Laura Kenny’s decision this week to retire from cycling rather than train for the Paris Olympics, is a great example of listening to what your body is telling you. Laura describes how:

“I just kept getting this horrible feeling in my tummy….when I started getting these gut-wrenching feelings I thought: ‘That’s it. Decision made for me.’”

Our bodies are a wonderful resource. They help us make the big decisions. We usually think we make decisions rationally, weighing up pros and cons, but there is plenty of evidence that emotions play a role too. Our bodies connect us to our emotions, opening up our self-awareness, giving us insights that help us make decisions.

Neuroscientists agree that emotions and thinking are ‘completely intertwined’¹. Emotions provide us with information and insight that is necessary for decision-making. They show us what we care about. Laura’s emotions, experienced through her body, told her what she most cared about and what she needed to do.

When I was in my 20s, with a good corporate career, I tried to analyse whether I wanted to have children and concluded that there were plenty of reasons not to. But my gut feeling told me the answer: yes. And it was absolutely the right decision.

It takes courage to make decisions like Laura has – to walk away from something that you have done all your life. She won’t regret it. She’s already talking about what role she might play in the sport in the future, which gives her a sense of purpose, alongside her desire to spend more time with her family. Her body, mind and spirit are aligned.

How aligned do you feel?  Are you spending enough time on the things that give you a sense of meaning and purpose?  How in tune are you with what your body tells you?

Take my motivation quiz to find out what motivates you.  Or try my SPICE quiz to work out how to get your life back into balance.  And dip into my books, How to Get On with Anyone and Motivation: The Ultimate Guide to Leading Your Team.

¹ Sigal Barsade, Prof of Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania on BBC Radio 4 ‘In the Balance – EI and Business’, January 2014