Episode 13: Putting The “Radical” In Radical Self-Care

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Josh Allan Dykstra is a recognized thought leader on the future of work and company culture design. He is an author, TEDx speaker, and the CEO of #lovework, where they use technology to help heal burnout and create astonishingly great places to work.

Today I want to talk about something that’s frankly always been important, but I think many of us, myself included, have maybe been able to ignore it… until recently

That topic: self-care

Have you done a good job of self-care in the last few years?

I know I haven’t, but now I am very much in the process of waking up to what this phrase actually means

You’ve maybe heard the metaphor of self-care being like when you’re on an airplane and they ask you to put your mask on before assisting those around you

That’s a pretty solid analogy — and even if we haven’t really internalized this as our behavior, I think we intuitively feel the truth of being unable to adequately serve others if our tank is empty

That just makes sense

So we know it’s important, and we know we should do it

AND, I want us to talk about self-care in a way that pushes us to take it even further

So we’re going to talk about RADICAL self-care

Now, ’radical’ is an interesting word

In the recent past, it seems to me we most often use this word in a way that has a bit of a negative slant

That’s a ‘radical’ idea

That group was ‘radicalized’

Or even the movement around ‘radical candor’ in the workplace where we point out other people’s flaws

It’s all got a tone of harshness to it

But if you look up the word radical, a great definition you’ll see is that radical means it’s “affecting the fundamental nature of something.”

And isn’t this very related to everything we’ve been talking about in the larger Work Revolution conversation?

Surface changes are no longer enough.

We need radical changes.

We need to fundamentally alter the nature of our work systems.

And, I’ve come to believe, in order to do that, we need to fundamentally alter our own personal habits, too

This is a “healer, heal thyself” moment.

Which leads us back to radical self-care.

How do we do self-care so intently, so thoughtfully,

so consistently that it fundamentally alters our way of being?

Effective self-care is highly individualized — what it looks like for you is different than what it looks like for me

But we do know there are some common elements that seem to be unifying principles

Things like learning when to step away from my keyboard and take a break

Or noticing when I need to eat

Like learning how to breathe

Perhaps most importantly, it’s recognizing that NONE of these things really help over the long term if they’re not internalized into regular practices

Taking an afternoon break once a month isn’t going to cut it — and of course you already know this

So how do we turn these desires into new behaviors?

Well, it’s a little bit like the haircut — lots and lots and lots of tiny changes, micro-decisions, that we CHOOSE to make over and over and over

This is also related to how the future works.

You see, we don’t actually choose our future.

We choose our habits and they create our future.

So what are you choosing?

And how could you make that choice SMALLER and smaller to the point where it’s something you can actually realistically do every single day?

Because it’s these very, very small choices done consistently that help us make new futures.

And that’s radical.

See you next time.

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