Cliches get a bad rap. They get accused of being rote, tired, and lacking creativity. But what’s interesting is that if it wasn’t communicating some form of universal truth then it would have have become a cliche. So many people found a kinship inside of this phrase or word that now, it has come to take on a meaning that is much bigger than the sum of its parts.
The term self care is an example of this. In recent years, we have seen this term become like a get out of jail free card. It is like a catch all term for health and wellness. Calling out of work, escaping a toxic relationship, disappearing from social media, etc., etc.
Last year in the Olympics, we saw Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast to ever do it, pull out of competition on account of her mental health. It conjured conversations of what is right and wrong for athletes and what their obligations are to their craft and the organizations to which they are beholden. We also saw this in the circumstances surrounding Kyrie Irving and his absences from his team.
No matter where you land on this issue, one fact is certain: Learning how to take care of ourselves — self care — is a valuable skill.
And like any skill it takes practice.
The picture above is of Gerald Henderson. The contraption strapped to his neck is there because he is playing a professional basketball game with a broken jaw. Unbelievable. This would be unheard of in todays game. I still marvel at this photo. It is a perfect example of the way we used to think about self care. It doesn’t matter the injury or the trauma. If you can walk, you keep going.
We find a grisly satisfaction in the ability to go longer, harder, farther than the next person. Even if it means we harm ourselves in the process — as a matter of fact, if it isn’t harmful, we wonder if we are doing it right, to begin with.
The title of this post is the question we, as leaders and entrepreneurs have to wrestle with. On our quest to change the world, make money, build our empires, how and when do we find the space to breathe? Is there ever a moment to stop and enjoy what we are building?
The answer, as cliche as it sounds, is self care. Individually, each of us know what we need. And if you don’t, your body will tell you when you need rest and when you need movement and when you need space. The way to breathe when you’re trying to change the world is you TAKE IT.
What if the same tenacity and aggression you show for your business, you showed for taking care of yourself?
I’ll leave you with one last cliche:
Take care of yourself, at all costs.