By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
As another new year begins, I sit at my desk and ask How I can make 2023 a better year than 2022?
I did an interview recently on my “Career Can Do” podcast show with an author by the name of Chris Saye who visited the “Blue Zones”. Blue Zones are the five places in the world where people live the longest, and are healthiest:Sardinia, Italy;Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California. Chris and his wife visited the Blue Zones after reading a study conducted by an American National Geographic explorer about ten years ago about longevity hotspots in the world where people live to be 100 years or more. So much in this interview reminded me of my own grandparents who lived next door to me growing up and the lessons I learned from them. They both lived to be almost 100 years old, and as I reflect back on their lifestyle, I see many correlations between my memories of them and the Blue Zone study.
The more I thought about these lessons, the more I reflected on how the information that came out of the Blue Zone study has valuable information, for not only our personal lives in regards to how long we live; but very valuable information about how we can become our best selves in the New Work World as well.
Being healthy in body and mind can help us make a greater contribution to the New Work World. When we are healthy we take fewer sick days, enjoy our work more, and are more likely to engage in work relationships that brings us the joy and fulfillment that truly affects our quality of life.
The five Blue Zones are located in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Chris Saye on my podcast show, titled Living Long and Prospering was able to work remotely and he and his wife took a year off and actually lived in these unique locations to see if what he learned from the study really existed. What he found was that the people who lived in these different areas of the world really did have powerful and healthy lifestyle habits. And from speaking to these people and seeing the positive effects of their healthy lifestyles, he gained vital information that informed his own choices about where and how to live. He shares a lot of that information in his book, “FLY -The Holy Grail of Life, Love, and Longevity.”
Let’s take a look at the valuable lessons from the Blue Zone study that Chris witnessed firsthand, and see how we might implement these changes in 2023 to maximize our potential in the New Work World and enjoy more success and happiness!
1. Have a Community Component in All That We Do
The Blue Zone Study cited how the people in these longevity hotspots often practiced gathering together with a motivation to share and help each other. In many cases there was a spiritual or religious component to what they did, but the common denominator was that they did what they did in community with others. How can we implement those practices in the New Work World? Can we do more group after-work get togethers where we meet the families of our workers, strengthening bonds among team members and fostering more of a “We” mentality as opposed to a “Me” mentality? Can we see our co-workers more as our “work family” as opposed to just the people who occupy the same work space who simply do their jobs as we do ours? Many studies have suggested that people who form strong bonds with their bosses and work peers also stay on the job longer which also results in lower turnover and employees who like to come to work.
2. Maintain Healthy Eating Practices
The Blue Zone study specifically mentioned things like “eating beans” especially in areas where eating foods like beans might be cheaper than eating meat. But the broader message is to eat more healthy and nutritious food, including plant based meals and fresh, local and seasonal foods. But what about taking this a step even further in the New Work World and thinking about this not only in regards to the foods we ingest into our bodies, but to the food we put into our minds? Instead of ingesting so much negativity about what is wrong with the work place, our team members, our bosses, the company, etc., why not having a healthier mindset to what might be right, or if it isn’t, what we can do to make more productive changes that would make the job more enjoyable?
3. Have a WHY In All We Do
The Blue Zone study talked a great deal about having a “Why” or a Purpose in Our lives to make our actions more meaningful. In the podcast I did with Chris Saye we talked about how studies have been conducted showing that many people don’t live long lives after retiring because they don’t have a “Why” or Purpose. How can you implement a stronger “Why” in the New Work World? If your purpose isn’t strong or fulfilling, what could you do to make your “Why” one that brings you more joy and happiness? Could you take online classes, could you go back to school, could you do more networking events to build stronger bridges with co-workers, customers/clients and bosses? In Nicoya, Costa Rica they use the term “plan de vida” or reason to live which propels a positive outlook. Having a strong purpose often leads to more overall happiness.
As you head into 2023, keep these powerful lessons from the Blue Zones in mind as you build your success plan to become your very best self in the New Work World. Having a strong community component, maintaining healthy eating practices, and having a strong WHY or purpose in what we do might contribute to making this year one of your best ones yet. I can still remember my sweet Grandmother, Mimi, planting seeds in her backyard garden to yield the healthiest of crops to make her wonderful meals. Now is the time to plant your own seeds in your garden of life to yield a bountiful harvest in the New Work World.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.