This was not a planned episode. This is not your regular host, Matt speaking. This is Matt's thoughts though, and a voiceover is conveying them and the message he wants you to hear. It will all make sense shortly, don't worry! I planned on recording an episode with a special guest (Rock Thomas this week). Something unexpected came up. It delayed a lot of work. It put things on pause. After a beautiful hike in the Pirin mountains of Bansko Bulgaria, at the weekend, I returned home a little tired and immensely satisfied of the views and hiking I had done with my girlfriend and new found friend from Co Working Bansko here who was our guide. When I tried to sleep that night, I had progressively worse pain in my tooth. I called the dentist the next day and he suggested taking pain killers and coming in first thing the day after for a check up. The painkillers worked to some extent, and that night I woke up several times in pain and took more painkillers than I should have. After being given antibiotics (on my request) and finding a huge abscess in my tooth after getting an X-Ray, I was told I would need to have my tooth removed. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to get a second opinion from a top dentist in the capital city of Sofia. And travelled that day and had my first attempt at root canal surgery. That night and the next day I had amazing treatment I hadn’t slept properly for over 3 days and couldn’t concentrate on anything before this surgery was completed. I had to cancel amazing interviews I lined up and a guest slot I had on this person’s hugely popular podcast. Work was piling up from my clients. I was behind. I was exhausted. I knew I had no content for this week’s show. Stress was building. I was still sore from the operations. A complex set of root canals with various complications. Then I realised something. I have a choice. I can choose work commitments over my health. Or rest and be kind to myself and have faith that others depending on my work would also have compassion. And that happened. Several work and client calls were cancelled or postponed. Some deadlines were extended. But everyone was in good health. The world moved around still. And now I am able to speak better as the soreness has healed mostly. I wanted to leave you all with this message, reflected in the content and vulnerability and I hope authenticity of this episode’s unplanned content. When unexpected events happen, when the most important things to you are threatened like your health, be kind to yourself. Stop. Pause. Communicate to your employer you need rest. Your health is important. Communicate to your clients and prospects you need to reschedule and tell them what is wrong They are human. They can put themselves in your shoes, and show empathy. Be real. Be vulnerable. Make it up to people when you recover if you can. Never compromise your health for the sake of making more money. The stories I’ve heard of people blacking out, having heart attacks, strokes, anxiety attacks and other medical illnesses are many, both from friends and guests on this Burn From Within show Notable examples include Malia Griggs talking of her medical issues from burn out, through to Matt Harry freezing with fear and getting anxiety while working in a trading floor and recovering from heroin addiction. And then there are friends, people I know well, and friends of friends, going through medical issues. And it doesn’t stop at medical issues. Addictions from work related stress, a lack of balance for important things in life like relationships, exercise and relaxation are prevalent, from excessive drinking, taking drugs regularly (prescription and illegal ones), sex addiction, video game addiction, the list goes on. So if you are listening to this and any of this resonates with you. Take a moment this weekend. This week. This minute. Be kind to yourself. You only have one life. Prioritize your health And if others don’t respect that, and are unreasonable towards this important value that we all have deep down and believe me, when you are ill or old and on your death bed, there is nothing more you will value than your health. If others do not respect your health, perhaps it's time to reevaluate who you are spending time with, who you are working with and remember once again. Be kind to yourself. And be kind to others. Be flexible when you need to be Communicate your vulnerability with others. And reciprocate this when others need some breathing space. This episode was not planned. But I hope my vulnerability and honesty makes a small difference to your life in how you approach those unexpected curveballs life throws at you whether things happen to you, your loved ones or something gets in your way of work that stopped that target or deadline. Smile. Accept it. Life is a game to have fun in. Until next time, live with passion, purpose and balance, and burn from within.. you can subscribe to this podcast if you haven't already. Until next time. Live with passion, purpose, and balance. And burn from within.