You can only perform as good as your body and mind allow for. They are your tools – your instrument. When you regard them as such, taking good care of them makes all the more sense.
“A sound mind is in a sound body”
“Perfecting the personal regularly leads to success as a professional – rarely the other way around.”
“Success is something you attract by the person you become.”
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development.”
Perfect the Personal to Perfect the Professional
Your Body Is Your Instrument
In the world of music, I’ve encountered quite some guys (and gals) who were really “living the life of the rock-star,” so to speak. Ungodly hours, little sleep, fast-food, smoke and booze (let me not get further into detail) to fuel their trips from one stage to the next, entertaining crazy crowds.
While this may sound alluring, this can only be kept up for so long.
It is no coincidence that we hear so many stories of young failures who either lose success – or worse.
Even in the world of rock-stardom, those that reach – and stay – on the highest levels of success, are those that – at least at some point – realized their body is their instrument.
Being successful with it, means taking care of it. The better, the better.
Sounds pretty obvious right? Well, judging from the world around me – it hardly seems to be.
Tuning & Polishing
Taking care of your body doesn’t just allow you to live a happier, more energetic and longer life. It will also improve your skill.
Cristiano Ronaldo, whether you like him or not, is an extraordinary footballer (soccer) not just because he has heaps of talent and spent thousands of hours training and perfecting his control over the ball.
He also treats his body like a temple. It is his vessel. His machine. His tool. He knows that if he wants to have the best axe possible, the sharpest saw out there, there’s other things he can do to optimize it, besides kicking a ball.
He focusses on perfecting his whole person(al) on a much wider level. Lifting weights makes him stronger than his opponents. Meditating keeps him calmer, clearer, sharper and more focussed mentally. Taking ice-baths every day after training primes his muscles for the next training by aiding their soreness – making him good to go again faster.
Apart from training his actual skill – the ball on his foot – he also perfects the personal, which allows for him to be faster, stronger, sharper, quicker to regenerate and thus excel not just when executing, but even when he is practicing to perfect his skill. What an advantage to be able to be even better on the level of training.
But we don’t just find these examples in the the physical sports, where they are more obvious.
In the mental-game, thinking-sport world of chess, the top players also show us to be very conscious of both diet (eating healthy foods for sustained energy and focus) as well as tons of physical exercise – all with the goal to improve their thinking and better endure the long periods of concentration needed in their sport.
Where we might very well regard Chess Players as “elite thinkers,” they could (and should) very well inspire every one of us who’s skill, or job, is something that requires brain power.
Someone who knows this very will is Sir Richard Branson (“elite” entrepreneur and creator or “Virgin” – Air, Records, and a whole lot more).
When he was once asked for his number one tip, or “secret” to being so successful, he unhesitatingly stated: “working out,” stating that taking care of his body is what allows his mind to be fresh and sharp.
Tony Robbins is famous for his breathing exercises, daily ice-baths and other priming exercises.
Beyonce is known for her strict diets and training plans leading up to important shows and being extremely regimented. And this is not just to look good. Music, on that level, is top-sport.
Obviously, these are extreme examples. They don’t need to be matched, but they can definitely illustrate and inspire us mortals to take better care of our overall health to improve our skill.
Where shifting focus to the personal and perfecting that to perform better on the professional level works like a charm, the opposite even has the actual opposite effect.
Over-working -thereby neglecting the personal (how can we find the time to take care of our bodies and minds when we are already working 80+ hours a week?) is a sure-fire recipe for stress – “silent-killer” number one – which leads to exhaustion, lack of focus, insomnia, burn-out, depression, mental illness metabolism problems, obesity, even cancer and death.
Taking care of both body and mind is the only way we can really be happy enough to thrive, energized and focussed enough bring up the discipline and motivated and strong enough to endure persistently doing what we need to do to become who we want to be.
Your body is your temple. Your weapon. Your instrument to play the symphony of life.
There is no wonderful playing of Bach, Beatles or Beyonce on a cracky old, out-of-tune device. It will never sound as good. Moreover, it will break. Possibly sooner than later.
Your life can only be as good as your body and mind – your self allows for.
That is why – in the words of Jim Rohn – “your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development.”