“Figure out how to delegate that allows you to sleep at night.”

My CEO said this to me during a recent one-to-one meeting. Whether or not he’d figured out how to do that for himself yet (which he hasn’t), the truth was still there. Racing thoughts on what needs to be done or what wasn’t done well have been the biggest obstacle both to my falling asleep at night and to waking up feeling refreshed and optimistic.

Without my body, there is not my mind. Without my mind, there is not my livelihood, interests, and influence. My choice to focus on these sectors of physical health as a path towards perfect(ish)ism is deliberate, the simplest hack to see a ripple effect of improvement in all areas of my life.

Anyway, he’s right. If I want to improve my sleep health this January, limiting daytime stressors would make a big difference. I’m currently an executive at a burgeoning startup, and this is my first time in the C-suite. This is that make-or-break moment to go from The #1 Doer (the legacy of my career) to The #1 Delegator.

Apropos of that truth, I ran myself down working so hard this month that I became deathly ill with the flu for over a week. My body collapsed; I could do no more. And I had time to think about all I was “doing” wrong.

This leads me to my next self-improvement step: quit being so nice. Because being nice isn’t getting what I need out of people. “Whether people like us or not, we need to make good choices about when to be nice and when it’s time to take care of ourselves.”

I’m too nice everywhere—at work, to the general public, with friends, in relationships—and this sentence describes exactly what happens next: “Being nice all the time means holding in negative feelings, tuning out your needs, quietly resenting others–and maybe occasionally exploding.”

I’ll come back to do some of the exercises shared in that article, as well as some I started on my own the other evening thinking these things through. I’ve turned it all into a role-playing game to layer onto next month’s antics…

— CK

2 responses to “Doers die.”

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