The Lead Up
I love to read and connect new ideas to my existing knowledge. Recently, I read Peak Performance where the authors stated…
“Stress + rest = growth. This equation holds true regardless of what it is that you are trying to grow.”
I thought to myself… sure, our high-performance loving culture popularizes increasing growth rates and shares all of the tactics to get there, but we tend to ignore the second half of the equation… rest.
Let’s add on that there’s little to no escaping the round the clock notifications, emails, tweets, claps, likes, and slacks. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to crave our fill of dopamine, stay connected, and become addicted to our devices. We’re living in an always connected world that has been largely untested for negative long-term effects.
For the past two years, I had a front-row view of how companies are growing metrics like “time spent” and “daily active users” which could conversely be thought of us how addicted users are to said platforms. These metrics are grown at all costs, with little preemptive philosophical discovery around long-term effects of addicting users to devices.
PERSONAL REFOCUS & REST
After a few months of feeling exhausted, uninspired, addicted to social media, email and Slack, I started to reevaluate things. I knew there was more to life and if I wanted to help make the world better, I’d have to start with myself.
After reading Lost & Founder by Rand Fishkin, I took a step back from my day to day and crafted my own personal core values. I started putting these core values into action and used them as a filter for any new and existing engagements. Does this align with my core values?
As Carol Dweck says, “Effort is one of the things that gives meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it. It would be an impoverished existence if you were not willing to value things and commit yourself to working toward them.”
Then I went on vacation and disconnected from everything but the people and environment around me. I rested, read books, laughed with friends, got lost outside, and spent time with family.
I felt alive and re-inspired.
New Areas of Learning
This renewed feeling fueled my personal exploration on what happens when there is no rest in the growth equation… burnout.
I started asking friends, colleagues, and family about their personal experiences with burnout, and there was a clear pattern. Burnout effects most people in some capacity and depending on a person’s personality and environment, it can manifest in different ways.
My gears were spinning. I reached out to a previous, well-respected colleague, Dr. Galen Buckwalter, to share my thoughts and interest in understanding the phenomenon of burnout in this always-on world.
Galen shared that he was coincidentally working to create an assessment with Kaiser Permanente to understand physician burnout and how psychometrics can be used to intervene with personalized recommendations to combat and recover from symptoms of burnout.
It was a no brainer for us to collaborate on this project and I started as a Clinical Researcher for psyML where I’m currently immersing myself in personality profiling and how psychometrics can be applied at scale.
Meanwhile, I also decided to enroll in a yoga teacher training with the idea that I’ll immerse myself in what I hypothesize to be a part of the rest solution – breathing, being mindful, building community, understanding, strengthening and stretching one’s body, mind, and soul. Not to mention it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years and could now afford to do.
While these new areas of learning are quite different than what I’ve been learning to date (helping companies adopt growth process at GrowthHackers), I see them being the missing pieces that will contribute to a new perspective of how we approach sustainable growth.
To help connect new ideas to my existing knowledge, I want to share what I learn and how this knowledge can be applied more broadly with my lovely network (you). So, I’m in the process of launching Growth Gal, a work-in-progress blog focused on helping people and companies adopt sustainable and ethical growth practices that help make a positive impact on humanity and the environment.
I’d love for you to join me in this new learning journey. Sign up for my email updates and I’ll teach you what I learn along the way. I promise to make it fun. 🙂
Have questions, thoughts, our words of wisdom to share?
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave them in the comments below.