Of all the life buckets, health is the one that, at some point in your life, will demand your attention. When you're not aware of how out of balance you've become, this bucket will give you a warning. It may be that you notice a number on the scale that surprises you. Among my circle of friends and associates, I know of several who, amid intense times in their careers, gained 30 to 50 pounds, or more. At the time, they were surprised. As they began to self-reflect on their work schedules, travel, business dinners, and lack of exercise, however, they had to ask themselves the question from chapter 2, “Why am I surprised?”

You may receive another kind of warning, such as exhaustion after putting in too many all-nighters to get a project done. Sleep deprivation, as we discuss later in this chapter, is a serious health issue and not a badge of honor. Or, after your annual physical examination, your doctor may have a surprising report for you (but, again, why are you surprised?): high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, or a prediabetes warning. If you don't pay attention, you may hit the wall (as discussed in chapter 3) with something more serious, like a heart attack.

It's so easy for us to fool ourselves, at least for a little while. We tell ourselves that we can take care of our health later. When things slow down and we're not working so much, or when the children are older, we'll adopt better eating habits and exercise more. ...

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