You can’t have business growth without personal growth. That’s because both come from finding unity between you, your life and your business.
This article is the second of a series of seven. Here’s the model that this series of articles builds on:
Growth in life depends on health, wealth and wisdom.
I am genetically predisposed to obesity. As a result, it is straightforward for me to put on weight if I don’t follow the guidance of my highly-skilled dietician. Obesity, for me, leads to sleeplessness, anxiety, depression. When I’m careful, which is an increasing amount of my time I’m pleased to say, it’s easier for me to sleep, work and concentrate. Physiological and psychological health is a pre-requisite for life; it’s a foundation of personal growth and growth in life. Unhealthy people do succeed, but it is a much harder path to tread.
Now everyone’s different, and my advice is to get a professional opinion if you’re struggling. However, recently, after many years of struggle and having found an even keel, here are my six principles for living health:
- Breathing, exercising, meditating and reading all freshen the mind in the morning, and set the course for the day. If you’re under stress, meditate (it’s not ‘trendy’; it works)
- Proper hydration, digestion and nutrition usually follow from eating a majority of water-rich, organic foods.
- Poor food combinations are difficult to digest.
- Over-eating is about the worst thing you can do. It’s not just the bloating. It sets your stomach up to expect large quantities each time you eat.
- Water is a fundamental element of good health.
- Getting your balance of macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) right is crucial.
If you haven’t got health, very little else in your life will work. Growth (of the right sort) will be painful.
Wealth partly comprises our conventional understanding of it: financial assets and physical possessions. Generating sufficient financial wealth is not easy, but considered investment in property, superannuation and other assets should pay dividends into the future. Seeking professional financial advice is an absolute must. Financially literacy is a must.
Then there’s the problematic intrinsic part of wealth: establishing and maintaining the real wealth that lies elsewhere. I’ve already dealt with a crucial element of essential wealth, which is health. Related strongly to health is your acquisition of knowledge, experience and skills, the development of ‘self’ through learning. Then there is the emotional wealth sitting with family and friends, and more widely in your connection to the community, as well as your ability to help others.
As Stephen Covey puts it, it’s all about win/win relationships, which build on your character strengths. It’s all about integrating honesty, social intelligence, kindness, self-regulation, perspective, judgement, fairness and leadership. It’s about building successful relationships, managing the tension between empathy and assertiveness, and in business (and sometimes more extensive life) managing the tension between creating and distributing value. Moreover, the chief skills in all of this? Listening and asking beautiful questions.
Wisdom comprises creativity, curiosity, judgement, love of learning and perspective.
Creativity is thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualise and do things. It’s a contact sport. The process of creating a solution to a challenge or refining an existing solution requires contact with communities that consume or build the solution. It requires:
- Engaging with a community that has an opportunity or a challenge
- Gathering information on the current reality
- Creating breakthrough ideas by pushing past incremental or obvious solutions
- Selecting a promising idea
- Refining the idea through prototyping
- Executing the delivery of final service/product
- Communicating the story to encourage others to take action
Curiosity is the desire to explore new ideas, activities and experiences.
Judgement is being open-minded, thinking things through and examining them from all sides; weighing all evidence fairly.
Love of learning is mastering new skills, topics and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally. As I’ve previously noted, understanding how you learn is crucial to new learning. Love of learning is also critical as the world of work changes, with the advance of technology and shifting economic pivots of the world.
Perspective is being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that makes sense to oneself and others.
Health, wealth and wisdom are the foundations of growth in life.
My next article will look at growth in business.