I just finished writing about how successful leaders need to be aware. An extension of this is that anyone who wants to succeed needs to be self aware.
We all need to recharge. I've written about balance and recharging before, but I unfortunately forgot how important they were because of all the things I'm juggling.
There's only so much you can give without taking the time to care for yourself and recharge. Tom Rath explains this very well in his book, Are You Fully Charged? and shows how important it is to make the time to sleep, exercise, and eat right.
We all have an activity or two that gives back way more than it takes from us—the thing that keeps us going and recharges our soul. For me, it's taking walks and reading.
I had a hard week and by Friday, I was severely depressed and cranky. I always take a walk Friday night since I am finally offline and on my own time, and then come back and read. Everything seemed manageable again after I did these two activities. Yes, the reasons behind the stress were still there, but my outlook had improved so much that I could once again keep going and be optimistic. All because I finally took a long walk and then read.
For me, walking and reading on a daily basis are obviously as important as eating and sleeping. They feed my soul and allow me to do what I need to do, so the ROI on the time spent is well worth it, regardless of how busy I am. I just have to remind myself of how I felt on Friday before and after these two activities.
Have you had a similar experience? What are the things that recharge you and do you spend enough time on them?