12 August 2019
Three Tips For Being The Best You, From A Life Coach
How to find the balance and give yourself the best shot of bridging the gap between success, happiness, contribution and meaning.
At Balance Festival 2019, I was invited to speak in a panel discussion about what it means to be your ‘best self’. The conversation, which posed the question of how to set up our lives in order to realise our potential to live what might be considered our best life, yielded some great insights.
I think it’s easy to fall prey to the idea that our value can be measured in correlation to our worldly success, but that’s probably more societal conditioning that doesn’t really ring true, especially if we aren’t actually happy.
Having said that, simply expecting happiness all the time could lack meaning, especially if we aren’t realising our potential, or the fruits of our labour aren’t making a wider impact. There is virtue in the kind of sacrifice it takes to propel ourselves forward, and the ability to reframe periods of hardship for our wider development is important.
These are the three main themes that came up in our discussion; I think finding the right balance between them is our best shot of bridging the gap between success, happiness, contribution and meaning.
1. Find joy through work
Becoming a success is going to take a lot of hard work. In my own experience, and in that of the world leading entrepreneurs and athletes I’ve interviewed for my podcast, there is simply no way around this. Hard work can be draining and it can contribute to your overall level of stress or happiness in life, so choosing work that is important to you and actually feels like play is very important. Don’t get me wrong, not all of the tasks in your work or business will feel this way and there will be hard times. But if ultimately, you love what you do, these tough times are so much easier to navigate and persevere through.
2. Enforce the fundamentals
We all know what we need to maintain our mental and physical health. Those of us in the fitness industry know ourselves primarily through our physicality, so training is something we seldom let slip. The same is true for mental health; finding mindfulness, stress relief and the nurturing of education is important.
If we lose track of these fundamentals for too long we cease to feel ourselves and it’s not long before we aren’t at our best. You should treat these like you would an oxygen mask on a plane – the best way to take care of others is by ensuring you make time for your own fundamentals. Have a think about what they are for you, and don’t let them fall to the wayside.
3. Seek joy
Whilst working hard and finding meaning from your work is a virtue, what would it all be for if we didn’t find time to seek joy in our lives? A practice that I use with my life coaching clients is to get them to set about writing a list of all of the activities that bring joy. These can be large things like a one-month ‘mini-retirement’ or smaller moments like simply stopping to stroke a dog. Write your own list, and you’ll be surprised how many joy bringing activities are free or incur only a very modest expense. Ensure that you make time to deliberately seek these things out each week.
Finding balance is a cyclical process - it’s more of a dance than it is a snapshot of life at any one time. There will be periods where you are overstretched in one area, and others when the same is true of another area. The art is in keeping a balance across a wider stretch of time. Sometimes it will be necessary to sprint to achieve a certain goal and at others the best thing you can do is switch off and decompress. In fact, it's in times like that that a lot of inspiration arises.
About Scott: Scott's career has seen him provide life and fitness coaching to Oscar winning actors, Paralympic athletes, military service personnel and thousands of men and women from every background, all across the world. From operating gyms, running bootcamps, Hollywood cast preparation, writing for media publications to hosting a radio show, and coaching personal trainers across the globe, there isn’t much he hasn’t seen or done in the industry.