Fitness Get Inspired

James Michael Lafferty Of Fine Hygienic Holding: 4 Rules For A Positive And Energetic Life

Jim Lafferty is not just the CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding  (FHH), a wellness company that makes personal care and hygienic products. He is also an athlete, Olympic coach, philanthropist, speaker, and corporate trainer — all on top of being a devoted family man to his wife and five children. 

He began his career as a fitness trainer for Procter & Gamble employees in 1983 before moving up the ranks and becoming the company’s CEO, eventually going on to hold top positions at other Fortune 500 companies. Throughout his journey, health and wellness has been his priority, not just for himself but also for his team. “The starting point of being successful is your health; if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything,” he points out. 

Apart from exercising regularly and watching his diet, here are Jim’s strategies for living a life full of energy and positivity:

“We take on many roles in life — for instance, I am not only a businessman, a coach, and an athlete, I am also a father, a husband, a brother, a nephew, so on and so forth. I believe that at maximum, we can only do five roles well.”

Jim Lafferty, CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding  (FHH)
  1. Acknowledge that you can’t do everything. “We take on many roles in life — for instance, I am not only a businessman, a coach, and an athlete, I am also a father, a husband, a brother, a nephew, so on and so forth,” Jim enumerates. “But I believe that at maximum, we can only do five roles well. And my five roles are to be the best husband, father, philanthropist-coach, athlete, and CEO out there. Everything else — such as being a brother and a nephew — is not a priority for me, and my family understands that.”

This is why Jim is very clear about what he says “no” and “yes” to. “I get offers to sit on other boards all the time, but I turn them down because they will take up too much time from what I really want to do,” he explains. “At the end of the day, I am clear on what legacy I want to leave behind, and that is to be a good father and contribute to society in the best way possible.”

  1. Cope with setbacks by employing perspective. When asked to name the biggest challenge he has ever encountered and what he did to cope, Jim says: “I don’t stress out over setbacks very easily because I always try to keep things in perspective.” 

As an example, he relates the story of a female employee who was five months pregnant with twins when she caught a severe case of COVID-19 and had to be hospitalized. To protect both the mother and babies’ health, doctors did an emergency c-section and delivered the babies prematurely. Unfortunately, all three passed away not long after. “What can I possibly be going through now that’s even close to what the husband and father are going through?” he points out. “I get upset, yes, but are those bad news really that earth-shattering? If you widen your perspective and learn what other people in the world are going through, you realize that more often than not, you have nothing to complain about.” 

  1. Prioritize employee well-being. When Jim came on board as CEO of FHH, one of the first things he did was to align the company’s values with his own. “We are a wellness company and wellness starts at home; and home for us is our employees,” he shares. To start with, he spearheaded the construction of a world class, state-of-the-art fitness center at the company’s headquarters in Dubai, and initiated company-wide fitness challenges like push-up competitions to encourage employees to take care of their physical health.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the company partnered with MindNation to launch an Employee Assistance Program that includes 24/7 teletherapy support from qualified psychologists and WellBeing Coaches to all Fine employees and their immediate family members so that they can cope with the mental health challenges brought about by social isolation and other worries. “We try to protect our employees as much as we can, physically and mentally, because you cannot have good health without either one,” Jim explains.  

Finally, Jim has taken it upon himself to make the company more diverse and inclusive. “When I arrived at the company, the management team was 100 percent comprised of men, and they only came from two countries,” he relates. “I met each and every one of them, and those who were not performing well were let go in the most graceful and dignified way possible.” To fill up the five vacancies that resulted from this reorganization, Jim talked to headhunters and imposed one rule — that only female applicants be considered. “Everyone was surprised, but I told them there are talented women all over the city, don’t tell me we can’t find any,” he points out. 

All five roles did get filled up by women, and today FHH boasts of women comprising 38% of leadership roles in the company — unprecedented in the Arab world. “I’ve seen a lot of progress on acceptance of women as leaders but it’s an uphill battle and it’s going to take time,” Jim admits. “But if we want to be responsible members of society, we have to participate in the changes that society has to go through.”

  1. Celebrate the journey, not the destination. When it comes to long-term goals, Jim is not a believer of deadlines and timelines. For Jim, it’s about seeing his children progressing happily in their lives and the organization growing and becoming better. “But I don’t tell myself ‘Oh, I have to do this or see these results by the end of the year,’” he shares. “Instead, I ask myself, ‘Am I closer to the goal today than I was yesterday?’ And if the answer is ‘yes,’ then I already feel accomplished. You can’t measure life by a stopwatch.” 

