- Perspective by Bahram Akradi -

Renewed Responsibility

Even in the most trying times, there is an opportunity for growth.

Bahram Akradi, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Life Time — Healthy Way of Life.

It’s April as I write this column for June, and our world is in the midst of a global pandemic. We are fighting two wars: One battle is with the virus itself, to protect our individual health and the health of those in our communities. The other is to save the deteriorating economy — a problem as lethal as the first, if not more so. 

Because of the coronavirus, every­thing we know has changed. What lies ahead is unknown. Our future that once seemed so bright is now dimmed by fear. 

How do we live with the uncertainty? How do we deal with this fear? 

Here are a few things I believe to be true. 

We can be certain of the power of a comprehensive and strategic plan — one that allows everyone to play their role and aligns our collective strength to win these two battles and not only survive, but thrive. We need to have faith that government officials, business leaders, scientists, and citizens will come together to get us back on track.

We can feel confident based on history. We can find comfort in the fact that we have prevailed in countless difficult situations in the past. We have learned hard lessons from these tragedies and embraced new circumstances — as difficult and impossible as they seemed. We must trust that we will do this again.

We have been given a tremendous gift in this terrible situation: time — something so many of us often complain about not having enough of. We’ve lamented projects, passions, or personal growth that we’d get to “if only we had the time.”

For most of my life, my focus has been on growing a company I’m passionate about. The last several weeks have redirected this attention, and I’m now working tirelessly to help our country make the best moves forward.

While I’ve always found power in daily reflection, today I have a new appreciation for remembering to focus on what matters: the health and happiness of those I love, my teammates, and the community and nation we’re blessed to be part of. 

We’ve shifted our focus to our most basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, and the love of family and friends) instead of the things we want. It’s no longer about the cars, the watches, or other material things. 

When I’m sprinting across the yard playing soccer with my son, I feel so much joy — something no object could ever provide.

We have a chance to reinforce what is good and to change what is not. To ask ourselves, What are my strengths? My gifts? And how can I use my knowledge and skills to help our world, our country, and our community?

The gift of these circumstances and these questions helps confirm our purpose, which can evolve into a beautiful sense of responsibility. 

It is this purpose and responsibility that pulse through me as a leader, father, friend, and citizen. 

It’s the same with Life Time. This company is built on the commitment to deliver healthy-way-of-life perspec­tives and services. Our teams have vigorously and quickly adapted in the face of unexpected challenges. In the eye of this storm, each team member has stayed true to our purpose, focused on their individual responsibility in delivering on our mission. I have never been prouder.

My hope for all of us, in good times and bad, is that we may constantly connect with our purpose. To let it power us through each day — no matter how difficult. 

Our purpose gives us the motivation and courage to step up as leaders and offer solutions rather than get mired in thoughts of fear and worry. And our heightened commitment to serve will keep our eyes lifted, focused on what we’re here for and what we’ve been empowered to do. 

Together, let’s move forward with renewed responsibility — to apply our energy to the collective plan of putting our companies, communities, and country back together. We’ll discover not only a new sense of strength, confidence, and courage, but also a new joy and a new peace. 

is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Life Time — Healthy Way of Life. Hear more from him at BahramAkradi.com.

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