So I’ve spent the morning with Catherine, an intimidating woman by anyone’s standards. A self made Director of three businesses with a multi million pound fortune, this woman has done it on her own, starting from scratch with 2 babies to bring up along the way.
Catherine is a driven woman and I’ve always wondered how she continues to thrive, physically, mentally and emotionally when most people would have succumbed to stress by this stage.
Dopamine is the brain chemical which keeps us achieving, our whole selves lost in the pursuit of the next hit whether that’s building empires, beating our personal bests or even the pursuit for the perfect pair of pumps.
Those continuous hits of dopamine are what keep us in the achievement zone. It’s like an addictive buzz chaining us to our desk lost in concentration, oblivious to others, to hunger, to day turning to night. However it’s a double edged sword, too much and it drives us over the edge into burnout, too little, we fall into a slump of despair unable to get out of bed each morning.
Oh so many times, I’ve experienced the former and ended up with the latter. Enraptured by the thrill of the chase, oblivious to friends, food and sleep as I strove for and invariably achieved the next success. Oh so many times, I’ve failed to keep away from the edge, crashing yet again emotionally and physically as my life’s milestones passed in a blur.
So what’s Catherine’s secret? How has this high achiever escaped the perils of the addictive buzz? It seems that her antidote, her answer to maintaining her health and enjoying life lies in her story. She was brought up in the Lake District and is never happier striding through countryside with a purpose surrounded by a like minded community. So looking at this elegant globetrotter, you would never guess that she’s a volunteer Deer Ranger. Regularly devoting half a day in all weathers enables Catherine to disconnect from the buzz and more importantly reconnect to a nourishing and sustainable hum, it's how she achieves the success without falling over the edge.
How can your story help you?