Many years ago I attended a conference where the keynote speaker was Martin Seligman. Martin Seligman is regarded as the father of positive psychology. He’s done a tremendous amount of research into how we can keep ourselves in a better state of mental health. One of the things he shared at the conference was a practice that when you go to bed, you think about three things you are grateful for in that day. Then when you wake up in the morning, you are grateful for three things that you are going to achieve that day. It’s the practice of being grateful. Being grateful for what’s happened and being grateful for what’s going to happen. That’s a practice that I have incorporated into my life. I find it to be really useful. Even though there are times when I’m feeling angry, or there may be times when I’m feeling down, part of my practice is to go through the gratitude piece.
Of course, there are some people who do a lot of journaling. It’s also possible to do a journal at the end of the day on what you’re grateful for, or a journal at the start of the day. Again, a level of self care comes into place. The point of this is that as leaders, we sometimes come under a tremendous amount of stress. Thinking about the levels and the number of time zones we have to work across. People of different cultures we have to interact with. Number of different languages we have to be operating through. Number of airlines and aeroplanes we have to be on. As a global leader there is a lot expected of you. That’s just in your professional role, let alone your personal and family roles.
It’s important for us to actually be able to look after ourselves. As they say in the aeroplane, always put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help others. It’s really important for us, or important for you, to have some form of practice that is useful for you to maintain your level of balance and self care.What are some of the things that you do to help you maintain your equilibrium in life? What are you grateful for?