“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” ~ Source Unknown
“The Goose And The Golden Egg”
Once a poor farmer possessed a goose. One morning when he went to her nest, he discovered a glittering golden egg. He took the egg to the market and sold it for a good price.
The next morning, the farmer discovered another golden egg. Again, he sold it at the market for a good sum.
Each day, the farmer found another golden egg that the goose had laid. Soon, he became wealthy.
But he also became greedy. He decided that one egg a day was taking too long to accumulate the riches he dreamed of. One day, after counting his money, the farmer had an idea. Why not kill the goose and get all the eggs at once? Then he would be wealthy indeed.
The farmer put his plan into action immediately and straight-away killed the wondrous goose. He cut her open and, to his dismay, there was not a single egg to be had. And now, his precious goose was dead. [“The Goose & The Golden Egg”]
Production And Production Capability
In The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey uses the fable of the goose and the golden eggs to explain the concept he calls the “P/PC Balance”. “Effectiveness,” says Covey, “lies in the balance . . . P stands for production of desired results, the golden eggs. PC stands for production capability, the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs.” [Covey]
An asset is (1) something you own that (2) has value. Assets fall into one of 3 classes: physical assets (things you can touch, a house, a car, a piece of machinery), financial assets (savings accounts, stock accounts, IRAs, 401Ks) and productive assets (things that give you increased capability to acquire the other 2 types of assets).
Your Most Important Asset
Today, let’s focus on your most important productive asset . . . you. How are you treating this asset? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you eating a healthy diet? Getting proper rest? Nourishing your emotional and spiritual needs?
You can go for production, all the golden eggs, running your asset at full speed and ignoring the “production capability” or care of the asset . . . for a time. Eventually though, the goose dies, the machine – in this case your body – breaks down. To continue to perform at your best, you must take care of yourself.
“If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Suppose you decide to begin an exercise program. You begin by walking around the block. Each day you get up and walk around your block. After a week or two, you walk a little further, maybe twice around the block. You begin to notice changes in how you feel – you have more energy and don’t get as winded walking up stairs. As you take care of the goose, you begin to get the golden eggs. Or to put it another way, as you care for your asset (your body), your production capability increases.
Eventually, you are walking a mile or more every day. You feel much better, you’ve lost a little weight, and you no longer feel wiped out at the end of a busy day.
But what happens if your habit gets derailed and you’re no longer walking each day? It doesn’t take long before you begin losing the gains you have made. And somehow it seems you lose the capabilities you gained much more quickly than it took to build them up. In other words, as you neglect your asset, your production capability rapidly decreases.
You must care for your asset in order to maintain a high level of capability and enjoyment of life.
How are you maintaining and caring for your most important asset? Here are some things to consider.
Health: Have you had a physical check up recently? Do you know your cholesterol levels and blood pressure? Whether you seek care from a traditional physician or a holistic health practitioner, prevention is much easier than treatment. It’s a cliche’ but it’s true: Often we don’t appreciate our good health until we lose it.
Exercise: Is there anyone who still believes that exercise is not a necessity for a productive and healthy life? Exercise improves your physical fitness. Exercise improves your mental sharpness. Exercise improves your emotional well-being. A complete exercise program includes both aerobic exercise to strengthen the heart and weight training or other exercises to strengthen the muscles, including the core. The benefits of regular exercise are too great for you to ignore this important activity.
Diet: What do you give your wonderful body to use as fuel? Large doses of sugar and fat, caffeine or alcohol? Junk food? It’s called that for a reason. Your body can survive on nearly any diet, but it won’t necessarily thrive. And survival doesn’t equate to longevity. Attend to what your body — not your ego or mind — tells you. It knows what is best for itself. Eat the fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and other good foods that provide the best fuel.
Positivity: Why be happy? Who really cares? Well, anyone who cares about improved health, improved brain functioning,
and even improved profitability. A number of recent studies show that it is possible for positive emotions to increase personal
resources, both physical and mental. These studies have shown that increases in positive emotions result in improved immune functioning, reduced inflammation from stress, increased resistance to infections, improved resiliency, and lowered cortisol in the body. Increased positive emotions improve thinking ability, including increased cognitive flexibility and improved speed and accuracy in thinking and reasoning.
The good news is that you can influence your own level of positivity up to 40% by following certain practices, such as expressing gratitude, learning to forgive, taking time to savor good things in your life, setting positive goals, meditating and being present in the moment. (Visit TheExceleratedLife.com and download The Happiness Hundred for a list of 100 things you can do right now to increase your happiness and positivity.)
Be Your Best To Give Your Best
“. . . nurturing yourself . . . It’s a have to, not a nice to.” ~ Dianne Greyerbiehl, Ph.D.
This note from my mentor coach and friend, Dianne Greyerbiehl, founder of The Life Coach Institute, reminds me of an important fact. YOU are your biggest asset. Everything you are, everything you do, everything you have depends on how you use your physical, mental, and emotional faculties.
Excelerated self-care means you are taking excellent care of yourself — perfecting the present and setting the stage for an even brighter future. It is caring for yourself in all areas of your life: health, wealth, self-esteem, relationships, physical, spiritual, and emotional.
Excelerated self-care — taking extremely good care of yourself — is not indulgent. It is necessary if you are to give your best to the world. And giving your best to the world is embracing the Excelerated Life!
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Excelerated self-care — taking excellent care of yourself — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life, a life of flourishing, of well-being, meaning, and purpose.
“The Goose & the Golden Egg.” The Æsop for Children,,November 26, 2018. <http://read.gov/aesop/091.html>
Covey, Stephen R. The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989