Are you successful in business based on the standard metrics of money and power? Most professionals would like to answer yes!
Do you also enjoy a successful balance between the demands of the job and your overall quality of life? If the answer is ‘no’, then you are not alone.
It seems most business folk are consumed with the first two metrics of success – the money and the power – and this pursuit lets their lives be wrapped up in things (like technology) that make them harried and stressed out. But business is redefining the metrics of success beyond those first two measurements.
The third metric of success – our overall quality of life, including good health – is gaining popularity as a requirement to help balance that work/life pendulum.
Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, said recently to a gathering of business people in Toronto: ‘we need to redefine how we judge success – beyond just money and power to include our own personal well-being.’ She says she is more effective and productive, not only with a good night’s sleep, but when she also includes meditation and yoga as components in the third metric to her success.
‘Companies are losing billions each year due to employee stress and absenteeism, and most of that can be prevented’, she said.
Business leaders are taking note and redefining success. They are tapping into an inner self that lowers stress and boosts creativity, productivity and even empathy. They are making time in their day to clear the calendar in order to clear the mind. This would suggest that quality of life – that new metric – in its full breadth of expression – starts with our thinking.
Steve Jobs was an innovator and tech leader. He felt his greatest asset was his intuition, and he used meditation to look inside his thoughts and tap into this gift. At his funeral in October 2011, friends and family received a meaningful parting gift: A wooden box containing a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda’s spiritual memoir, a story of awakening and self-realization.
Nancy Slomowitz, CEO of Executive Management Associates, helped to lower her company’s health care costs by offering employees classes in amindfulness practice favored by the likes of Oprah. She writes: “The workplace environment soon grew from toxic to harmonious among other positive changes. And surprisingly, the company’s cost of healthcare insurance actually went down due to a reduction in sick claims.”
Some very successful people have brought that third metric into their lives through quality quiet time – a dedicated opportunity to organize thoughts and feelings. This has taken the form of contemplative prayer, which has some basic components such as gratitude, humility, hope – a recognition of the Divine in action. Setting aside this time on a regular daily basis requires focus and discipline, traits that have relevance to successful business performance.
Prayer can give a ‘clearing of the mind and grounding of the soul’ says bestselling author and speaker Kevin Daum. ‘Daily prayer gives you the space to focus on what is really important and at the same time mentally and emotionally prepares you for what ever is coming your way, be it challenge or opportunity.’
Martin Luther, theologian of the 16th century, wrote that prayer was central to his demanding Christian work. An example of this is the following statement, attributed to Luther, though not found in his writings: “I have so much to do that if I didn’t spend at least three hours a day in prayer I would never get it all done.”
Not only a meditative value in life, prayer has been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy. Introducing a broader perspective in the measure of success, which reaches from the boardroom to the bus boy, can affect individual and company bottom line health.
Redefine your success by including a life with better health; beginning with time for prayer and adding in more joy, more gratitude, and OK, maybe, a game of golf.