The creative process is taxing, and if you’re working on your passion along with your job or business or anything else, then it’s two times as tiring and takes a lot out of you.
In this episode, I share how I learned this the hard way and how you can start taking better care of your body before it is too late.
Listen to the episode below:
Don’t worry, I’m not going to be talking about how you can lose 50 pounds in 5 days or something. When I say your health, I am pointing at your overall fitness and well-being and if you truly want to work on something that’s important to you, this is one thing you’ve got to fix. In fact, this is something you may want to fix first.
The more you take care of yourself, the more energy, stamina and raw power you’ll have to work on your art. It’s a relationship that wasn’t clear to me from the very beginning though, and I want to share how I discovered its importance.
For over 16 years, I’ve sat in front of a computer almost every day. First, it was for gaming, then it was for programming, and finally, it was for my business which I continue to do to this day. I can literally count the number of times I’ve not had a computer with me, because holidays where I haven’t taken my laptop with me have been few and far in between.
I’ve never felt very happy with my health all my life, but last year, it got to a point where I was gaining weight so much so that it started to affect my self image and how I felt about myself. The lack of any exercise started catching up to me and the late hours meant that I felt like crap most of the time.
I decided to fix it, and started to take care of what I ate and worked out a bit every day.
But then, my body gave up. All those hours sitting at the computer had weakened my back, and the muscles weren’t quite ready for the extra work I was putting them through. Snap, and I now had a prolapsed or herniated disc in my lower back.
And boy, was it painful!
I had just started feeling good about myself because I was slowly starting to work on my music again and working out used to fill me up with a lot of energy. This was a major setback though, because now I was spending about an hour in the morning and evening in therapy for my back, not to mention the travel time that added another hour.
While the therapy was going on, I had no energy left by the end of the day. The pain was crazy, and it drained any and all creative power I had in me.
Was this a bit extreme? Yes. But it only made me realize how important it is to take care of this body we have, if we really want it to be there for us when we need it.
The creative process is taxing, and if you’re working on your passion along with your job or business or anything else, then its two times as tiring and takes a lot out of you. Sure, it leaves you with a lot of happiness and satisfaction, but if your body doesn’t feel 100%, you’ll never be able to enjoy and benefit from that happiness and satisfaction.
So what can you do to start taking care of your body?
I could ask you to go to the gym right away, but I understand, more than anybody else, how difficult it is to turn up at the gym every day.
So, begin small. 5 push-ups, and 5 squats. Each day. You choose whether it is in the morning or the evening. Better yet, just make it a point to do it everyday no matter the time.
Once you’re comfortable with that, start working on some kind of routine. You may need to hack your way to convincing your mind to do this. I make it a point to get ready for a workout – so I put on my gym shorts and t-shirt right away. Simply putting them on makes me want to at least put an effort to do something. Once I start doing some workout, I can’t help but go the full distance.
Look at what you eat. How can you eat better and healthier? I wasn’t getting any protein in my diet, so I combined my evening walk with having some boiled eggs near the park. Do I do that every day? No, because something or the other happens. But I like to think that if I’m doing this 4 out of 7 days, it’s all good.
There are hard days too. Days when you’ll feel you simply cannot workout and you’ll feel somewhere between tired, lazy and bored. But just like your creative work, you’ve got to convince and coerce your brain to do what it knows is good for it.
Like I said, start small. And figure out what works for you.
The great thing about this is that once you start fixing up your health, you’ll notice its benefits spilling over into other areas of your life too. This spillover is my favorite thing about fixing stuff. Our body is a big factor in how we think and feel, and as you start taking care of it, it rewards you with more energy and power for putting into your life, your relationships and your creative work.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, insights and questions! Please leave a comment…