Start of 2008
Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
— Hans Christian Andersen
As we start another year, I think it is a great time to make a commitment not about business goals, which are certainly important, but rather about enhancing the total person through living a very balanced life. It is just so hard to be a good leader and entrepreneur if you are not a complete and balanced person. I have to admit that a balanced lifestyle is what I really need to work on as well this year.
One great resolution to begin with is simply to reduce the number of hours worked. Sure, working is important, but spending 12 hours a day at work is not sustainable in a balanced life. To me, a balanced life is one that also emphasizes family, physical and spiritual commitments.
I have never heard of anyone passing away with regrets that they did not work harder. Rather, people always seem to regret not spending more time with their family. In the end, it is our family that is our deepest root of support and nourishment. I believe that the family is the foundation of our being.
Making a resolution to lose ten pounds is great, but a better resolution is to live a more healthful life. One entrepreneur that we are helping was diagnosed with a form of non-curable cancer. She decided that one way to fight this disease was to change her unhealthy lifestyle. Upon adopting her new healthy lifestyle, not only did her cancer not progress, but in addition, her business flourished to new heights even though she was not there nearly as much. By making a commitment to a new lifestyle, her entire attitude about life, her disease and her business changed dramatically with superior results.
It is so much better to commit to improving your physical life before it becomes a crisis situation. In January of 2007, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. While they caught it very early, I can tell you from personal experience that this type of shock is painful and life-changing. My only regret is that it took this type of a crisis to change the way I live my life.
While people have so many different spiritual and religious orientations, I have seen time after time that those entrepreneurs who demonstrate a deeper commitment to their spiritual life seem to be so much more content. They seem to see the world with a clearer perspective and this has a significant impact on their businesses as well. I believe that having a religious belief system allows you to have a much better view on life.
Making a commitment to have a balanced lifestyle with an emphasis on family, health and spirituality is a great resolution. This is a wonderful way to live our lives and have very successful businesses.
You can do this!
Jerry Osteryoung is the Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at Florida State University. He is also the Director of the Entrepreneurship Program at FSU and Executive Director of the Jim Moran Institute of Global Entrepreneurship. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 850-644-3372.