Good Health = High Performance

We all already know that when we feel better physically, we are able to work harder and for longer periods of time. There’s more going on here than just that, however, since when we feel better, we are also more willing to take the time to think things through in order to make wiser choices.

I know that when I used to feel tired and run down most of the time, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time making good choices. I usually made my decisions based on what seemed the easiest things to do, whether they really made sense in the long term or now. And there were other times when I know that I only saw the most obvious choices and accepted them as being the only ones available to me, although there probably were other choices that would have required less work overall.

For instance, when I was developing my photography business. Weddings are a natural and obvious choice for a new photographer to pursue. Especially in Grand Rapids where photographers routinely get $1000 or more, even on the low end. So I placed a few ads in the local weekly paper and started taking calls for wedding photography. At that time, I had very few samples of wedding photos, and in fact most of my photos were of scenics and some candid street photography. I had almost no posed group portraits, and nothing that could have been considered formally posed portraits. I had a tough time selling myself under those conditions.

Later, when I was able to clear my mind enough to see other possibilities, I realized that it would be easier overall to do a couple of weddings for free just to get samples I could show prospective clients. After I had some good samples, I could sell my work much easier and get more for my time.

And later still, I discovered that I could make even more money with less effort by going after a completely different type of photography – event portraits. Event photography is much like what is done at high school proms and homecoming dances, where the photographer sets up a background, light, and camera, and then produces simple portraits of each couple that comes in for a photo. Collecting even $20 per couple resulted in my making over $500 per hour! This was something I could never do with wedding photography.

Another example of how good health results in higher performance comes from when I was in high school. One of my least favorite classes was Geography. I was always much more interested in math, science, and art. Anyways, it happened that my Geography class was right after lunch period, and when the weather was good, I tended to jog a lap around the track (which is a quarter-mile for anyone who doesn’t already know that).

When I got into the Geography class, my heart was still pumping blood through my body, and my lungs were still bringing in extra oxygen. And that extra oxygen revved up my brain, adding something to my mental capacity. Luckily, the classes were structured in such a way that we had time to work on the homework assignments during classtime, so on the days I had jogged the quarter-mile, I usually left class with my assignment finished.

I’ve continued to notice that on days when I do no physical exercise, I tend to drag through my work with only average results. But on days when I take a few minutes to do a little exercise, my work improves and I see better results for my efforts.

Since then, I’ve taken advantage of this awareness to give myself an advantage.

You don’t have to spend your whole life on a treadmill in order to gain a benefit from exercise. Just a few minutes at a time, once or twice a day works wonders. You can do aerobics, Tai Kwon Doe, cycling, jogging, swimming, weight lifting, or even the old standard pushups, situps and such.

Whatever you do, keep physically active and see your prosperity get easier and easier to attract.