During a tough period in his life, Dr. Harold Hardaway had an epiphany. “I got all these things that I wanted professionally, but lost these things that I loved. So it was like, ‘What am I doing?’ That pushed me to making sure that I’m living my life the way I want to. It sounds like a lot, but I ask myself, ‘Will this matter on my death bed?’ If the answer is no, I do my best to do what I call Queen Elsa and just let it go.”
I ask myself, ‘Will this matter on my death bed?’ If the answer is no, I do my best to do what I call Queen Elsa and just let it go.”
That realization has helped Dr. Hardaway create a mindset which he calls “Chase the Good”. In our inaugural Parker Live! Interview, Dr. Hardaway and Shannon Hernandez of Cardigan Communications Group joined us to talk about ways that individuals can find the silver linings in the new era of the pandemic that the world finds itself in.
For Dr. Hardaway, prior to the pandemic and staying at home, chasing the good for him was finding time for three things that he loved: travel, dinner with friends, and going to concerts. A lot of these were wiped out, so immediately following stay-at-home orders, he immediately scheduled video appointments with his friends including Netflix parties, social hours, and brunches. He also decided to set some time for himself to learn skills that were easy for him to neglect before, such as learning how to cook. He knew he was on the right track in chasing the good because for him, learning to cook evoked a similar feeling to the wonder and excitement that he had as a child. Similarly, since he knows where his goodness comes from, he’s making sure he’s staying in touch with his friends.
‘No’ is a very powerful word. Giving yourself permission to prioritize yourself is very powerful.
So how does someone balance the need to chase their good, but also the needs of others?
For Shannon Hernandez, cofounder of Cardigan, whatever it is that helps you take care of yourself and your physical well-being, you need to do it in order to able to fully dedicate yourself afterwards. She described a time when she wasn’t taking any time for herself. Her mother, a dietician, finally had to step in and helped her realize that by sacrificing her own needs to make more time for others, the stress she was creating for herself became a detriment. “Self-care is different for everybody”, Shannon says. For her, its exercise and meditation in movement. An early morning exercise session helps her relax and focus on what she needs to do for the day. She has found that taking that time for herself helps her be a better business partner, mother, and daughter.
Dr. Hardaway concurs. “It (chasing the good) takes work. A lot of us are Type-A and we are always wired to always want to do the best, always wired to not let other people down. But ‘No’ is a very powerful word. Giving yourself permission to prioritize yourself is very powerful. We are more inclined not to prioritize ourselves and to give ourselves away to everyone around us.”
You can catch the full twenty-minute conversation on our YouTube page.