Physical Fitness is Vital to Leadership by Shannon Cassidy

Physical Fitness is Vital to Leadership

Does physical fitness have any bearing on leadership abilities?

The phrase “fit to lead” dates back to the early 1800’s. A leader needed to be spiritually, mentally and physically fit enough to lead a community.

The same could be said today especially physically. Leadership is a taxing position that requires a certain amount of endurance, confidence and decisiveness, all of which have a direct link to the physical state of the body. True to the adage mens sana in corpora sano (“healthy mind in a healthy body”), it is essential to maintain a high level of fitness to keep motivated and disciplined.

It is important as leaders to be actively tuned into the rhythms of our body and the fluctuations of energy we might have throughout each day. Too many leaders put so much energy into leading and achieving that they forget about how important it is to maintain fitness. Why?

 5 reasons physical fitness is vital to leadership

  1. The law of mimicry. Studies have shown that regular team members unconsciously mimic the behavior patterns of their leader. If a leader is undisciplined or not punctual, their subordinates tend to follow suit. In the same way, a leader who does not make caring for her body and health a priority will have team members who will mirror this as well.
  2. Mental wellness. Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress because it boosts your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters called endorphins. Also, by solely focusing on your body’s motions for a period of time, you focus less on the day’s stresses, at least for a while. According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, exercise also reduces symptoms associated with anxiety and depression while improving sleeping patterns.
  3. Creativity. Being physically fit gives a leader the ability and brain space to use creative thinking to its utmost. Studies suggest that even moderate levels of exercise increase cognitive abilities and will help you make better decisions and design creative business strategies.
  4. Productivity. Just like a car that is top condition and filled with gas can go on long trips without incident, so a body that is physically fit can produce all that it is required to produce.
  5.  Confidence. Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Regular exercise boosts self-confidence through endorphins.

A great leader pays attention to health. John F. Kennedy said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

 

Sources:

http://aboutleaders.com/fitness-and-leadership/#gs.Nax4hU0

http://therussells.crossfit.com/2014/11/03/ties-between-fitness-and-leadership-by-dr-carol-himelhoch/

http://weeklyleader.net/2010/leadership-and-physical-fitness/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2012/10/22/5-reasons-why-good-fitness-makes-for-better-entrepreneurial-leadership/#34cf11c167b5

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469

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Five Ways to Recharge Your Body and Soul

Five Ways to Recharge Your Body and Soul

It’s a common scene. You are driving home and you glance down at your phone. Only 1% power left. But you needed to make that one business call before ending your day. You are forced to wait until you get home and plug in the phone charger.

Your body and soul are very much like that phone. It’s probably easy to picture a day when you just wanted to check off one more to do off your list, but only had 1% power left.

But here’s the rub – you still tried to accomplish that task. Many of us ignore the amount of power we have in us, and force ourselves to do more when what we needed was to RECHARGE.

Here are five ways you can plug in your charger and recharge your body’s power to 100%:

  1. Take a walk with no electronics. Follow Robert Frost and take the path less traveled by. Look around you. Consider what you see. Take an extra moment and see the details of that tree. Be a kid and find pictures in the clouds that dance across the sky. Share a “thank you” for four circumstances or people. Even a short gratitude walk can recharge the soul.
  2. Slow down and breathe. Make a conscious choice to drive the speed limit and breathe slowly. Take the stairs or plot the long way to get to your destinations. During this time, if you have to go into any store, go slowly and breathe. Join the longest checkout lane and instead of looking ahead to see when it is your turn, breathe.
  3. Take a long, hot bath with Epsom salts. This isn’t just for Grandma. Epsom salts break down into magnesium and sulphate in warm water and then seep into your skin, soothing aches and providing a natural relaxation. Bath salts and crystals make your skin softer, but Epsom salts address your muscles and nerves. Stay in your bath as long as you can for maximum recharging.
  4. Plan downtime during your work day. Use a break to do a crossword puzzle or listen to a few songs from a soothing playlist. Instead of checking Facebook during your break, read a chapter of a book for the sheer enjoyment of reading. Your downtime can be maximized when you exclude electronics and include peaceful and relaxing habits during that downtime. Back at your desk, you will feel more recharged after a short break.
  5. Get ready for bed earlier and get up earlier. Turn the TV off and spend the last minutes before you sleep talking to a loved one. The importance of sleep is not new. Getting those thirty extra minutes of sleep will give your body the extra energy you need. Get up earlier and take your time getting ready for your day. Rushing in the morning steals peace and uses up extra energy. Take your time and recharge, even as you begin your day.

