SUCCESS for LIFE. THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN HIGH PERFORMERS in BUSINESS and ATHLETICS.

Original story has been published in Village Living Magazine, Issue NO. 4, November/December 2013 – By: Andrew Seale

I’ve long consider there to be a strong similarity in personalities and characteristics of “High Performers” in business and sport. It makes sense then, that success inside of the gym hinges on the same identifiable and predictable traits. Athletes and novices have the same amount of willpower as executives and their employees. So, when I proposed to the editors of Village Living Magazine that they feature a story on the similarities of successful business people and athletes, they were intrigued. I was only too thrilled to recommend my client, Wendy Cecil, when I was contacted by their writer, Andrew Seale.

How my clients like Wendy are able to get through their day has always been a marvel to me. They are busy, productive and successful people. I’ve come to see that their habits are not dissimilar to that of athletes. People who reach the highest level of corporations and sport do not necessarily work harder than everyone else. Although, they do seem to share the same characteristics in management of their time, visualization, organization, and their ability to adjust and adapt to change.

Both Wendy and I were certainly happy to share our thoughts on this subject with Andrew Seale, and the folks at Village Living Magazine:

SUCCESS for LIFE by Andrew Seale for Village Living Magazine.
For Wendy Cecil, the benefits of fitness go far beyond the gym

For Wendy Cecil, fitness and well-being are synonymous with success. The discipline, confidence and can-do attitude earned through fitness, inspired her work life – from the days as a young professional, to the boardroom at Brookfield Asset Management, and today as Chencellor at Victoria College, a part of the University of Toronto.

“I’ll be 65 in November,” says Cecil. “I’ve been physically active for many years and for me it’s as much a part my life as brushing my teeth.”

There’s an inspired confidence when Cecil speaks. You can tell she really sees fitness as a fundamental pillar of a successful life.

“Generally good level of fitness leads to a happier frame of mind”, says Cecil. “I think that it is integral to success in the business world, the academic world or wherever you find yourself.”

Although Cecil grew up fairly active, her real love affair with an active lifestyle began while she was working as a young VP at Brascan.

As responsibility pressed down on on her, Cecil took up marathon running, winning several and neatly arranging each trophy in her office to serve as inspiration and earn respect from her colleagues.

When times got tough or stress levels peaked, Cecil took a run or went to the gym.

“It was a positive outlet for stress,” she says. “It helps you to be more disciplined.”

Devon McGregor, a personal trainer and co-founder of Balance Fitness where Cecil works out, agrees, saying that fitness promotes both competence and confidence.

“It creates a great sense of awareness,” says the trainer. “Practice of fitness and health makes me understand who I am and what I can do.”

McGregor doesn’t draw the line between high performance business people or athletes.

He points out that people have a tendency to compartmentalize professional Life, health and social life when they should be seeing the symbiosis between them, a subject that Cecil recently raised in her most recent address to the students of Victoria University.

“I tell them habits begin as thin threads but over time they become steel chains and you want your habits to become good ones,” says Cecil. “I give them some basic rules to live: get enough sleep, eat enough healthy food every day and get some daily exercise. Establish those habits now and they will have the freshness of mind to develop their intellectual abilities and go forward as healthier people and flourish.”

She credits much of her success in life to the balance inspired by fitness.

“You need a certain amount of energy to succeed and fitness is a part of that,” she adds. “It gives you energy to realize your dreams and your ambitions.”

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