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Understand How to Work Smart


Jan. 1, 1970

Flowers are in bloom and a new season awaits our ambitions. Last week I sat down for a message about leadership, but it ended up being more about mental health, taking care of self and emotional well-being.

You know what it’s like at some point in your life to be number one. Recently, I had the pleasure to visit the top ranked hospital in America, the Mayo Clinic. I traveled there with a group of healthcare professionals to learn about the “Mayo Way” of doings things. Mayo Clinic is a massive operation, with revenues that exceed $12 billion a year. As complex as the hospital business is, for Mayo, being top ranked boils down to a few things we all can apply to how we live, work and care for each other in our player community. 

When it comes to working together and caring for each other, first identify the truth.Not just your truth, but a common or mutual truth that everyone can agree on; if not, then it’s difficult to identify problems, and even more difficult to move on to solutions and resolutions.  

Understand how to work smart. Our bodies are not machines. Bad days lead to eventual burn out. Emotional and physical fatigue will result in decreased effectiveness and productivity. Workload, organizational culture and work-life balance can leave us feeling run down on the job. We can’t just quit and walk away. No, we have to take periods of rest to stay focused and productive. Periods of work stress are opportunities to grow when we add rest and recovery into the equation. 

Job satisfaction has everything to do with understanding purposeand accepting that you can only control and make decisions on things deemed your responsibility, based on the organization’s structure. Nonetheless, master the environment that surrounds you and build positive relationships. And lastly allow yourself, right now at this moment, to accept where you are. Self-acceptance means that you are happy with who and what you are;it does not mean give up your goals or pursuit of a raise or promotion. Grow in that space and create opportunity. 

Being mindful and having harmony in the workplace are core values for the Professional Athletes Foundation. Taking care of your mental health is an opportunity and cause for action

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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