It is Time to Take Care of Yourself!

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In the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, John Candy gets turned around and enters on to the exit of the highway. He is driving down the Interstate on the wrong side. Steve Martin wakes up to the sound of people driving parallel to them on the other side of highway honking their horn. He is curious as to why and he rolls down the window. The people in the car are shouting “You are going the wrong way!” Steve Martin’s character passed this information on to John Candy’s character and he replies “How would they know where we are going?” The groggy Steve Martin says “Yeah, how would they know where we are going?”


This happens moments before they are narrowly missed by two transport trucks missing them head on, on either side of their car.


So MacDonald is saying “It’s time to take care of yourself!” “How would he know if it is that time for me?” “Is he not aware that it is my busy season?” “Does he not know that we are short staffed?” “Maybe he hasn’t heard that we have a big project coming up?”


If you have thought any of these things or if you feel compelled to argue why this is not time to take care of yourself, may I suggest that you keep a look out for large trucks?


And just so you know, they take on many forms!


Last month I talked about the joy and privilege of being in hospitality. We work in an industry of people who take pride in taking care of others. The problem is that many of us are so focused on taking care of others that we neglect taking care of ourselves. It is easy to admire selflessness vs. selfishness. We see many examples of people who live life in service and seem to have little concern for themselves, self-promotion or personal gain. We see others who think it is all about them and they have little concern for the needs or wants of others.


As a coach, I see people who pay a price for being at either end of that spectrum.


Shelley MacDougall and I work with people to help them understand what they need to perform at their best. When people get their needs met, they are attractive, dynamic, energized, productive, fun, caring, happy people. When they don’t get their needs met they can be ugly, miserable, lethargic, angry, defensive, unproductive, disengaged people. We encourage people to learn what their needs are and learn how to meet them.


But isn’t this a form of selfishness?


In this industry, Shelley and I observe, that instead of taking care of themselves at the expense of others, the people at the top of the game take care of themselves so they can be brilliant at taking care of others.


Is it possible to take care of others, without taking care of yourself? Absolutely! You probably will be able to do an adequate job but it will be hard to be brilliant.


Now here is where the timing comes in. It is obviously easier to take care of yourself when you are not at the busiest time of the year, but the time to take care of yourself is everyday throughout the year. The busiest part of your year may be the most critical time to take care of yourself. It is the time of the year when you are being seen and evaluated the most. It is the time of the year when your reputation is being built up or broken down. It is the time of year when you may need the preparation and grounding the most. The illusion is that if you give your all then you will be appreciated, admired, and rewarded and often times people find that instead they are criticized, compared and often times rewarded with the chance to look for another career opportunity.


This is your life! This is your job! This is your career! This is your legacy!


We work with people to change their focus from giving their all to giving their best. Taking care of yourself in a way to give your best is more powerful and sustainable than giving your all.


In our Extraordinary Leader Program we recently interviewed Chip Franks, the author of Life Lessons from Dad 101 Ways to Get More from Life (From Someone Who Loves You)


Chip was a successful and driven business man with a wife and three children when he had a stroke while attending a conference. While he was wondering if this might be the end of his life, he regretted that if it was, he hadn’t left his children with the messages he wanted them to hear. He was given the gift of living on and the chance to give his kids his ideas on how they could be their best.


He broke the book into four main things they could work on to live great lives. The same four areas are worthy of our focus in our goal of being our best in our lives, our families and our careers.

They are the Heart, the Mind, the Body, and the Soul.


We all get to decide how or if we will work on any or all parts of us. It is a choice and hopefully a catastrophic health episode is not required for us to make the decision.


Being used to, or resigned to the belief that you have to give away yourself and your best to give your all, is sort of like driving in the wrong direction on the interstate and not being aware that isn’t the right path.


It is time to take care of yourself!

KevinKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA and can be reached at 1-866-822-3481 toll free.

Posted by Will Flourance at 07/09/2018 09:57:08 AM |