Since the pandemic, I've had the pleasure of being home for dinner and having the opportunity to hear about my daughter's insights for the day. I have written about my daughter before but I continue to be amazed at the insights she opens up for me. Currently, she and I are on a similar trajectory, we are both discovering and planning for the next phase of our life journey. She is applying to colleges and I am deciding on what is my next big thing. When I talk with my daughter, I see promise and hope. She is optimistic and enthusiastic about the future and what lies ahead even though applying to college can be stressful. She usually takes it all in stride. Today was a little different, she was upset by some things that went wrong.
As I was giving her my motherly advice, I realized that the best advice I could give was to recommend she take a nap before she jumped into problem solving mode. I was sharing with her that sometimes we have to take a step back; which made me think about myself. Do I take my own advice? Do I take the step back to truly understand what is triggering my stress and what is my best course of action? Plain and simple the answer was, no not always. To paraphrase Thomas Aquinas, most things can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine. This concept can be applied to preparing college applications, looking for new job opportunities, dealing with difficult coworkers, or trying to solve that tricky work or school problem.
In this always-on age of workism, we operate with too little sleep, too much digital stimulation and too much impatience. Sometimes the course of action can be obvious if we take the time to reflect and react. Things usually don't go as planned and your kneejerk reaction isn't always the answer. I have said numerous times that a core tenet of leadership is to act decisively, and not to let perfect get in the way of speed. But if we are well rested and less stressed, we can more easily see the way forward and make better decisions. The old cliche rings true, slow down to speed up.
So today, I am practicing the lesson that I tried to impart to my daughter. Resiliency is a key to success. Being well rested is key to a clear mind which helps avoid the fragility that impedes resiliency. Leaders, high schoolers -- everyone can benefit by being well rested. It is the secret to success.