Most of the major choices we make in life don’t come about as the result of long term planning.
We’re far more likely to act upon things spontaneously as a result of something that happens to us that’s enough to provoke an instant desire for change.
Such an event has recently happened to me and has its origins back in my time as a professional footballer.
One of the most important commitments any professional sportsperson has to make for themselves is to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. That means not only maintaining high levels of physical fitness but also keeping an eye on your diet and overall nutrition. It’s part of the job; to borrow a certain phrase, you ‘just do it’.
Which means it can be difficult to commit to that healthy lifestyle quite so much when you quit playing. After all, if I’m not going to be playing two games a week and all that entails, where is the obligation to maintain fitness levels aimed at doing just that?
I’ll tell you: it’s not there anymore. And there are plenty of ex professional footballers out there who are substantial evidence of that.
But that’s not what I’m about.
For me, my whole life is about making the very best of myself. Both as a person and as a professional. I’m not an ex-professional footballer; I’m a professional person. I used to play football for a living but have now moved on. I do other things, including broadcasting, motivational speaking and working alongside Gavin Drake at ThinkPRO.
So my personal and professional standards are as high as they have ever been.
As a result of that, when it came to catching up with my bathroom scales this week, I had that ‘eureka’ moment, the one which turns prevarication into action. Because the scales read 80kgs. Which is way above my ideal ‘fighting’ weight.
As a result of that, I have committed to a strict six month fitness regime. And not just because I need to. But because I want to.
It’s sometimes easy to be so focused on our professional lives that we neglect our personal ones. Yet the two are inextricably linked. You cannot possibly have quality in one without having the same in the other.
Something which the parable of the Mexican fisherman goes a little way to explaining.
My career is very important to me. I’m driven, ambitious and passionate about my work.
But I can’t let that overshadow my personal life and what I owe to myself as a person.
It’s great to have ambition in life and career goals to work towards. But it’s also important to know who you are as well as what you are. Which is why, as from this week, I’m committing to the most important thing in my life. To Paul McVeigh.
Have you thought about your own life versus work balance lately? If you haven’t, do yourself a favour and give it a go.
You deserve it.