As we come to the end of 2021, I have reflected on my journey so far especially my personal sustainability. We have talked a lot about how our organisations can be sustainable and probably given personal sustainability a very small bandwidth in our daily lives.
Personal sustainability is about unlocking our potential. It is characterised by harmony, awareness, and intentionality in thought and behaviour. The effect of this is what we call a balanced life with better outcomes when it comes to increased responsible actions and continued growth in one's domains of life.
To achieve personal sustainability is not a sprint; it is indeed a marathon, and we should brace ourselves for it. Personally, I have run so many marathons and know how it is to run in a marathon. Hitting the tarmac for 42km is a hard endeavour but a fulfilling one, especially the lessons one can draw from it.
One key takeaway is that running a marathon is not about winning and being the first. Actually, I have never been top 5,000 in any marathon that I have participated in.
I am at peace that I have not been anywhere near a win in a marathon; however, I know a lot about marathons and race culture which is similar to life. In life, it is not about competition. On the contrary, you establish what you want to achieve and relentlessly go for it.
In a marathon, you do not have to win to receive a medal—anyone who successfully completes a marathon gets a medal.
Why? Because completing a marathon is a huge personal success—no matter how fast or slow you might be. It may be called a ‘race,’ but the vast majority of marathoners, just like me, are not very concerned with racing their fellow competitors across the finish line… they are just focused on crossing the finish line. And that, to me, is success.
There is one definition of success that I love to borrow: “Success is not a product of doing everything with perfection or getting truckloads of affirmation. Instead, success is brave enough to show up. To risk. To try. To put yourself out there and be seen. And to show your truest self to the world without holding back.”
As you progress through life, especially in 2022, I encourage you to always remember this statement: “Success is not a product of doing everything with perfection… Success is being brave enough to show up.”
As a marathon runner, I do not run the race perfectly. I do not achieve perfect time, beat everyone across the finish line, and win the race. And yet, I am always brave enough to show up. I am brave enough to try. And courageous enough to give it my all and measure my own success – no matter the success of anyone on the field.
In our organisations, we make 3-5 years strategic plans but we forget to make our own strategic plans- what I call ME LTD strategic plans - that would lead us to personal sustainability. There is a need to be deliberate in life and chase our dreams, but these dreams need to be well documented and should be big and highly audacious goals.
A personal sustainability plan is a journey that keeps iterating and never gets it done. This is the reality and why daily journaling and reflections should be an integral part of our lives. Having a plan, creating personal benchmarks and celebrating the small personal wins is important for long-term motivation.
In my “unlocking your potential” programmes, I have been preaching the gospel of not only unlocking the value for your organisation but also your personal value. I have encouraged clients to find creative ways to live a balanced life by evaluating their lives from nine domain areas that define success in life.
A sustainable life invites freedom for you and others leading to innovative ways for a better life, full of balance and satisfaction. Personal sustainability plans are about making and sustaining a change in your life that you can be inspired and passionate about.
A personal sustainability plan should consider the nine domain areas: spirituality, physical health, inner health, family, career, finances, friendships, adventure and impact. Regardless of how old you are and where you live the key is to be happy and successful in the nine domain matters.
To achieve personal sustainability means more than just having money and making your mark. It means following your passions, living purposefully, and enjoying the present moment. How about you? What are your plans for 2022? Are you aiming for sustainability? Then you will need to be brave enough to show up, risk, try and put yourself out there.