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Paul Preston

Life is getting more and more intense, immediate, and insecure. We spend more time in unknown territory where things often feel out of our control. This can be scary and unnerving, yet we see over and over again how clients who apply their Sustainable High Performance strategies are able to keep ahead of the wave to perform and recover brilliantly so they are up to the challenge.

During the first phase of Tignum, the Investigate phase, we take our clients through a series of diagnostic tests. This information provides our clients with a great basis to start their Sustainable High Performance journey, but for some clients this insight inside their brain and body provides much more. Recently, I was one of those latter people as my blood test revealed that for a man my age my PSA was elevated. PSA is a blood marker that indicates abnormal prostate activity but since I had no other symptoms, no worries. I took the doctor’s orders and got retested a month later and to my sad surprise, my numbers were even higher.

This is where my Tignum Mindset strategies started to kick in and pay off. I reframed my self-talk and repeated to myself, “No problem, I can deal with this.” This mantra would stay with me throughout my ordeal and to many doctor’s surprise - it wasn’t just talk, I believed it.

When I showed up at Professor Roger Kirby’s office in London, there was a sign in the waiting room that read,  “There are many proven ways to reduce prostate problems-doing nothing is not one of them”. Following scans and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and while it appeared not to have spread, the best way forward was agreed to be removing the prostate, as soon as possible, using robotic prostate surgery.

Preparation for key events is what we teach our clients at Tignum, but I never imagined that a key event for me would be prostate surgery. I also never imagined that the same strategies (Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery) I had learned and applied as a top executive would actually really pay off as I faced this new challenge. I added movement to strengthen those areas affected most by the surgery to my routine but the basic approach was the same. I used my breathing techniques in post-op to best deal with the effects of anesthesia and to stay calm and focused. I used my nutrition strategies during recovery by using anti-inflammatory herbs (e.g. turmeric), keeping really hydrated, and eating foods to kick start my healing process.

During my recovery as I reflected, I realized that in many ways my care was in other peoples’ hands, but yet there were so many things I could control. Not much different from many of your business situations. I found myself developing daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly milestones. At every step, I focused on those things that were within my control and I applied my mental mantra to help me get there.

I write this blog from a really good space. The operation was a success and my medical team has confirmed that the prostate cancer is no longer in my body. I am on the recovery trail, not hurrying my body too much, but using my Tignum awareness and strategies to get a little better every day. I feel so grateful (a mindset strategy itself) to my surgeon, his great team, and my wonderful family and friends for their support.

As I write this, I am planning ahead for a great next 30 years full of fun, love, and impact. As I do this, I have a few key points I would love for you to take away from this. First, don’t leave important performance issues to chance. Commit to being aware of what impacts your performance and do something about those things every single day. Second, don’t put off your own investigate phase. If you’re over 50, get your blood tested, your colon scoped, and your full check up. Third, don’t keep sacrificing your own health and performance because you think there is some imaginary golden day when you will finally take a breath, get your mindset right, and get that check up. Finally, think of that sign in Professor Kirby’s office every day: “There are many proven ways to be a Sustainable High Performer today and in the future - doing nothing (or leaving it to chance) is not an option.”

I hope this blog finds you well and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.