As I settled in my seat for my 21-hour flight to India a few days ago, I quickly got preoccupied with the inflight entertainment system. My choices included My Flight, Movies, TV, Music, Library and Games. The choice was simple for me – Library. I was then faced with a plethora of choices, all of which were educational in nature.
Within minutes I was reading Executive Book Summaries, followed by a language tutorial called Berlitz World Traveler, which promised to teach me numbers, dates, words and sentences in more than 25 languages during my flight. As I launched the language app, I thought to myself, “What’s wrong with me? Is there ever a moment in life when I feel satisfied when I’m not accomplishing a goal, challenging myself or learning something new?” The answer… not really. Simply put, I’m wired to constantly achieve and the older I get the more I realize that it’s not necessarily a good thing.
I looked around my seat to do some investigating. The man across the aisle was watching a movie and laughing. The man in front of me was sleeping. The woman next to me was reading a romance novel. Surely these people have achieved success on some level in life, as they are flying across the world for business or holiday while sipping glasses of red wine. Yet, they are able to effortlessly select the off button and relax, while I am not.
They say that awareness is the first step to recovery. Oh, I’m aware of my issue all right. Now I have to apply what I know is true: in order to be the best version of me and the best leader in life, I must take time out to rest, relax, show gratitude, smile, have fun and recharge my battery. Will you join me?
BE AWESOME! Yes, succeeding is satisfying, but if you are doing it at the expense of your health, happiness, welfare or relationship with others, then how successful are you really? Zero in on one thing that you do to “over-achieve” and commit to change it. Do you work on weekends? Do you only read non-fiction books? Do you avoid going to movies because they are a waste of time? The answers for me? Yes, yes and yes. However, this trip to India has been an eye-opener for me in many ways. I’m signing off now to look at Saturday’s schedule for the showing of the movie Wonder Woman. I no longer need to fill the role, as I’ve just learned it’s already taken.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She was recently named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.