I just completed a seven day fast, eating no solid food. “Are you crazy?” some might ask. But for thousands of years people have practiced fasting for religious reasons, for self-discipline, for political purposes, or as a way to give their hardworking digestive systems a break and restore health.
A fast can be helpful in business, too. What area of your business runs constantly, without a break, 24/7? What insight might come if you took a break from it?
One example is taking a break from constantly worrying about things in your business. This could be worrying about whether a current project is going to come out OK for your client, or it could be worrying about your cash flow. It could be worrying about whether you are in the right business! What if you took a one week “fast” from worrying? Imagine what that would feel like. Imagine how much energy it would free up.
Remember, worrying is different from strategic thinking, which is necessary. Worrying is playing an endless loop in your mind about all the “what ifs” that could happen. Living in “what if” land is a definite waste of your time, and time is your most precious resource. Dealing with the current moment reality is life at its heart.
Another example of a business “fast” is taking a staff retreat. While some businesses and organizations do take these, there are many that do not, or don’t do them as regularly as they’d like. Has it been a few years since you’ve taken your staff off-site for a retreat? It could be for strategic planning purposes, or it could be to get everyone connected back to the reason why you are all doing what you are doing. A fast (of whatever type) is an incredible opportunity to get back to what’s essential and to see your life and work with new eyes.
If you’ve lost touch with the essence of your work, with your passion for why you are doing what you are doing, then a fast could be the perfect prescription. Our routines exist to serve us. Yet taking a break from our routines on occasion can help them not become ruts or canyons with walls so high we forget what possibilities are out there over the rim. Fasting – whether it’s a juice fast or a fast from your daily routines – will bring you powerful insights that can lead you to positive new directions.
Fasting is an exercise that has been around for millennia. Applied to your business, it can have a huge positive impact. Whether it’s a physical, emotional, or spiritual fast, why not start one today.
© 2014 Anne Alexander, all rights reserved in all media
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