The Golden Triangle
Originally published on: LinkedIn

A healthy mind in a healthy body – Mens sana in corpore sano. Juvenalis

The healthy leader or person. Many industry leaders and authors talk about being a strong, efficient, effective, thoughtful, productive leader or person. So many strategies, frameworks, approaches and training opportunities are available to support us. But to become such a leader or person, we first need to be healthy, as leadership and wellbeing go hand in hand. I talk about the golden triangle of a healthy person: sleep, nourishment and exercise.

  1. Enough sleep is the starting point, as Arianna Huffington wrote in her new book The Sleep Revolution: Transforming your life, one night at a time. Her research showed only 1% of us have the right genes for three to five hours to be enough sleep; the rest of us, 99%, need between seven and nine hours. She talks about being in the middle of a sleep-deprivation crisis impacting every aspect of our health.
  2. Physical health is mental health. Invest in your health. Make time to exercise, but don’t deprive yourself of sleep in order to do so. Too many people wake up very early to exercise and create their own sleep crisis. Exercise is an excellent way to boost our mood and get in shape. When we exercise, our body releases chemicals called endorphins which interact with receptors in our brains that reduce our perception of pain, triggering a positive feeling in the body. This results in an energising outlook on life. The ancient Greeks did their thinking while walking. Walking gives us energy, refreshes ideas, and we meet people while doing it. At the office, don’t sit in your chair the whole day; walk around. Some say sitting is the new smoking. Perhaps install offices without chairs or with only standing desks.
  3. And last but not least, find the right nutrition – such as less coffee, less alcohol, more vegetables, fruit and water. The most important meal of the day is breakfast: it strengthens your immune system, slows down ageing and fights cancer. Don’t force yourself into a fixed diet as a temporary solution, but eat and drink healthily in a way that you can continue for life. Do everything you do in nutrition with moderation; don’t be obsessed by it.

Make the wellbeing golden triangle of sufficient sleep, nutrition (regular and healthy meals) and exercise part of your daily DNA to find the right pace in this accelerating life. Don’t do it out of guilt, but because you believe it necessary to become the leader that people are waiting for, the one who can show the path to others.

You’ll become healthy: the foundation of personal and business happiness. Do it for your teams, your peers, your business, your family, your friends and above all for yourself.

At least that seems to be working for me. What about you?

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Olivier Van Duuren speaker

An author, trend sensemaker, public speaker and executive coach, Olivier Van Duüren is a thought leader on personal and business transformation, and on the impact of the changes on our society and industry.

Dec 21, 2016 By Contributing Speakers