Discovering Life, Learning and Leadership

Are you living and leading at a sustainable pace?  Do you take time to refresh yourself so that you can live and lead at your best?  If you believe that life is more about what you contribute than about what you acquire (I believe this), it is important to take care of yourself so that you are able to contribute your best to others.  Finding the right balance between making a contribution and recharging your own personal energy level is critical.

I enjoy mountain biking at Lost Lake, Whistler, BC

As a Type “A” person, I find it easy to push myself hard and find it hard to take it easy.  In my younger (and less wise) days, I often burnt the candle at both ends without taking time to relax and recharge.  I learnt the hard way that this was not sustainable and that it didn’t lead to making a maximum contribution.  In fact, I even felt guilty for relaxing when there was so much to be done.  Over time, I learnt that investing time to refresh and recharge was not selfish and was actually both personally beneficial and a gift to others.  When we are at our best, we are best able to make a difference in the lives of others.

Relaxing and refuelling has become an important part of my life.  I work hard at not working (if that makes sense).  My natural tendency is to go from one challenge to another and from one piece of work to another.  Forcing myself to take time to relax, exercise, and enjoy life is an important part of my self-leadership.  While I am making progress in this area of life, I still have a ways to go.  Someday, I hope to be good at relaxing.

I like what Bill Hybels tweeted:

“Knowing how and where to replenish is critically tied to leadership sustainability.”

Terry Small also shared an interesting tweet:

“Your brain responds to what you keep track of. It just does. What are you tracking?”

In recent years, I have tracked the number of times I exercise each year as the process of tracking it motivates me to exercise more regularly.  I do better at exercising when I focus on enjoyable sports and activities that include one or more of my family.  For example, after a great morning at Sonrise Church, Sunday afternoon my son Nathan and I enjoyed a bike ride (my 159th workout of the year) through the trails at Joe Brown park.

For me, bike riding is a great way to relax.  As I mentioned in my Meet Me page, I love mountains.  Mountain biking is a fantastic way to relax, get a great workout, refresh and enjoy time with family and friends.  Nathan and I enjoyed a great ride at Whistler on Saturday.  Check out my Flickr photostream to see some of the photos I took using my BlackBerry Torch during the ride.

Only the Energizer Bunny keeps going and going.  What are some of the ways that you like to recharge your energy level?

8 Comments to Recharging Your Energy

  1. Oct 17, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I can relate to what you are saying here very well. Also an A type personality I have a very difficult time making sure I take time to relax. Its something I’m learning to do. Thanks for your shared learned wisdom in this area. It was a good reminder for me this monday morning as my week starts up.

  2. Arun's Gravatar Arun
    Oct 18, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Besides daily walking, I find meditation a good way to connect with the universal force.

  3. Gleydson's Gravatar Gleydson
    Oct 19, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Hi Arthur!

    My wife and I love to watch movies and TV series! It’s our relaxing time most of the time. 🙂

    Otherwise we take the little one for a stroll and try to keep the pace with him. He’s taking lots of advice from that bunny. Hehehehe…

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kristy Tymos's Gravatar Kristy Tymos
    Oct 22, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    In looking back over my last few days, I realized my commute from Nanaimo to Burnaby has become more than a project requirement.I really look forward each week to a transit nap, a coffee downtown Vancouver, and running into people on the ferry. Its not exactly recreation, but those are three aspects of my commuting day that replenish me. Sometimes the small things are enough for simple, daily sustainability, but I do need to identify and practice those large aspects that inspire me. In Psychology, we refer to it as Attention Restoration Therapy.

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