These simple acts of intentionally recharging your body and soul will keep you focused when stakes are high and will reduce the stress that can harm your health. Today as you plug in your phone to recharge, think about how you can do the same for your physical body as well.

 

Sources:

http://www.beyondthejob.org/take-time-to-recharge.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/opinion/09kristof.html

http://theconsciouslife.com/recharge-mind-body-soul.htm

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/8-ways-to-recharge-your-energy-and-your-spirit

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live fully present photo Shannon Cassidy bridge between

Live Fully Present

One of the best personal development skills you can practice is to live fully present.

How many times have you listened to someone speak to you, be it your boss or spouse or child, and you don’t really hear what they’re saying because your mind is somewhere else? A precious moment has been lost.

How about those moments that something wonderful is happening to you, but your mind is wandering around the “what if’s” of fear? Again, you’ve lost a precious moment of your life.

The answer? Learn to live fully present. Here are five tips to do just that.

Five Tips on How to Live Fully Present

  1. Breathe. When we stop to notice our breathing, we slow down our physical bodies, which in turn slows down our mind. Part of living in the present is not rushing by life’s sacred and sweet moments. Teaching ourselves to stop and breathe will help us slow down enough to take in what your child might be saying to you. It might give you the chance to notice that cloud that looks like a hippo in the middle of the sky. Breathing helps you fully live.
  2. Turn Off Your Electronics. In our world of mobile devices, we have created 45 degrees of separation as we look down at our phones instead of up into someone else’s eyes. The world of social media and online communication can be a positive and wonderful aspect of daily life, but it can also rob us of moments. When you are having coffee with someone, turn your phone off. When you are aware of a wonderful moment, don’t see it through your phone’s camera lens; see it through your own eyes. 
  3. Center Before a Meeting/Conversation. When you are about to enter a meeting, especially during a busy day, it is important to take a moment and “center” yourself. Stop and breathe and think through your intentions. How do you want to present yourself? What is your intention in talking to this person or having this meeting? It is amazing how much more you can be present in a meeting just by taking a few minutes prior to the meeting to get centered.
  1. Stop the Time Traveling. When you find your thoughts travelling back to the past, stop yourself and think about your circumstance that moment. When you sit and find your thoughts dreaming about the future, stop yourself. In doing this you will be practicing how to focus on today and right now.
  1. Practice Mindfulness. We have all been on the road driving somewhere and suddenly we find ourselves at our destination, not realizing how we got there. That can become a common occurrence if we don’t practice mindfulness. Be aware as you do everyday tasks like brushing your teeth or climbing the stairs. Be mindful of every step you take. Practice mindfulness in the little tasks, and you will be more mindful when it matters.

What other tips do you have to live fully present?

Sources:

https://paidtoexist.com/how-to-live-fully-in-the-present/

http://executivecoachingconcepts.com/being-fully-present/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/09/19/the-multitaskers-guide-to-being-more-present/2/#2715e4857a0b2bbaf7b1394a

 

 

 

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Are You Ready for a Big Change in Your Life? Shannon Cassidy photo

Are You Ready for a Big Change in Your Life?

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”—Leo Buscaglia

Many of us made New Year’s resolutions a few weeks ago. So many of us have been tempted by now to throw in the towel and quit. Many of us have.

It’s easy to make resolutions when the calendar says we should think about doing that. But how do we know we are truly ready to make a significant change?

Are You Ready for a Big Change in Your Life? Answer These Questions to Find Out.

Are You Going Through a Life Upheaval?

If you are experiencing an upheaval in your life, be it professional or personal, it is an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself. You can capitalize on the upheaval in one of two ways: learn while doing more of the same or take a new path. If you are having inklings that your need to find a new way, it is good to trust those instincts. A major life upheaval is nothing more than an invitation for growth while setting new strategies into place to make life what you want it to be.

Are You Tired of Merely Surviving?

Going to work, paying the bills and living day-to-day can get extremely frustrating, especially if you think there is more waiting for you. If you think this is you, you are probably ready for a change in your life.

Are You Bored?

We all get bored from time to time. But if you are experiencing boredom on a regular basis, it might be your heart and your mind begging you for a change in your life.

Lynn A. Robinson, M.Ed., is one of America’s leading experts on the topic of intuition. She has said, “Boredom is one of those messages from your intuition that change is needed. It’s a signal that your energy is being drained and that something new needs to happen.”

Do You Have Specific Goals?

