A version of this article first appeared on A Career that Soars!
I want to share with you how I have decided to get lost, once and for all, to help me to be much happier and to lead much more effectively.
This month in A Career that Soars! we’re focussing on Leading from Personal Greatness, specifically leading in the context of your whole life. You can discover in more detail what that means by reading No Ceiling, No Walls by Susan Colantuono. However, the short version is, that we want women to manage their lives in a way that they garner reward from each facet of their life, work included, and to eliminate things that do not bring them joy. In other words, be happier and lead more effectively.
Get Lost = (R x 3 = Resilience)
We all need to rest, recover and rejuvenate (R x 3) so that we maintain our resilience to weather the demands of life, leadership and to have A Career that Soars! An athlete who trains and competes, also ensures that they have rest and recovery time to ensure their body is in peak condition to compete again. It is the same with leadership and career. We must maintain peak performance by allowing ourselves, mind, body and spirit, to rest, recover and rejuvenate.
Susan discusses having a healthy lifestyle, and its impact on “coping with a firing or setback, meeting rigorous deadlines, managing or responding to organisational change or mastering the ongoing demands of executive positions.” in No Ceiling, No Walls (pg. 171)
Please have a read and learn as I did (sadly the hard way!) that living healthily, happily and replenishing my energy (by regularly scheduling rest, recovery and rejuvenation activity) is the key to maintaining my focus and increasing my effectiveness as a leader. My decision to get lost is a strategy to enable my rest, recovery and rejuvenation process.
How I Chose to Get Lost to Lead Better (and happily)
I have made a decision, just this month, to increase my overall wellbeing and to demonstrate how making simple changes can have a positive impact on, well pretty much everything! Yes, I am taking some of my own medicine, I am about to get lost, in a book.
After a hiatus of nearly 10 years, I’ve chosen to start reading fiction books again. I listened to a podcast some time ago which gave advice about the positive effects and benefits of reading fiction (which I ignored.) However, I came back to this theory recently, in fact, this month, when I started to experience my tell-tale signs of cognitive overload. So I went searching (because of course, I wanted a research-backed view about why I was “frittering away” valuable learning and working time) to back up a snippet of a conversation that I heard months ago.
Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.
I found the benefits of this quote almost immediately! I found a bunch of other articles that extol the virtues of reading fiction which I have shared below. However, I’ve also rediscovered the pure joy of that “pleasurable, trance-like state” that getting lost in a book brings. I’ve rediscovered my love of reading for the sheer pleasure of it, the pleasure of getting lost in another world. I’ve rediscovered just how happy reading a book (fiction) has made me.
And I know that I am happier and better off for it.
Articles to check out
About A Career that Soars!
A Career that Soars! Is a global network of career-oriented women, hosted by Susan Colantuono, Mel Butcher and Michelle Redfern. It is laser-focused on helping women enhance their leadership skills and build successful careers. There is much to learn from each other and many opportunities to contribute your knowledge and experience. JOIN US.