The quote above is from one of my favorite Buddhist authors Thich Nhat Hanh.
It resonated with me because it is a philosophy I follow. I’m not sure when I adopted this philosophy, but I know it’s True (with a “Capital ‘T'”) for me.
I challenge you with this: If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you be the best version of yourself to others?
There have been times in my life where I’ve lost sight of my needs. During these times I turn into a less-effective version of myself. In other words, I wasn’t as good at anything (relationship, work, etc.) when I didn’t take care of my basic needs first.
I realized this fact yet again when I began to train. Everything improved.
It may be my perception; a ‘satisfied mind’ helps me put other things in perspective. Or it may be that I know I’m fulfilling my needs and am more willing to help others. Whatever the case, a proper balance between selfish (taking care of yourself) and selfless (taking care of others) can be the key to a successful life.
Of course there needs to be a balance between focusing on YOU versus attending to needs around you. For example, last week I missed a swim because a meeting went long. I could been ‘selfish’ and cancelled the meeting, but that was not a wise move in the larger picture. So, there are times when sacrifices are made. Life isn’t perfect.
The point is that if you can identify your basic needs, those things that you KNOW you need to do to be at peace, then make those a priority. You may not always get your way, but it is OK to put these basic needs at the top of your ‘to do’ list.
Now that we are getting into the groove of training, you hopefully have established a balance of self-care (training) with life’s other obligations.
In our ECo System, we are beginning a new training block, the FOUNDATION block. This block will gives our athletes a tremendous foundation for the rest of the season. BUT, they need to let themselves embrace the training.
And you do too!
Training is important to you, so give yourself permission to take 1 to 3 hours each day to train. The training plan provides the road map, but you need to take the step.
And joyfully embrace the step!
Think about how good you will feel when you take that step! You will gain fitness. You will get healthier! You will be able to be the best version of yourself, in part, because you are embracing something you care about.
Everything has to be in balance, and too much self-centeredness can be just as bad as too little. Keep training in perspective. It can be a wonderful vessel to self-discovery and begin the best version of yourself possible. And that is the goal.
Are you taking care of yourself?