This is Wellness

I wrote this to kick off a wellness initiative in my organization. I hope you benefit from it, also.

Ours is an aspirational, achievement-driven culture. It is a culture of winning marked by a strong belief in what is possible with a community of people focused and passionate about accomplishing great things.

We want the best for our organization which is simply another way of saying that we want the best for ourselves. Our company, our teams and our colleagues need and want us to be at our best so that our organization can be at its best. This is wellness.

Both an individual and a community effort, wellness is more than “ideal” physical dimensions, rigorous exercise and Spartan diets. It is much, much more. Wellness is about being our best physical, social, emotional and professional selves so that we can live the lives we want to live. And, it is about creating and sustaining a vibrant, energizing and results-driven workplace so that all of us can benefit from our mutual success.

As we begin a new conversation about wellness, a conversation we hope you will sustain over the coming months and years, we will be using language that represents four key elements of wellness for our culture. These four elements are not exhaustive but are the ones we believe matter most to each of us, most of the time. When we Move, Play, Listen and Achieve we are pursuing wellness, we are moving towards our best self. Read on to learn what these words represent and their significance in this new conversation.

Move.

When we move we know we are alive. It is through movement that we get where we are going. Be that walking, running or jumping; dancing, golfing or cycling, moving well is both deeply gratifying and deeply connected to our well-being. In our definition of wellness Move is all about our physical being: our bodily health and our efforts, large and small, to achieve physical well-being through forms of movement, nutrition and activity that are appropriate to us and our individual situation.

Play.

We are social creatures. Introverted or extraverted, we all need and rely on others to bring greater satisfaction to our existence and to bring greater meaning to our lives. There is a deep, proven connection between healthy relationships and healthy living and it is through our social networks and activities that these relationships are formed and sustained. Play is about all of the ways we interact with others to satisfy our deep and enduring need for the enjoyment of life – the laughter, connection and energy that comes through positive interactions with others.

Listen.

We all have highs and lows. We all have strengths and challenges. And we all have the opportunity to develop ourselves for greater impact in our relationships and in our work. When we Listen to ourselves we become aware of our inner workings, the emotional drivers that can hijack us in times of stress and fulfill us in times of joy. When we listen to others we become aware of how our internal state impacts those around us, sometimes for the best and other times, well…you know how it goes. To listen well is to learn. And learning about self and others is at the heart of emotional wellness.

Achieve.

We believe that people need to find meaning in their work. We further believe that each of us wants the satisfaction that comes from professional accomplishment; that when we have the opportunity to apply our learning, talents and experience to a cause we believe in, we are more engaged and more fulfilled. The pursuit of professional wellness is the desire to Achieve in a manner consistent with our values, goals and beliefs. It is the coming together of place, position, purpose and people in a way that truly sustains us as we feed our families and fulfill our dreams.

Move. Play. Listen. Achieve. You will see, hear and experience these words in action in the coming months as the conversation about wellness takes on further definition and clarity for each of us. Until then, you are invited to consider how these words have meaning for you today and how they might inspire you to imagine a new definition of wellness – one that helps you to become your best self.

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