Today is December 6 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you think long-term about your body and mind?” People that navigate the chaos understand the value in taking care of both their body and mind. They understand that both body and mind need to last, hopefully, decades, and the path of navigating the chaos is a lifetime pursuit. The best way to travel such a path is to ensure both body and mind are in as good as shape as possible.
American investor, business tycoon, philanthropist, and the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffet uses this approach. At the time of writing this post, Buffet is 90 years of age and with a net worth of $78 billion, is world's seventh-wealthiest person. In the 2017 documentary Becoming Warren Buffet, the self-made billionaire spoke to a class of high school students and discussed this need to think long-term about your body and mind. As Buffet informed the students:
“I really only had two things on my mind in high school…girls and cars. And I was not doing very well with girls, so we will talk about cars. But let us just imagine that when we finish, I am going to let each one of you pick out the car of your choice. Sounds good, doesn't it? Pick it out, any color, you name it, it will be tied up with a bow, and it will be at your house tomorrow. And you say, ‘Well, what's the catch?’ And the catch is...that it's the only car you're going to get in your lifetime. Now what are you going to do, knowing that that's the only car you're ever going to have, and you love that car? You are going to take care of it like you cannot believe. Now what I'd like to suggest is that you're not going to get only one car in your lifetime, but you are going to get one body and one mind, and that's all you're going to get. And that body and mind feels terrific now, but it has to last you a lifetime.”
To make your mind and body last a lifetime so you can continue to navigate the chaos at any age remember to work your body through some type of exercise, strengthen your mind by reading as much as possible, and then allow yourself enough time to rest each day. On recognizing the necessity of sleep, Buffet gets at least eight hours a night saying “I am in bed by 10.45pm. I get quite a bit of sleep. I like to sleep so I will usually sleep eight hours a night.”
In a May 12, 2014, New York Times article, psychiatrist James S. Gordon commented on the need to take good care of your body and mind so both last a longtime and wrote: “research has demonstrated that mind-body approaches reduce stress and improve mood and immunity. They decrease blood pressure in hypertensives, blood sugar in diabetics and pain. Dietary modification can play a major role in preventing breast, prostate, and colon cancer, as well as in diabetes and heart disease. And exercise, which can help prevent all of these, can also alleviate depression.”
It is easy to ignore your mind and body when you are obsessed with translating one dream after another into reality. Obsession is a requirement and useful strategy when navigating the chaos. But a nuanced understanding here also requires one to think long-term about their body and mind. Doing so can help provide the years of energy, balance, and health required to navigate the chaos over the course of decades. Today’s reflection ends with self-care reflections from three women who learned to navigate the chaos and engage in self-love.
American writer Audre Lorde wrote “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
Poet Maya Angelou noted “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
Film director Deborah Day observed “Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”
How often do you think long-term about your body and mind?
Do you understand that your actions today could have long-term consequences?
What have you done lately to help your long-term body and mind?
What excuses are you making that prevent you from taking care of your body and mind long-term?
How often do you ‘believe that caring for yourself is not self-indulgent but an act of survival?
How often do you remind yourself that you should help yourself and others?
How often do you allow yourself the kindness believe you are worth the effort of self-care?