To be a better professional, to progress continuously, what should we do? All we know this answer. We should do courses, do extra work, study a lot over internet, attending conferences and so on. But often, not often, always, we ignore one very much important factor. And that is fitness. By fitness, I refer to both mental and physical fitness. We never see slogans like do weightlifting to be a better project manager or do breathing exercise to be a better software developer etc but it should be. Yes, some of us are aware of the importance of physical fitness, but mental fitness is always hugely neglected, even more, many a time, we do not know what “mental fitness” denotes. If you care to notice, I put mental fitness before physical fitness.
Benchmarks of Fitness
We have some idea about physical fitness, something like men with 6 (six) Pecs and big biceps are fit and men with big belly are unfit. This may not necessarily be entirely true but up to many extents, this is not wrong.
But in real world, it may not be possible for you to achieve big shoulders with diamond shaped calves and achieving that may be one of the sweetest and proudest things on the earth but this is not a precondition for being successful in corporate world. To be successful in corporate world, “normal” level of physical fitness is enough. Now what does this “normal” level mean?
1. Immune Capability: You don’t feel sick easily. Of course, every human being has to fall ill sometimes, but if every season change makes you take bed rest for one week, then you are not fit.
2. Pain: You should not be enslaved by various pains like back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, migraine etc. You should be able to move your limbs and bones as normal as a human being is supposed to. You should find it easy and smooth to do your daily activities like climbing stairs, sitting on chair, standing for hours, walking for hours etc. And if you have chronic pain like lower back pain, then you need to keep it under absolute control through proper medicine and exercise. In a word, whatever pain you have, keep it under control.
3. Digestion: You should have enough digestion ability. If you need to take pills for gastric and to digest your food very often, then you are not a fit person.
4. Sleep: You should be able to get good sleep. If you suffer from insomnia or if you need to take pills for good sleep, then you are not fit.
5. Long-term disease: If you have any chronic or long-term diseases like high blood pressure, high sugar, heart problems etc, then your these diseases should be under complete control and your these diseases should not be able to affect your daily business. Like if you have high cholesterol problem, then you must follow the proper diet and do regular exercises and take proper medicine to bring it under safe border and not let it to create blocks on your heart vessels.
6. Exercise: You must be able to do normal exercises like 60 minutes fast walk, playing cricket or swimming etc.
7. Controlled Weight: Your weight should be under complete control, your waist circumference should be ok. A slim and lean body do not only look attractive but also this a great indicator of your overall fitness.
8. Energy Level: By energy, I am not talking about energy required to run 20 miles. I am talking about energy required for day to day life. People usually feel weak and tired at work place. If you do not feel energetic and fresh, at least not weak and not gloomy, then you are not fit. When you come to office, and when you leave office, and the time span in between these two, if you feel weak and gloomy, you can’t produce great result even if you want to and even if you are capable of doing so.
9. Sex Life: You should be able to enjoy a normal and enjoyable sex life without medicines. If you are a guy, then this is far more important for you than girls. For various reasons, in today’s world, men are hugely suffering from various sexual weaknesses. Performance on bed hugely affects your overall confidence as well as overall performance of every sector of your life including your career.
10. Confidence: You must feel confident. If you find yourself having less confidence to express yourself to your boss or team, presenting your ideas, handling the pressure or etc, then you are not fit and you must get rid of it as best as you can. You should get psychotherapy or counseling or whatever you need. You need to feel confident at your workplace.
So, I have mentioned some points that are crucial for the fitness of a person. If you can remember more points to add, please let me know, I will add in the next column.
To be continued at part 2
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Arafat Ibn Sultan Riyadh is a seasoned product and project management professional and an agile coach. Moreover, he is a career counselor and motivational speaker. He is currently serving as the Software Project Manager at Augmedix. He is the cofounder and Strategic Consultant at NWIT Ltd and Strategic Consultant at Activation Ltd. He can be reached at email@example.com
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