Mental health for busy business people

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my wife and she shared something that raised a red flag in me. She told me that I needed therapy because I was speaking in a way that was making her feel uncomfortable and hurt. I immediately apologised, which is the easiest thing to do, to be honest, and went into self-analysis in my past actions and reactions, much more complex. 

She was right.

Before going further, did you know that: 

if you would put a frog in hot water, it would jump right away because of the unbearable heat and the sharp temperature difference. However, if someone would put a frog in cold water and then gradually increase the temperature, then the frog would let itself boil to death by just getting used to the pain and then too weak to jump, just sink in the boiling water and die boiled to death.

More details: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534568/

This story matter in the context of mental health because it is important to have people in our life that keep us attached to our true north. My wife is my true north, my childhood friends are my true north as well, some other family members might be slightly too biased in good or bad to be objective.

When the love of my life identified some traits of communication, it took me time to understand what was happening, because I can use these traits professionally to progress in complex professional situations. I am very ambitious and have a dream of being the change I want to see in the world. I am dedicated to advancing the state of financial inclusion in Africa and beyond and providing value to our clients and partners. I provide value to central banks, CEOs, manage teams, defend projects, and I have to project an image of confidence and balance. A couple of years ago, with my wife, we decided to land on something new and I learn something new every day and have developed over the years an extremely high capacity of adaptation and resilience.

My life experiences have led me to be in contact with multiple cultures in France, Mexico, Canada, the USA, and across countries in Africa where you have specificities between tribes in the same country. As a business person, you need to serve your customers. Being a servant leader and provider for the people around is a beautiful weight that keeps on growing and I see it getting bigger and bigger as time passes. Keeping the balance is key.

Emotionally I imagine myself as being kind, fair, sweet, with strong values, full of attention with a hedonism that I visualize myself communicating to people around me, I would say that my wife might recognize me 75% in that vision. She probably does not see just this positive aspect, but also the pitfalls. I am a chronic planner, chess player, I come from a middle-class family where we had to manage supplies, I would say that every year I become one additional percent more serious, more “adult-like”, and maybe more annoying. I don’t want to become unbearable as I have seen other men become trying to do the right things the wrong way.

This cannot be at the expense of my wife and kids and I must have units of measure and be sensitive to red flags such as the frog in the water.

I have read books of the great leaders of this world and it is something that they share concerning their relationship, Barack Obama talks about it in his book “Dreams from my father” when he used to spend stretch’s of months in a tour bus trying to defend his ideas and being seen as the president material he wanted to become and the fact that he was negotiating strategic deals to keep the country safer and his wife was responding that he kept forgetting bread, which would leave him puzzled, same stories for Nelson Mandela, Steve Job as well, and I was wondering how is it that great men mess up great marriages and relationships. Michelle Obama and my wife are right.

Simple is difficult sometimes in a society where everything goes fast, from information to the deprecation of the supplies in the house, and we have the feeling that the world would stop without our direct action. I come to realize that it is not the case and that it is important to delegate to remove situations of stress in our professional and personal life. We are used to being stressed when a bill comes in the mail reminding us that we need to deliver on time consistently every week for the rest of our life. It seems as if we are doomed to run on the wheel of responsibilities every time. If we don’t do so as an entrepreneur the outcome is less or no retirement, low salary (that is supposed to be tagged to the value the society finds in our work, this concept is disputable), and social failure.

A few days ago a good friend sent me this scripture: 

“before any wild plants appeared on the earth, and before any field crops grew, because the LORD God hadn’t yet sent rain on the earth and there was still no human being to farm the fertile land,”

Genesis 2:5 CEB (https://bible.com/bible/37/gen.2.5.CEB)

We have grown to manage life, or farm this fertile land, without necessarily living it, and this sucks the life off our body and the people around us. We don’t stop to listen to birds anymore, we miss the clouds above us because we are serious people, we don’t pay attention to the delicate taste of white tea on our tonsils, the feeling of holding someone’s hand, and the energy that passes through bodies, kisses are tense and there is always a good reason to not do or do something. We want, I want objective feedback about my actions, because I’m a serious person, social media likes become our social metrics, and we are always on our phones because something is always happening, we need real-time information, and we miss the obvious. Then we are mad because we seem to never be included in real-time life. So we try to extract life in various excesses because it becomes our only living experience.

I believe that there is an in-between and abundance where we can be a great business person and live in a healthy family balance. I am hoping that readers will share their ideas and opinions on this social taboo that lead people to boil like the frog I was referring to earlier, I would love to improve my ways to become a better human being.

Here are resources and tips I try to use to keep my energy balanced and my head on my shoulders. I have a lot of work to do to become a better person in 2022:

Stay healthy business friends, money is a tool, and success is not only material, it is also spiritual and healthy relationships.

  • Breathing with your stomach
  • Exercise a little bit every day
  • Take my wife on vacations, be present
  • Blow kisses to the people I love and catch theirs
  • Tell someone you love them every day
  • Play cars on the floor with my kids more often
  • Read Holy books: The Bible, the Coran, Buddha, and others that I am not familiar with.
  • Laugh more, cry more, dance more
  • The little prince, by Antoine Saint Exupery. Thank you Mommy for reading to me when I was a kid, I keep reading it to my boys and myself today
  • Pranic Healing books from Master Choa Kok Sui
  • Energy massages and discussions with my energy coach 💆🏾 

Stay healthy business friends, money is a tool, and success is not only material, it is also spiritual and in healthy relationships.

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