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Happiness, Health and High Performance

Many of us prioritise high performance at work at the expense of our happiness and health.

The parent who has the big title and the big pay but whilst overseas on business, misses the birth of their first born child. Happiness sacrifice.

The 60+ hour work week that leads to an inability to sleep as they simply can’t “switch off”. Health sacrifice.

The wealthy and ‘successful’ person who has broken relationships and had a heart attack in their early 50s. Happiness and health sacrifice.

You don’t have to make the sacrifice. You can have it all.

What if we all pursue mastery in Happiness, Health and High Performance (the 3 H’s)? What would that look like? I believe that at the intersection of these 3 things is simply, the best version of ourselves.

A closer look at HAPPINESS.

Happiness is something you do, not something you feel. Happiness is often a virtue that is important to most, but prioritised by few. It is something we have all experienced, but struggle to define. The common definition of happiness is that it is a positive emotional state or feeling such as joy, contentment, peace, love or satisfaction. It’s a great definition but, is it useful? Feelings, by their very nature, are fleeting. It follows that if we accept happiness as a feeling, then we also accept happiness as fleeting. That’s ridiculous. How can something as important as happiness be accepted as fleeting? However, if we define happiness as an action or something that we do, then happiness is something we can have all the time. We can’t control how we feel, but we can control what we do. This leads us to the framework of #DoHappy which transformed my life and now the lives of the amazing people I have had the privilege of coaching and mentoring both as a GP and privately.

A closer look at HEALTH.

Health is something we need to design into our busy lives. As a General Practitioner, the majority of my work deals with preventable disease. Unfortunately, most of our work is in treating preventable disease, not preventing it. Up to 13 of the top 20 causes of death in Australia are preventable; heart disease, strokes, certain types of cancer, diabetes and suicide. Sustainable life long wellbeing occurs when we understand and apply what we need to do (e.g. exercise), why we need to do it (e.g. because exercise will add quality years to our lives) and how we can implement this into our busy lives. When it comes to health, people generally know what they need to do and why. The “How” is the special sauce that is missing. We are all busy. Long work hours. Family commitments. Friend requests. Crying babies. Late night nappy changes. It comes down to understanding productivity, the science of habits and goal setting. Once you learn it, it’s addictive and most importantly, life changing.

Let’s take a closer look at HIGH PERFORMANCE.

Striving for high performance at work can help us look forward to Monday’s. So many of us look forward to Friday’s. The implication is that that the weekend is better than the week itself. What if there is no difference? Loving what you do, being energised by who you work with and gaining a sense of excitement with where you are heading at work is the sweet spot. Like anything that is worthwhile in life, this doesn’t need to be left to chance. We can design for this. Most of us will spend a significant portion of our lives at work so we better love it.

Again, we don’t have to make sacrifices when it comes to our happiness, health and high performance. We can have it all.

Thank you for joining me on my first of many articles on the 3 H’s. I genuinely hope it is useful and relevant.

Much love to you and of course, to myself.

Dr G

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