How to find balance on the road to success
To travel and live like I do, it takes a lot of juggling and listening. Not necessarily listening to people, but listening to your body. I once use to burn the candle at both ends trying to be everything to everyone at every corner - and then I got sick. Chronic fatigue is common amongst those who work too hard and don't listen to their bodies, and so is many other more serious illnesses.
I'm not going to tell you that it is easy. It's hard to keep the balance right and mostly I get it wrong, but I always try to get back on track. Travelling as I do, I have to battle jet lag, dietary constraints and fitting in everything that I have to do, while still trying to make time for exercise and anything that revolves around health and well being.
Mostly though, these are a few things I do:
- I sleep on every flight that is international - the whole way, if I can. That means perhaps making myself tired before getting on the plane, and missing meals in order to get enough sleep that when I land, I am able to hit the road running. This is an art form, and I get that. It has taken years of practise and discipline.
- Never work on a flight - regardless of what your deadline is. When you work on a flight you are stimulating your mind and that in itself ensures that you arrive without rest.
- Be organised. Whether it is checking the weather ahead of time or packing the perfect suitcase. If you have everything organised to a tee, you will find that you have one less thing to think about.
- Don't book meetings first thing in the morning or in the afternoon that require high energy. Your body will be adjusting to a new time zone, so you have to be kind to it.
- Never dine alone. Every night I have dinner with someone, and it's always an early dinner, but a meaningful one. This allows me to fit in as many people as possible into my travel commitments and enjoy the many restaurants a city has to offer.
- Walk everywhere you can. In New York, some days I walk 12 miles (yes, I have measured it!). Who needs to go the gym when you have walked that far? By walking it allows you to absorb the city you are in and take in the many different aspects of the culture and the lay of the land.
- Eat the best you can. Sometimes, you may end up eating really bad food, but you need to make sure that you are diligent about what goes in your body and that you are balancing the food scales. Often because you go out at night for dinner, you have a glass of wine or two. Make sure you always stop at the second one unless it's the weekend. You will regret it otherwise.
- Pack clothes that go together and if you are a woman, always pack lots of black and a few bright scarves. You will look good anywhere you go.
Success is as much about how you feel as it is about what you achieve. Happy people often achieve greater levels of success than unhappy people. Healthy people live longer, so there is no point in treating your body like shit and then finding out that you have a heart attack and cannot enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Learn to smile more and put down some of the walls that sit in front of you. Everybody likes a person who is present and vulnerable enough to say it how it is. Your life doesn't always have to be peachy. But please, don't be boring! Always have a twinkle in your eye and a can-do attitude, ready for any adventure that may come your way.