey from busyness to balance. Practice disciplined consistency.
Why then are so many struggling for balance? You tell me. I’d love to learn.
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