Book Review by Andy Ghillyer
If you consider yourself to be a peak performer whose career is defined by your ability to work longer and harder than your competition, have you ever considered the price you are paying for that ‘Type A’ behavior? The Japanese have a word for death by overworking: karoshi.
In her new book Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Well-Being for Success, author Megan McNealy, argues that it is possible to do well while also being well, provided you pay equal attention to your body, mind, and spirit. She is a passionate proponent of the belief that “vibrant well-being and peak performance are undeniably connected.”
The Well-Being Wheel
The mechanism McNealy uses to map-out her path to spiritual, mental, and physical peak performance has a simple name but a powerful potential. The Well-Being Wheel places you at its center, and is surrounded by the “core aspects of you”: Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Each of those categories is further sub-divided by six universal spokes that are designed to encapsulate the keys to peak performance in each category.
At first glance, the keys may seem deceptively simple. In the body category, for example, the keys include rest, exercise, hydration, and a plant-based diet––all attainable with minimal changes required. However, this assumption does a disservice to the cumulative power of change in all eighteen spokes on the Well-Being Wheel.
Practicing What You Preach
McNealy shares her own challenging medical issues with Rheumatoid Arthritis, followed by chronic kidney disease and kidney cancer. It was her “healing quest” that led to the development of the Well-Being Wheel and a personal and professional lifestyle that fully embraces all eighteen spokes. However, to further explain the cumulative power of doing well while being well, the author offers eighteen interviews with successful entrepreneurs who practice what McNealy preaches and who willingly attribute their success to the power of paying attention to body, mind, and spirit.
For example, the last Universal Mind Spoke––“Master a Positive Attitude: Here Comes the Sun”––features an interview with Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing for Google. Kallayil talks about aspiring to be a “Happy Human” after meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama and being inspired by his infectious, genuine laughter and delight. He is open about the stress of representing the Google brand on the world stage, but remains consciously positive about all the tremendous and varied benefits that such a high-ranking position can offer, from meeting with Fortune 100 CEO’s to delivering a presentation at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Kallayil consider himself to be a “possiblearian” because he considers every opportunity to be doable or at least worthy of serious consideration. He strongly believes that self-acceptance and self-compassion, combined with a positive attitude can make anyone a “Happy Human,” since you are laying the foundation of self-knowledge and self-discovery of what gives our lives meaning.
Reinvent the Wheel offers a deceptively simple path to doing well by being well. By paying close attention to all the spokes on the Well-Being Wheel, peak performance and vibrant well-being is possible.
Andy Ghillyer is a Contributing Writer at Soundview. He lives in Tampa, FL where he specializes in writing for the B2B and academic markets while raising a growing menagerie of cats and dogs. His other reviews are here.
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