Taking part in self-reflection in your morning workouts or in my case my morning runs, can bring such immense self-empowerment and strength. It is in these moments, when my feet are pounding the pavement and the crisp air is literally slapping my face to wake up, that I find serenity and clarity before I start my busy-ass day. When you own your own cabinet/design firm, you realize at times, you have given so much of yourself to your business, your career, your team, your colleagues, your clients, your vendors, your “everyone”, there is massive NEED for balance and relief. A need for YOUR personal strength and goals to flourish, so you can continue being strong in your profession. It is in these moments of solitude and pushing yourself to physical sweat that I gain my mass amount of strength to push through. My advice to all my fellow Designers out there is to BREATHE through! Throw your computer in the river and just go for a run, haha! No, but seriously, take time for yourself. This doesn’t mean just take a ton of time off (well, if you can do that, please do) but work on your time management skills in order to give yourself some freedom from the grind. If things get too chaotic and hectic, take a moment and look at long game rather than what is directly in front of you. Why is this so difficult right now? What am I doing that is giving me such a hard time? What could I improve upon? Do I have an efficient process? All of these questions directly deal with me and what I can change and control in my situation. If there is something that you can change, then I would recommend doing it. Take a moment to develop a better way for yourself. Change whatever isn’t working for you! Our path(s) are always changing, morphing, growing, improving and revealing themselves. Once you make a change for the better, then get back to it and get after it!! Taking a break to reflect on you, your work and how you are working, is where growth happens. By doing this, you will obtain a very special gift…FREEDOM. Freedom from inefficiency, freedom from stressing that your process isn’t working, freedom from those unnecessary mistakes, freedom from procrastinating and dreading the task and freedom from your work. I sort out my processes, my goals, my projects, my people, my everything during my runs…when do you?
I used to make my personal training clients take part in a great (super hard) exercise in running...No matter your mile time, try to shave 10 seconds off of each half mile increment. This is very hard to do, especially if you are running for mileage. But in this exercise, there WILL BE a point where you will think to yourself "I need to walk; I can’t keep this up; I need to slow down; I am struggling; this is too hard; I just can’t". At this very point, you DIG IN DEEP, tell yourself that you are going to shave off the time one more time and keep going. By the end of your run, you will be exhausted, you may want to puke, you may want to cry but your sense of accomplishment WILL EMPOWER YOU, I PROMISE!! Now you, take this same exercise and apply it to your work. When it is hard and you are struggling, or juggling too much, or have too many demands, DIG IN DEEP and push yourself just a little harder! Want it just a little more than the next guy/gal and just get it done. I guarantee by the end of it, your sense of accomplishment, your growth and your empowerment will absolutely surprise you and the amount of freakin strength from that success will drive you even more. My challenge to you is to…try it!