A Better Version of Better
In the world of health, wellness & performance, everyone’s got an angle – a schtick – they claim is the magic solution to the life you’ve been dreaming about. Maybe it’s a specific diet, a new cream, fitness equipment, training plan, spa escape, motivational video, 7 step strategy, treatment approach… The list is endless – and it’s not only setting up unrealistic expectations, but also pointing us in the wrong direction via endless distractions. Katherine Rowland wrote about the negative sides of “wellness” in this article (and yes, I included quotation marks purposely as a reminder most things sold as “wellness” are nothing of the sort).
How about you? Are you falling for it? I am. I remember spending $100 on a special race-day goo added to the chain of my bike for the Hawaii Ironman that would theoretically save me 2 minutes in a 10 hour-long race. Unfortunately I invested in the magic goo before I’d mastered my own digestive issues on the run that would cost me, not just 2 minutes, but over 2 hours! (you can do the math on that one). I was focusing on the (potentially) marginal improvement before I’d effectively addressed the core elements!!
One of the popular services we offer employee team members of organizations we serve is our Catalyst Elite Coaching option. Employees currently participating in our coaching services can opt into Catalyst Elite to enhance their professional or personal pursuits (e.g., leadership or sales performance, athletic pursuits, etc.). Those who may have engaged in some form of “executive coaching” in the past often expect to be presented with some hot new version of strategic planning, goal setting or related concepts. We certainly integrate those things, but FIRST we address the Cornerstones. That’s right: Move… Fuel… Rest… Connect – in a manner that is specific to the individual’s situation, history, support systems, schedule, resources, and more. The real magic is internal. My PhD work focused on enhancing performance and the research is clear that internal optimization provides the foundation on which every other aspect related to positively improving every aspect or target that follows.
Phony wellness is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. Chasing after headlines and trends while neglecting the Cornerstones is a futile pursuit. Want to enhance your life? Start with Move – incorporate more activity into your routine. Fuel –”Eat real food, mostly plants, not too much” (Michael Pollan’s famously simply recommendation). Rest – trade 30 minutes of screen time for a bit more quality sleep. Connect – prioritize those relationships! Once the 4 Cornerstones are solidified, we can explore marginal adjustments. Until we address these foundational aspects, no matter how loudly gurus proclaim marginal changes, they offer little more than a new shade of lipstick.