I’m not a ranter against corporate America. In fact, I love business and I love America.  I’ve worked across a number of corporate strategy, marketing, and sales functions, have an MBA from a top school (Tuck at Dartmouth), and have done a stint at a major management consulting firm.  I’ve known the thrill and joy of what we strategy-types call “value creation,” in which we figure out how to make and market stuff that solves real problems for real customers. And I am above all grateful—grateful that I have a job and grateful that even in the leanest times I can find slivers of opportunity to do well at that job.

But let’s not kid ourselves either.  Corporate environments, particularly in recessionary times, can make us sick—very sick.

Does this stuff really make everything better? (Image: Christian Cable/Wikimedia)

In good times where it’s all about revenue growth, we work ourselves to death, sleeping little, pretending that a scramble through an airport constitutes meaningful aerobic exercise (okay, so running through an airport COULD be considered exercise…), and gorging on any fat, sugar, and stimulant we can find to dissolve any fear of failure. In bad times when all eyes are on the cost line, we watch as our colleagues drop like flies in waves of downsizing scarcely understood even by those who wield the axes. But what’s harder is the anxiety—anxiety triggered not merely by the recurring realization that one of us may be the next contestant thrown off the island but by the realization that one of us may NOT be, that we’ll have to continue to fool ourselves into thinking that what we’re doing matters (or ever mattered).

So as much as I appreciate my job, as much as I want to be successful at it, I have had to learn to survive it. I had have to learn to live with it, within it, without it, and beyond it.

Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about taking care of myself, about staying healthy in spite of all the very unhealthy things going on around me.  I’ve tucked away a ton of thoughts, reflections, and insights that have helped me get and stay fit both physically and mentally. My plan is to share them here so we can all consider and discuss them in terms that are the most meaningful to all of us.

Some caveats: I don’t have a degree in anything related to physical or mental health.  I’m not a doctor or a dietitian. If you like some of the tips in this blog and want to try to make use of them in your own life, please do so in full consideration of your own personal life conditions and medical circumstances. I’m also not an expert in exercise, nutrition, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, or organizational psychology so please evaluate everything you read here rigorously and intellectually. I don’t KNOW anything, really.

BUT, neither do a lot of so-called experts.  The science around nutrition and exercise is evolving and so a voice from 25 years of well-reasoned, highly reflective personal experience may not be such a bad thing. Moreover, the fact that I know I know nothing, may be our greatest asset in the struggle to stay healthy: the more questions we ask, the better.

Finally, though I’m not a doctor, I’m not a slacker either. I do, as I mentioned, have a substantive education and work background. So, while none of this qualifies me to tell anyone what will work for them, it does qualify me to tell you what has worked for me.

In that spirit, I’ll be blogging to share the stuff that has worked for me, that has helped me lose weight, keep it off, feel better, and find some peace, despite the odds.

I would very much welcome and appreciate any and all comments from any and all readers, the hope being that the more we learn from each other, the better.

Talk to you all soon,

Mike Raven

2 Responses to “About”

  1. SP Says:

    Hi Mike
    I have just subscribed, & looking forward to your insights.

    1. Mike Raven Says:

      Thanks very much! Look forward to sharing!

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