I love watching all sorts of movies. Often times, they offer great lessons for us. Recently when I could not fall asleep and the thoughts of the day were assaulting me like a machine gun, I got the visual of the minions from Despicable Me. Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s a cartoon about a man who delights in all things wicked, supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) hatches a plan to steal the moon. Surrounded by an army of little yellow minions and his impenetrable arsenal of weapons and war machines, Gru makes ready to vanquish all who stand in his way. Gru isn’t all bad, and toward the end of the movie, his heart is melted by three little girls.
When he finally allows love in, he kisses the girls good night. When he comes out of their bedroom into the hall, all his minions are lined up wanting kisses, too. It’s adorable! How did this help me sleep? Glad you asked…
I had a barrage of thoughts and ideas, and I visualized them each as cute little minions. I told them to all line up and that I would give them a kiss good night because you see, this wasn’t the time to address their concerns. We all needed to rest, especially if they wanted my full attention, and we would come up with better solutions at the proper time. So, one by one, they formed a line, and I gave them a peck on the check or forehead. As they got quiet, I got sleepy. Before I knew it, we were all zonked out. And you know what? The next morning, I was able to clearly see what I needed to process. Some were just noise and went away while others rose to the surface requiring immediate attention. Regardless, I was well rested and ready to take on the day like a superhero!
When the calendar flips to January, some people get the blues because the holiday season is over. Others were counting down the days to the new year because of all the chaos and stress of the holidays. Some might be a little bit of both, but one thing is sure, we all handle stress differently. What is easy for you might freak someone else out. We all know a person (or might be one) who waits until the very last nano second to get something done, and they almost seem to feed on the adrenal rush. Others would rather die first and plan ahead. Neither is right or wrong, but we do need to understand the impact it has on others.
Chances are your spouse, close friend, or peer at work is a different behavioral style than you. If you dump something on them that requires them to rush and create a miracle, you may be stressing them out to the max, and that isn’t fair. Just because you like the rush doesn’t mean they do. Vice versa, expecting spontaneous people to plan further out than today can be challenging for them.
Life has enough pressure and stress with looming deadlines, goals, and objectives to reach. Let’s not add to the stress but rather attempt to minimize it by understanding what works for one another. Take the time to learn about the people in your life and adapt how you interact with them. We also need to know our own limits. Living off adrenal will eventually catch up with you, and you will crash hard. Scheduling every moment of our life can squeeze out the joy. It’s about balance!
This time of year is when most of us review what worked last year and create new plans and goals for the next 12 months. As you reflect on 2017, were you healthy? Were you able to balance work and home to? Great achievements are fleeting if we sacrifice our health to obtain them. They will be a mere memory, but our health stays with us as long as we live. And how long we live will be based upon the attention (or lack thereof) we gave to it.
I’m all for reaching for the stars, but do not make your health a separate entity. In fact, the healthier you are, the more likely you will succeed! The stronger you are, the more you can get done. Good health brings clarify and creativity, too.
I like to set goals in categories: professional, personal, health, spiritual, relationships, and leisure. They all support one another so why not pay heed to all of them? Here’s wishing for a year full of great health that allows you to conquer your wildest dreams!
Need help understanding those in your life? My book, Leveraging Your Communication Style will explain the four styles and how you can best adapt your communication in order to reduce stress.