A sign that says you are probably ready to change your life is that you have clearly identified your goals. You’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and you know you have goals.

So what are they? Do you have a personal interest you’d like to pursue? Are you looking to start a new career? Are you hoping to gain more skills? Are you wanting to start a small business? If you know what you want to achieve, then half the battle is already won.

Get some advice, research online, or choose a short course to introduce yourself to a network of people who might be able to inspire you and help you. If you have already identified your goals, then this is a sure sign that you are ready for a big change in your life.

Sources:

http://liveboldandbloom.com/06/lifestyle/are-you-ready-to-change-your-life-10-ways-to-know-for-sure

http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/6-signs-youre-ready-to-change-your-life-for-the-better/

http://blog.opencolleges.edu.au/2014/01/08/5-signs-you-are-ready-to-change-your-life/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lamisha-serfwalls/7-signs-youre-ready-for-a-major-life-change_b_7225108.html

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6 Small Changes to Becoming Your Best Self

Need a change? Lacking inspiration? Not living to your full potential?  Drastic changes may not be necessary for this to happen. Being a more awesome version of yourself is entirely within reach.  Simply make these few, small changes and watch your perspective change, your personal contentment increase, and your self-satisfaction grow.

inspiration

  1. Start each day with gratitude.

It is easy to wake up and start the day’s rush and worry from the second we roll out of bed.  Too often we begin our days brushing our teeth to the noise of discouraging morning newscasts, and showering as we mentally list the conflicts, meetings, or “same-ole, same-ole’” we are about to face.  We begin focusing on what is wrong, rather than what is really, really good.  This is the first change we need to make. Before even allowing negativity to enter your mind, begin each morning by filling your head with one new thing that you are thankful for.  Write it down and reflect on it throughout the day.  Considering one new blessing each day causes a shift in mood and attitude, as well as a happier and better you.

  1. Accomplish something small.

No matter how small, choose to accomplish something each day.  Be it making your bed, taking a jog, or adding vegetables to a meal, set a small goal that will fuel your sense of making a change for the better.  Once you begin to develop this new habit, it will become a part of your lifestyle and encourage more small accomplishments. Putting this into practice makes you begin to radiate accomplishment because conquering even the smallest of tasks reminds you that you have more control over your life than you tend to give yourself credit.

  1. Let it go.

Everyone, at some point, has that nagging conflict, that relationship mishap, or that irritating client that eats up their thoughts and energy.  Ironically, however, the person who is the cause of the frustrating thoughts (the frustrater) doesn’t spend a fraction of time giving energy to that which consumes the frustrated.  If you have conflict that is consuming you, LET IT GO!  Don’t waste your energy on what can’t be fixed, nor on what won’t make you a better you.  Flush it out of your system and put that energy into being a more awesome version of yourself.

let it go balloon release

     4. Talk … and listen.  

Go out of your way to make more positive human interaction happen.  Stop and talk to people – ask the Starbucks barista or the bank teller about her life.  Make lunch conversation with the co-worker you haven’t reached out to.  Take a few minutes out of each day to make meaningful conversation and remind people in the universe that they matter.  And listen to them! You will be surprised at how good it feels to make others smile when someone takes time to care for them.  You’ll also find that you learn a lot by listening.  Even more, your burdens will lighten as you begin to by habitually consider others… and you might even make a connection that will change your life because of it.

  1. Take responsibility.

If you are unhappy with something in your life, refuse to play the blame-game.  Look at what you can do in your power to change what you can.  Each day, take a few minutes to consider what you don’t like, what you’ve messed up, what is mediocre, as well as what you’ve done really, really well – and own it.  People will trust you more, and you will empower yourself when you recognize what you have done to put yourself where are.  You’ll also, again, realize that you are much more in control of your life than you have given yourself credit, and you’ll uncover motivation to become a more powerful version of yourself.

  1. Try something new.

Nothing will inspire more change and betterment than when you actually take a step outside of your normal.  Make a list of both small and huge aspirations that you might want to try.  It could be eating at a new restaurant, it could be taking a French class, it could be mentoring a kid, or it could be signing up for a triathlon.  You might find yourself in uncomfortable or awkward situations at times, or you might even find that you have discovered a new thrill.  Nonetheless, by challenging yourself, you will experience personal growth, and you will discover more personal strengths than you imagined you had.

Life is too short to be less than awesome.  You have the power to be the best you there is, and the road to your best can start with small changes today.  What small changes will you make?  How can we help?  Contact us today and let’s make this next year your best ever.

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