Taming Type A Tendencies
Over the years I have learned to channel my energy and make it work for me instead of against me. Three things that have helped me the most:
Avoiding caffeine. Scientists still disagree on whether caffeine is really hazardous to your health. A doctor told me once that if you shot a cup of coffee directly into your bloodstream it would kill you. Yeah? Well so would a cup of asparagus!
But, silly arguments aside, under the influence of caffeine I am less able to manage my energy. I talk too fast. I get annoyed much more easily. I lack patience. I like to think that I manage to cover it well, but I still feel it. I know I’m not being the most effective business leader I can be.
Exercising. For me, this means hard exercise. I’m not sure an hour of yoga would cut it even if I did have the patience to try. I try to run an hour or more a day. If I’m traveling, I might substitute an hour on the elliptical or stair master just to mix things up. Or, in the summer, I might rollerblade.
My husband posed an interesting question recently when he asked, “Do you think anyone who truly does an hour or more of aerobic exercise a day could be depressed?” I’m sure you could find someone, but I don’t know how. I can feel like all the blood has pooled in my feet (or elsewhere) after sitting in an all day meeting. One hour, even on a treadmill, and I feel reinvigorated.
Where do I find the time? I don’t know, I just do. That’s like asking me where I find the time to eat. Given my current schedule, I usually workout from 9-10PM. But, at other times in my life morning has worked best. I just go with the flow. Which leads me to…
Living in the Moment. I’m not sure how to describe this one. While it may seem quaint, the serenity prayer is the best explanation I can offer.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
I try to enjoy what I am doing when I am doing it and not dwell on the rest of my to-do list. If I’m playing with the kids, I try to be there for them physically as well as mentally. I accept that I’m not omnipotent and there are just going to be some things I can’t control. Even if I can effect change, sometimes change takes time. The world runs on its own schedule and not mine.