Designing an Optimal Life

Designing an Optimal Life

It’s a fact that purpose and passion (not money!) are the greatest factors driving businesses today. The pandemic has truly shifted our mindsets to work and support organisations that we believe in. No matter the bucks, people are looking for happiness and growth in their professional lives. In our May episode, ‘Designing an Optimal Life’, we dive into developing ourselves in our new hybrid culture, understanding the balance between mindset and skill set and living a life with purpose.

When we live life by our purpose, we begin to create the life we want as well as a professional life that brings us joy. This is why at the core of an optimal life is purpose. When bringing together your personal and professional development, you have to begin with defining your own purpose. Once you’ve got that foundation, ask yourself how your purpose is aligned with your organisation or if there are ways your company can change to align their vision with your purpose. When the organisation and their people have a shared purpose, a team will be more motivated to reach their optimal performance in the workplace.

With the rapid changes and advancements of the professional world, many prefer to jump from company to company after just a year or two instead of staying on for the long run. Some struggle to find organisations that embody their values while others have yet to discover their purpose. A research study on the connection between values and commitment showed when there is a clear idea of one’s personal and organisation’s values, the impact on commitment is 4.90. However, when an individual does not have clear values, the impact on commitment falls to 4.87. Having strong values and purpose as an individual is proven to build greater commitment to an organisation.

The importance of having a clear sense of personal values in generating organisational commitment cannot be denied. This is why defining purpose is extremely critical for achieving all-rounded optimal performance in life. When you’re in a leadership position, your personal values should be aligned with your organisation’s purpose or it could be challenging to lead with passion. Leaders are expected to walk the talk and if you can’t stick to the values of your organisation, you can’t expect your employees to follow them either. It’s all about practising what you preach!

With a focus on bridging professional and personal excellence, we’ll dive into ways we can design our optimal life using the building blocks of self-awareness, self-regulation and self-accountability.

The Race for Excellence

Excellence is defined as the state of progressively growing and improving without comparing your results with anyone else. Achieving excellence means giving your hundred percent in everything that you do.

Everyone wants to achieve excellence and some try by reading books or attending workshops but excellence is challenging to achieve just by studying it. You have to practice it diligently in all aspects of your life.

Shifting the focus to yourself

When we’re constantly pushing to improve our professional development, we can sometimes neglect our well-being. Achieving personal excellence starts with the self. Only then can we begin to reach optimal performance in the workplace.

In our chat with Rebecca Chalmers, founder and managing director of the psychometric tool, flowprofiler®, she defines personal excellence as having self-awareness, self-regulation and self-accountability. She also talks about why personal excellence is important and how one can achieve it.

Rebecca explained that everyone should get the opportunity in their workplace where they can demonstrate their best self. She mentioned that as leaders, if you don’t bring your best version to work, you can’t expect to build a high performing team who embodies the best versions of themselves either.

We’ll explore Rebecca’s three building blocks of personal excellence that generate organisational commitment.


Self-awareness is about being consciously aware of our emotions, behaviours or desires. Do you know when you need a break? Is there something troubling you? Understanding your needs and wants can improve your well-being.

For instance, burnout is spreading like wildfire. One research showed that 62% of workers are feeling burnout from work, 22% are undecided and 17% of workers are not feeling burnout. Having the self-awareness to understand when you need to take a break is a great step to achieving personal and professional development.

Self-regulation and Self-management

Self-awareness is key to keeping yourself in check and maintaining balance. However, self-regulation and self-management are equally important.

The capacity to regulate your emotions and behaviour according to the needs of the circumstance is defined as self-regulation. It includes the ability to resist strong emotional responses to distressing situations, calm down when agitated, adjust to a change in expectations, and deal with dissatisfaction.

Bouncing back from life’s obstacles is essential in our day-to-day lives. Before we can achieve any level of success, we must first be able to navigate through difficult situations. You may have met people who seem to recover from adversity easily. It’s not by chance or luck; they’ve learned to self-regulate and consciously bring themselves back on track.


Self-accountability is being able to accept responsibility for your actions, learning from your mistakes, refraining from blaming others, disregarding difficulties, or hiding your flaws.

As leaders, it may be difficult for you to accept and acknowledge that you’ve made a mistake but leaders are allowed to have their flaws, they’re not superhuman! Learning and working through them is what matters. Furthermore, when your team sees their leader taking accountability for their actions, it creates a collaborative team that is open to making mistakes and learning from them. High performing teams work best in an environment that is open to learning and growing together.

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”
~ Albert Einstein

Personal Development = Professional Development

In the episode ‘Ruling before Rocking’, Head of Bhinneka Lab, Aristwidya Bramantika (Ika), explained how personal development paves a way for professional development and vice versa.

Ika bridged the gap between the personal and professional. She gave insights about her life on how she brings her best practices as a professional leader to her home, especially in her relationship with her son. She also makes use of her learnings of motherhood in her leadership responsibilities.

Ika believes in the growth mindset where she allows herself to be in uncomfortable situations that force her to push herself and make bold decisions. Her story revolves around the 4 P’s- Play, Purpose, Passion and Performance. Ika is a perfect example of bridging leadership processes and parenting with a growth mindset.

Heartset, Mindset and Skillset

In our ‘Boss, Your Wish is Your Command!’ episode with author Fuen Yee, she unveils the secret behind her leadership self-help book. Fuen explains that it is not only about leading your team with the examples of others. Rather, it is about being your own leader.

The question, “can we have professional excellence without personal excellence” is seamlessly bridged by Fuen. Fuen very wisely stated that it is important to know who you are first. Embody your authentic self and only then can you move forward to achieving your goals.

We do so much to acquire the right skill sets throughout our lives. However, Fuen teaches us to integrate our heartset and mindset first, and then work on our skillset. Passionate and committed people work and feel with their hearts.

Staying connected with your inner self and purpose requires the right heartset. Tap into your emotions by identifying your motivations to overcome adversity through resilience. Focusing on your life’s purpose can help you achieve both professional and personal excellence.

The Great Resignation has proven that a lack of alignment between an individual’s and their organisation’s purpose can result in employees leaving a company. With 49% of people leaving their jobs in 2021, employees are not hesitant to quit their jobs if they don’t feel connected to their company. It’s more important than ever for leaders and organisations to have strong values that speak to their people. Our guests for Leadership in Flow in the month of May all have a common understanding that personal excellence begins from within. Finding your purpose and fulfilling it in your personal and professional lives is the beginning of achieving optimal performance.


1. Designing an Optimal Life:
2. My Best Version of Me:
3. Ruling before Rocking:
4. Boss, Your Wish is Your Command:
5. Photo by Roman Odintsov on Unsplash 

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