Over the years, I have learned that simultaneous success in my job and other important areas of life, such as sports, depends on six main areas or steps, and my ability to master them in the following ways.
1. Igniting the passion:
It all starts with passion. Success does not simply happen by chance. It is something that we create over time through a little bit of talent and a large amount of passion and determination. Through my triathlon journey, I have realized that passion is the most powerful source of motivational energy that makes our lives truly exciting and worthwhile. With passion, I know why I get up in the morning and sometimes why I can´t fall asleep at night. It helps me create clarity of what truly matters and what I want to do. It is what gives me the energy and sustaining power to push through when going gets tough. In addition, passion radiates to all areas of life and grows when it is shared. It is like an attractive virus. When you are passionate you realize that people become truly interested in what you are doing and in turn, want to get infected themselves.
2. Definition of motivating targets:
With passion in check, the rest of the “steps” play out in more of a sequence. I start each year by defining my “life pyramid” which consists of the three areas that are most important to me: my family and friends, my profession, and my sportive passion. For each of these three areas, I define motivating targets that I would like to achieve in the course of the year. Through this process, I increase my awareness about priorities. The outcome of this exercise is a list the things that I want to achieve and would like to do. I then discuss, align and prioritize the list with my wife. The most motivating targets and activities to me – especially when it comes to sports - are the ones that I can share with my wife, and for me, this spurs many of those goals on to become actions.
3. Planning and time management:
When I talk sport with business people, time is always what seems to be holding them back. In today’s world, time is something very precious and we should all be conscious about what we do with it. As a time-stressed professional, excellent organization and time management are absolutely paramount. I start each year by breaking down my objectives, defined in my “life pyramid” into a “master plan” showing a yearly overview with all the important business milestones, business travels and competitions on a weekly basis. Based on this plan, I define which two competitions are the most important ones and my coach then helps me by developing a macro training logic which is optimally aligned with my professional targets and obligations and designed to get me fit for the high priority events. Despite all that planning, it is paramount to keep a flexible mind.
Life, including business, usually does not develop exactly as planned.
Faced with a very dynamic entrepreneurial business reality, I have learned not get frustrated when conflicts occur but simply try to make the best out of the situation and stay positive and motivated. Over time, I have also become a true master of flexible time optimization and use most of the free slot for training. Accordingly, when I am in Switzerland, I mostly bike or run to work and - if I do a lunch break - I use it for training in the gym or swimming in the lake. During my monthly travels between Asia and Europe, I try not to waste any time in the hotel room after a long working day. I usually make a very fast transition when arriving at the hotel to avoid the trap of getting stuck watching news, checking emails or surfing the web. I rather use that time for a light training session, which is the best way for me to synch my body and mind, reduce stress and gather mental energy for the next day.