The modern workplace has transformed – it’s at the office, in coffeeshops, at the dining room table, and on the road. The remote/hybrid revolution, though, has brought on new challenges that will take leaders and their teams time to address. New York Times bestselling authors (and doctors) Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman have jumped into this space with Wellness to Wonderful: 9 Pillars for Living Healthier, Longer, and with Greater Joy.
Pulde and Lederman help readers embark on a new course that not only helps at work, but reimagines what life could be: a journey of vibrant health, boundless energy, and joy. From this perspective, Wellness to Wonderful offers new insight and ideas for people to put into actionable steps leading to better bodies and minds.
With a mission to guide readers on the course from illness to wellness, and ultimately to a state of happiness, these Pulde and Lederman have dedicated their careers to treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, and obesity through groundbreaking diet and lifestyle medical practices.
In Wellness to Wonderful, Pulde and Lederman show that true wellness goes beyond diet and exercise, also necessitating that one nurture all aspects of their life that ultimately contribute to overall happiness and fulfillment. They provide the roadmap through nine fundamental pillars that range from better sleep and eating habits through fulfilling relationships and better understanding of colleagues and managers in the workplace.
What we know now is that wellbeing is worth investing in and nurturing across one’s professional and personal life. Pulde and Lederman are able guides in this journey, providing the tools readers need to make transformative changes.
Below is an exclusive excerpt that focuses on how Pulde and Lederman address the modern workplace. Enjoy!
Wellness to Wonderful: 9 Pillars for Living Healthier, Longer, and with Greater Joy
Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD
WeHeal Publishers, paperback, 292 pages, $18.99
Very few of us meet most of our needs through our line of work. For some, work deeply meets needs for meaning and purpose. These are the folks who’d continue to do what they’re doing even if they won the lottery. For others, work may meet needs for connection, stimulation, discovery, engagement, and challenge, but not meaning or purpose. And then there are those who are only meeting their need for financial security and survival. Whatever our situation may be, it’s important that we still make it a priority to identify and try to meet needs in other ways if they aren’t being met through our work.
For example, those who are unable to meet needs for meaning and purpose with their work (those working simply to earn money for food and shelter) can choose to meet their need to contribute to society outside of their work.
Now this isn’t to say that another line of work, another position in one’s company, or an altogether different business venture may not meet more of our needs. But unless we truly learn what it takes to meet our own needs, a vocational move might just land us in a position where some needs are met more fully, but others much less. We may find ourselves hopping from business to business or from job to job, not realizing the extent to which our work can truly satisfy us.
With a needs-based awareness, you can find great satisfaction in many jobs. Matt has fond memories of jobs that were not very fun or exciting but the people he worked with made work enjoyable, and he experienced some wonderful connections. He also had other jobs that seemed promising on paper yet turned out to be miserable because the community and work environment were unbearable. In other words, it’s less about the job and more about the needs. For example, if there are deeper, core personal needs (e.g., self-care, love, play, celebration of life) that are out of balance, then until these needs are met, you may not find satisfaction from any job. It is therefore important to note that regardless of the job, some degree of resourcing will always be necessary. Accordingly, knowing ourselves (and our needs) better, and learning how to resource ourselves wherever we are at in life, puts us in the best position to determine whether a vocational move is in our best interest or not.
A resource is anything that can be used to meet a need. Resourcing ourselves means simply meeting our needs with what we have available to us. We have internal and external resources to choose from.
Let’s start by considering external resources, which usually fall into three categories: people, places, or things. For example, friendships can be a tremendous resource for us. Spending time with a friend can meet needs for connection, closeness, fun, stimulation, warmth, joy, attention, affection, care, and more. Literature, music, and art are also resources meeting needs for aliveness, stimulation, inspiration, beauty, and celebration. Nature can be considered another resource. For instance, a park, nature trail, or beach can meet needs for rest, beauty, health, inspiration, transcendence, discovery, and more. Education in the form of recreational or vocational classes or workshops can meet needs for learning, growth, discovery, challenge, efficiency, and progress. Even on a level of survival, our home is a resource, as it meets needs for shelter and comfort. Food and water meet our needs for nutrition and hydration.
It’s imperative to find what needs of ours aren’t being met through work and find the resources we have available to us to meet those needs off the job. For example, let’s say our job isn’t providing us opportunities for growth, challenge, or learning. We could meet those needs outside of work with hobbies. Learning a foreign language, a martial art, or ballroom dance could be ways to meet those needs. If finances preclude these options, access to a public library provides a free resource. Reading itself may invite a new hobby into our lives, or simply allow us to enjoy literary classics. Different forms of exercise such as walking, running, calisthenic training, aerobics, or yoga may be options, too. And since we all have to eat, improving upon our cooking or baking skills can be both practical and pleasurable. All of these strategies have the potential to meet needs for challenge, growth, and learning and can be routinely done when time allows and with a minimal outlay of money to start and maintain. The key is that once our needs have been identified, multiple strategies will exist to meet them. Our job is to find the ones that work best for us.