It stands to reason that based on the rhetoric we have been fed all our lives, if we work hard and persevere, we will succeed. While it can be argued that sometimes there are other factors involved such as the act of networking, which in Trinidad and Tobago translates to "it’s not who you know but who knows you", the question remains, at what cost are we willing to be successful? Further, what is success for us and how will we know we have achieved it?
Like a house built on the sand, success that comes without the fulfilment of an inner purpose, washes away with a change in the current of life. Many times we fall into the trap of allowing society to define our life for us or our families' limited views to castrate our dreams on how we want to live our lives. There are so many people suffering with mental depression and dying from stress related illnesses, trying to achieve the golden goose of society’s version of who we should be. We go sleepless, we exercise less, we eat poorly or skip meals, we become addicted to our phones and technology, we are physically present at family moments but never mentally there, we miss the important stuff. Then sadly, we get to that destination only to find ourselves alone and/or sick with few trusted friends and family to share what society says success is, with. Sometimes, it's the opposite. We try to do everything right - exercise, sleep, eat healthy, never say no and be there for everyone but the results are the same. In each situation, we are not taking care of ourselves.
Self care, a phrase that many run away from, is the act of taking care of yourself. That includes taking time off from all your responsibilities, delegating, saying no, making time in the day to breathe and tap into your spiritual being, practicing mindfulness, switching off. On this journey of entrepreneurship, self care is of extreme importance. Remember, this is not a sprint, it’s a very long marathon, and if you’re going to survive, you need to pace yourself, listen to your body and replenish when necessary.
The late Steve Jobs said, “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? ' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
As we lay the foundation in our businesses to one day become enterprises, we must never forget what is important to us and why we started this journey in the first place. Keep your vision and your mission at the forefront of every decision that you make. We all innately want our lives to count for something, to mean something to someone, to be remembered for having walked the earth. In the same light, our businesses should do the same. “Try not to become a person of success, but rather, a person of value”. - Albert Einstein
Written by Alicia Psyche Haynes