Years ago, I created a presentation which I called, “The 7 Habits of Highly Fit People”. The title borrowed from the seminal Stephen Covey book. I love that book, and highly recommend it. It is one of my all time favorites for personal development. The purpose of my presentation was to give the audience a framework for developing and following a successful fitness lifestyle. However, I have revised my thinking a bit. I no longer use the term “fit” in this regard, opting instead for “well”. You see, a person can be fit without being well. And since my focus is on Therapeutic Training, I have changed the title of this work to “The 7 Habits of Highly Wellthy People”. Most of you know by now that my desire is for each and every one of you to join me in my journey of strong health and vitality. It is my raison d’etre. I know that you don’t have to be and do what everyone else is and does. We can be different. All it takes is strict adherence to simple principles. These principles guide me in my wellness journey, and it is my hope that you adopt them as well. I have modified my original list as I have grown and experimented. So, here are the 7 habits, continuing with habit 6:
Manage Your Associations!
Our parents and grandparents, in all their wisdom, warned us that we are defined by who we hang out with. Experts in human relations fields tell us that even our moral values are reflected in the people with whom we spend most of our time. It seems this is true. But here is my point: We have two kinds of relationships — The relationship with the self, and the relationship with others. Personal health starts with managing ourselves. We take care of this with the first 5 habits. Habit 6 concerns relationships with others.
Have you noticed that some people are rather a drain on your energy? Do you feel that after spending time with them that you must do something else in order to recharge your batteries, so to speak? Conversely, do you know people that just seem to lift your spirits, and with whom you have a strong, positive, symbiotic relationship? One of the keys to being healthy is to form and maintain healthy relationships — personal, business, and otherwise. But remember this, “The Man” tells us that “there’s no ‘I’ in TEAM”. I completely disagree! (Do you notice how much I disagree with “The Man”?). In my experience, there are at LEAST two “I”s in a “WE” (which is a team). In fact, you can not have a “WE” without at least two “I”s. “I” stands for Individual. “I” also stands for Independent. Only a strong “I” has the ability to contribute a healthy “WE”. Stephen Covey teaches us that a relationship consists of interdependent people, and that only an independent person can make the decision to enter into an interdependent relationship. In other words, only an “I” can make the decision to become a “WE”. So, in order to be truly wellthy, each of us must manage ourselves (habits 1-5), then manage our relationships (habit 6).
OK, let’s imagine that every relationship can be defined into one of three categories — Limited Association, Disassociation, and Expanded Association. Here we will take a closer look at each category for clarity, because understanding each category, and then developing the courage to manage our associations, is one of the keys to being highly wellthy:
- Limited Association — We all know a largely negative person that we have to be around for whatever reason. Perhaps it is a family member, or a member of church, or co-worker. You must spend a certain amount of time with or around this person because of your situation. However, you can and should choose to limit the amount of time that you spend with this person. You must, for your own health. Once I determine that an individual has to be in the “Limited Association” category, I then decide the minimal amount of time I must spend around or with this person. Then I put this into practice;
- Disassociation — There really are people and situations that are simply too toxic for your life (at least for where you currently are in your life). The irony is that some people are only toxic when they are together, but are actually great when not together. As one popular business coach put it, [If you keep clients in your practice that drain your energy, they are ultimately keeping you from being your best self when you are with your other (ideal) clients. Therefore, you must fire these clients as soon as possible]. I took this to heart, and began firing clients and associates that were draining my energy in a negative way. This was terrifying, but actually made my business so much better, and I started to pick up more ideal clients! There are only 24 hours in each day. When you limit the amount of time with “Limited Association” people, and recapture time from “Disassociation” people, you have more time and energy for the people and things that really matter! These are the people and things in the next category;
- Expanded Association — Fortunately, for each of us, there are people and organizations that are absolutely ideal. You should make it your mission to identify these people and organizations, then organize your schedule to maximize your time with them. The entities on this list would include: 1) your significant other (hopefully); 2) your best friend (ideally the same as number 1); 3) your church organization; and 4) the good folks at The Body Mechanic!
Managing your associations is not a one-time activity. It is on-going. Some people in the “Limited Association” category may drop down into the “Disassociation” category. Or, they may have a positive shift and move into the “Expanded Association” category. The important thing is that you are now cognizant of the importance of managing your associations.
Habit 6 — Manage Your Associations!
Remember my vision for us — We will age together! But we will be different from previous generations. I want us to be functional centinarians, free from the chronic diseases and pains so common today. Know this: Aging is mandatory. Maintaining functional fitness and vibrant health — well, that’s optional!
Have a super great day, and an even better tomorrow! If you have any questions, please do flip me an email. See you soon!
To Your Health!
Jeff Wooten, “The Body Mechanic”