One of my earlier posts referenced an article my boss sent to his team from Forbes titled “Intelligence is Overrated: What you Really Need to Succeed“. The article discusses how your pure IQ may be trumped by your emotional intelligence (EQ), moral intelligence (MQ), and body intelligence (BQ). I went into MQ in my blog entry and at this point still think that there’s enough EQ material floating around. Here, I’m going to talk BQ. As it turns out, I’m also going to tie in some other themes too.
The Forbes article states that BQ “reflects what you know about your body, how you feel about it, and take care of it.” I skirted that because MQ was more at the top of my mind at the time. Lately, I’ve taken more notice of friends and family encountering some physical problems or exercising differently. I don’t think this is because people are concerned with it to be successful in business. It’s more taking control of your situation. Since it’s easiest for me to do, I’m going to use myself as an example.
I kept myself in decent shape through college. After graduation, I continued to do so by going to the gym and playing a lot of racquetball. At some point after moving, blowing out my knee, having our first child, and starting a job that required a lot of travel, I got totally out of shape. I’m tall and fairly lean so putting on even ten pounds of excess weight is a huge deal. My wake up call was when I went to play racquetball again with someone I worked with and was shocked at how badly I did. I had a neighbor who had started Body for Life to good results so I joined in and have kept a similar exercise cadence ever since. I’m certainly no fitness guru and I definitely lapse some each winter. On the whole though, I feel like being fit is an obligation I have to myself. I use it as much for mental training as physical. The Forbes article makes the point “It may seem like these matters are unrelated to business performance, but your body intelligence absolutely affects your work because it largely determines your feelings, thoughts, self-confidence, state of mind, and energy level,” and this is something I agree with personally – at least for me.
It’s not just work though. If my BQ is low, I am grumpier because I’ve let myself down. It probably also means that I’ve been on the road a lot and have eaten too much of the wrong things in the process. Plus I’ve probably stayed up too late at a hotel bar and skipped my morning workout. On the flip side, if I go on a business trip and get that gym visit in before breakfast then I’ve got a win. That affects my whole day and I feel great going into the weekend.
I keep using the words “me”, “my”, and “I” here because I’m the yardstick I judge myself by. That’s why exercise helps my mental well being and raises my BQ. I choose to be supportive of others trying to make similar efforts because I know that this helps them as well. A curious trend has arisen in my cycling friends who have started using a site called Strava. This is an interesting combination of a social network and training site that takes GPS uploads, gives you personal statistics, and compares you with other riders across given stretches of road or trail. You have the ability to track your personal records (PRs) and get KOM or QOM (King or Queen of the Mountain) for being fastest during a segment.
As you may guess, I pay more attention to the PRs and less to the KOMs. It’s fun to see my friends’ progress and speed over a certain distance. I’m measuring my own performance though. There have been people who take it too far and have even died trying to retain a KOM. I’m going off track here a little bit, but I’ve also talked about your digital self being an extension of your true self. That’s especially true here. If you’re going to be a Stravasshole to get an online record by knocking someone into a real tree, then what’s that say about you? Believe me, I’m giving kudos to friends who get out there and tuning out the rest. I’d rather be friends with the guy who has a segment that he rides with his daughter into an ice cream shoppe than someone who puts a digital achievement above all else.
That’s because Mr. Ice Cream Shoppe (I just like spelling it that way) has some perspective he gets from exercise. Using fitness to make yourself mentally and physically healthy leads to doing the right things. It shows in how you relate with others in the office, at home, with your friends, and online with all of the above. My wife definitely tells me to go for a ride when I’m stressed and it’s showing. She’s always right too.