Let me share a personal experience with you that I think you’ll find relatable and inspiring. So, every day, I like to pull a card from my “rest deck.” It’s a little ritual that helps me gain insight and perspective. A few months ago, the card I picked had a powerful message: “Your body is sacred, and exhaustion does not honor the sacred.”
Now, let me tell you, this message really hit home for me. Tricia Hersey (the author of the Rest Deck) goes on to say that we shouldn’t strive for a seat at the table. Instead, we should seek comfort, rest, and rejuvenation. She encourages us to turn our backs on grind culture and recognize the divinity within ourselves. How do you build wealth and make an impact without being consumed by grind culture? Thinking through this led me to a book I’m currently reading called “The Company of One” by Paul Jarvis.
In that book, Paul encourages staying small, raising your rates, and mastering your craft. I agree with his position that large companies can be slow to make meaningful changes. I worked with a national organization where it took weeks to implement simple changes, such as approving new technology to improve efficiency or getting people paid and contracts signed quickly. In some cases, changes were denied. I am sure there were reasons for the denials, but I find it much easier to run my own operation with just two contractors who assist with research and graphic design. I also worked with two other national organizations, a hospital system and a social media giant. Both were clear examples of organizations that had grown so large that departments were not on the same page and were publicly sharing news that flew in the face of previously published values. Employees often did not understand how their own software worked because it was simply too big with too many people and departments. Large organizations tend to work in silos and that’s what creates the issue but also so many people have to be involved with moving a thing forward so it slows everything down.
For the past few years, I have been inspired by and coached by Rachel Rodgers and her program, “We Should All Be Millionaires Club,” which had a huge ROI in my life. Through her coaching, I was able to elevate my income and achieve my goals in half the time I had initially planned. It has been a remarkable experience, and I’m truly grateful for the transformation and the wisdom she and her team shares.
Now, while Rachel emphasizes the importance of aiming for a seven-figure business and presents a compelling case for it, I also resonate with Tricia Hersey’s message about avoiding burnout and not giving in to grind culture. Exhaustion and fatigue are real, and they not only make us feel awful but also have long-term health implications. In her book, “Rest is Resistance A Manifesto,” Tricia shares stories about how the relentless grind has negatively affected her family’s health.
For me, preserving my health has always been a priority. Looking at my family’s history, chronic disease took my grandma, but stress almost took my mom. Stress caused my cousin, only in his 40s, to hit such a downward spiral in health that he is knocking on death’s door.
Personally, I’ve struggled with anxiety, mild depression, fatigue, and burnout on my journey to achieve financial comfort while staying true to my life’s mission. I’ve always known that I wasn’t called to be a martyr for any cause but grind culture seems to suck people in and before you know it, you have lost yourself. It’s crucial to strike a balance between financial success and overall well-being. The goal is really quality of life – now and in the future.
Being plugged into nutrition science has been immensely helpful for me. It’s not just about theory; it’s about understanding the physiological impact of stress and how it can lead to conditions like type 2 diabetes or even cancer if left unchecked.
Did you know that hypertension, or high blood pressure, disproportionately affects the Black community? In the United States, African Americans have some of the highest rates of high blood pressure in the world. Over 40 percent of non-Hispanic African American men and women have this condition, with around 42 percent of Black men aged 20 and older affected.
Unfortunately, uncontrolled high blood pressure is even more prevalent among Black women of childbearing age (15 to 49). They face twice the risk compared to their white counterparts, leading to increased racial health disparities and higher risks of pregnancy-related complications like preeclampsia, stroke, and preterm birth.
Did you know that stress can have a significant impact on the development and worsening of hypertension? This chronic condition is not only a leading cause of severe illness and pregnancy-related deaths, but it can also affect an individual’s overall well-being. Stress can cause blood pressure levels to rise, which increases the risk of hypertension and its related complications.
To address these disparities, we need to consider how stress affects our bodies and find ways to manage it or better, eliminate it. Stress can mess with our hormones and cause physical changes that make high blood pressure worse. That’s why taking care of ourselves and adopting healthy habits can help mitigate the negative effects of stress.
Stress is a silent killer, and all the efforts we put into our health can go to waste if we allow stress and the constant pursuit of wealth to overwhelm us. It’s good to have goals of any kind but when they create actual disharmony in your body including your mental state, it is time to take a pause and do some reflection. Some of us are grinding ourselves into the ground and for what reason? It is worth thinking through “Can there be an easier way? Can there be a better way?”
Dropping stress has always been a cornerstone of my holistic health framework since I started coaching back in 2015. But when that card told me I didn’t want a seat at the table, and that the table was filled with oppressors, it made me pause and reflect. I realized that the stress I was experiencing was partly due to my association with an institution that didn’t fully align with my values and aspirations for the quality of life I wanted for myself and my community. While I wouldn’t call them oppressors, they were still bound by old paradigms and resistant to change.
The term “oppressor” may sound strong, but I did feel stifled and unable to grow within that environment. Eventually, I realized that I was oppressing myself by not taking the necessary steps to liberate myself and address the issues that needed fixing. It’s important to remember that we can explore opportunities, learn from different experiences, and even try out that metaphorical table, but we don’t have to stay there and sacrifice ourselves for a cause. We can be the change we want to see and sometimes that means taking a road that looks rough and scary because it is uncertain. Life is uncertain. Make it worthwhile.
So, my message to you is this: Learn, grow and evolve, but never at the expense of your well-being. Don’t be afraid to step away from situations or environments that don’t serve you anymore. You have the power to create positive change without sacrificing your health and happiness.
Taking the message from that card I pulled, it’s all about finding that balance between ambition and self-care. Yes, we want to strive for success and make a meaningful impact in our chosen field, but we must also recognize that our bodies and minds need rest and rejuvenation. Pushing ourselves to the brink of exhaustion will only hinder our long-term goals and potentially lead to health issues down the line.
Remember, stress isn’t a badge of honor. It’s not a sign of productivity or commitment. It’s a warning sign that we need to take a step back and prioritize self-care. By prioritizing our well-being, we can actually become more productive, creative, and effective in our work.
So, I encourage you to reflect on your own journey. Are you giving yourself the rest and care you need? Are you caught up in a culture of constant hustle and grind? Take a moment to assess your priorities and make sure they align with your long-term health and happiness.
Consider implementing small changes in your daily routine that promote self-care. It could be carving out time for meditation, engaging in physical activity that you enjoy, or simply setting boundaries to protect your personal time. Remember, it’s not selfish to prioritize your well-being—it’s essential.
And as you continue to pursue your goals and make an impact in the world, always stay connected to your passion and mission. Let that be the driving force behind your actions. By finding that balance between ambition and self-care, you can create a fulfilling and sustainable path for yourself, one that allows you to make a difference without sacrificing your own well-being.
Embrace the message of honoring the sacredness of your body, respecting your limits, and finding rest in a world that glorifies constant hustle. Trust me, the rewards will be worth it—both personally and professionally.
Wishing you a journey filled with success, well-being, and fulfillment. Take care of yourself, and keep making a positive impact in the world!