Accomplish More Naturally With a Mindset Shift

How can changing your mindset benefit you and those around you?


In a world of "do more," Boyd Christian, a consultant with Slalom Consulting, explains how a cancer diagnosis radically changed his perspective of work-life balance. He shares how he was previously focused on "constantly achieving," which put pressure on himself and those around him—and left him burned out.

While Boyd dealt with circumstances that demanded he make changes to his life, he believes that everyone can discover ways to create more balance and health in their personal and professional life.

Watch this video and hear Boyd share tips and advice on setting realistic goals and how to be present in all aspects of your life.

Well, five years ago I was just starting out in my dream job. I was finishing up my MBA at a dream school and I had the most amazing boss. I had just had my second child, was just born a month prior, and during that first week on the job I got a phone call from my doctor. I had been diagnosed with cancer, and that just completely rocked my world. It came out of left field. I didn't know anything about cancer. I couldn't tell you the difference between chemo and radiation. It was just never considered to be in the realm of possibility for me.

I realized that my life may have looked great from the outside. I had all these things going for me, but I was actually pretty miserable. I was stressed out. I was burned out. I was so intense about achieving these unrealistic goals and I put so much pressure on myself. But I also realized that I was putting too much pressure on others as well, that I think I was shifting those expectations to other people around me, both in my personal life and professional life.

So going through this personal crisis actually allowed me the time to reflect on this and change. All of a sudden when you're faced with something really difficult, all those things that I thought were really important just fell away and I could focus on the things that mattered.

One of the things that I did differently after this diagnosis was I actually changed. I really had a mindset shift where I was putting a much greater value on being much more present for my family. It actually resulted in more natural achievements at work and other places in my life because I was just more comfortable being myself instead of trying to chase after the next accomplishment or the next goal, and being so intense about getting everything done that I was able to just relax and accomplish more naturally.

I think some things that you could do to realize this same kind of transformational mind shift is to take the time in your day to step back and look at your life. What are the things that you want to achieve, and are you putting too much pressure, too high expectations on yourself or others around you? I think men and women that might be in a similar stage in life that I'm in, they might find it valuable to focus on being more present and not just showing up in family life or in professional life, but to really be present and involved. That might involve putting some kind of restrictions around how you engage with family or work. It might mean that you reduce time on your phone or the number of nights that you stay at work or are involved in outside work activities.

I also find myself checking in more with my family during the day to make sure that we're aligned on what's going on that evening or that weekend. I'm also more engaged on the weekends in that I can be really present for my kids and my wife because I know that work is going to be okay. It's not the most important thing anymore. I'll put in the necessary time to get things done, but when I'm home, I'm home with my family.

Boyd Christian

Boyd Christian is a consultant for Slalom, LLC, in Atlanta. From healthcare and investment banking, to consumer products and hospitality, Boyd has held a wide range of influential roles across industry and consulting. It's precisely t...

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