Not long ago my wife and I were discussing her frustration in trying to find time in her hectic schedule to exercise. I spent a bunch of time encouraging her to shuffle some things around to make sure she had time to exercise, but given all of the hectic pulls of raising small children while also being a small business owner she was understandably reticent to leave elements of her To-Do list undone.
Yet, I wasn’t quite ready to let go, knowing that exercise is really important to her well-being—seemingly even more so that most people. For some reason, a regular schedule of exercise helps her to maintain her equilibrium in the hectic challenges of modern life. So I suggested a new way of looking at it: that exercise, for her, was her ‘system’. That is, in the same way people have different physical appearances, and different personality types, they also have different ‘systems’ that require regular care and attention to help them to maintain their equilibrium. Yes, there are things that apply to most or all such as diet etc but there is often one primary thing that the individual must do regularly to maintain optimal state. For example, some may require 30 minutes of decompression TV every night or others may require more sleep than most etc.
But, I’d suggest that while identification of one’s ‘system’ is the critical first step towards maintaining equilibrium, there’s more to it than that. If we really are successful in identifying our system and we really do understand that it is our system, we understand that fighting that reality is pretty anti our own well-being. If we insist that our car’s ‘system’ does not require the addition of oil to run smoothly, in short order, on the side of the road we will find out that we have tried to fight reality and lost.
Likewise, I proposed to my wife, look at the need to exercise regularly as your own ‘system’, and bend over backwards to build it into your schedule to do so, so as to acknowledge rather than resist your system and thus maintain good health and well-being.
Find your system. Then accommodate, rather than resist it.
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- About the Author
Nathan Safran is a former Analyst at Forrester Research where he covered the Digital Home. While at Forrester, Nathan authored research studies on trends, attitudes and behaviors of consumers toward technology adoption and use.
Nathan has been quoted as a subject matter expert in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fortune magazine. Currently, Nathan heads the Research Department at Conductor, Inc an SEO Technology Platform firm.
Nathan writes at exceljockey.com about the intersection of Business, Technology and Psychology. See the About page for more info. Follow Nathan on Twitter: @Nathan_Safran