Happier and healthier employees are productive employees. Partner with MindNation to provide your team with a well-being that is holistic, data-driven, and customized for your needs. Email [email protected] to know more. 


9 Common Exercise Excuses That You Need To Stop Making

We all know that exercise is good for us, but if the weather is too hot or you just ended a day of back-to-back Zoom meetings, coupled with homeschooling, it’s easier to just put off working out in favor of plopping down in front of the TV. 

How can we help ourselves get moving? We asked Juancho Triviño, fitness advocate and founder of Fit Crew PH, an online personal training service, to bust the most common exercise excuses and his solutions for them.

“If you can spare 15 to 20 minutes scrolling through social media, then you have time to exercise.”

Juancho Triviño, fitness advocate and founder of Fit Crew PH

1. “I’m too tired, I just want to relax.”
First of all, if you are tired because you are sick, then do take time to rest and recover.

But if you are tired because of poor sleep, work fatigue, or mental health conditions, exercise can make you feel better. Start off with light exercises that are easy on the body but are just as effective, such as yoga and walking.  

Finally, if you are tired because you have a stressful job or are swamped with chores at home, change your routine. Instead of scheduling your workout at the end of the day when your energy is at its lowest, wake up earlier than usual to exercise, or do it on your lunch break. 

2. “I don’t have the time.”

“If you can spare 15 to 20 minutes scrolling through social media, then you have time to exercise,” says Juancho. “Just waking up extra early in the morning to squeeze in 15 to 20 minutes of light exercises or stretching can already prep your body and mind for all the rigorous things you need to do for the day.” 

3. “It costs too much.” 

While hiring a personal trainer is recommended for proper guidance, it is not mandatory. “You can follow free workout videos that are available online, or even ask for help from family or friends who are active,” Juancho advises. No equipment? Creativity goes a long way.

“Use water bottles or canned goods as weights; sturdy chairs can be used if you need elevation. Lastly, bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and squats can also be very effective for building strength.”

4. “I don’t like to exercise alone.”

There are benefits to exercising by yourself — you can go at your own pace and focus on doing the exercises correctly and efficiently. That said, there are also benefits to exercising with a group , including positive peer pressure and increased motivation. 

If you prefer to workout with others but the gyms in your area are still closed, there are many platforms online with live classes that you and your friends can join, such as Fit Crew PH. But if you’re struggling to put a group together, you can still work out by yourself without feeling like you are alone. “Personally, I like listening to music or podcasts while working out,” suggests Juancho. “It makes me feel like I am talking to someone.”

5. “It’s boring!”

There are so many different kinds of exercises out there — from swimming to spinning — that the key is to find something, anything, that gets your body in motion and puts a smile on your face. So if you find yourself bored or plateaued with a particular workout, switch it up. If yoga no longer interests you, try rowing; if you find boxing “Bleh,” try biking. “I’d much rather go three hours on a bike than 30 minutes on a treadmill,” admits Juancho. “Once you find something you enjoy doing, it won’t feel like an exercise.”

6. “I’m too old/too fat/not strong enough/etc. — the trainer will just laugh at me.”

“That will absolutely never happen,” Juancho stresses. “Coaches and trainers are professionals who work with a variety of fitness levels and will never judge someone based on their physical stature. In fact, we even feel happy if we see people trying to be the best version of themselves.” 

That said, this does not mean that you should plunge into whatever workout tickles your fancy. “Whether you are young or old, fit or unfit, always get clearance from your doctor before first starting a new exercise regimen,” advises Juancho.

7. “I tried exercising before and it didn’t work.”

There are many reasons why you’re not seeing results from working out. 

  • Maybe you weren’t consistent with exercising? It’s important to keep a routine and stick to it.
  • Maybe you were expecting too much, too soon? It may take anywhere from four to eight weeks of consistent workouts before you see a noticeable change.
  • Finally, maybe you relied purely on exercising? “Fitness also depends on what you eat and how you sleep,” Juancho points out. 

So analyze why the exercise didn’t work, and ask yourself what would have improved the chances of a positive outcome? Now make a plan with this newfound knowledge and start again.

8. “I’ll start tomorrow/next week/etc.”
If you are battling low motivation, you just have to do it. Start small so you don’t get daunted or discouraged. Instead of saying you will do 10 push-ups every morning, start with just two, then gradually increase the reps. Instead of aiming to exercise for an hour, try 40 minutes first, which when you think about it, is about the length of time of an episode of your favorite sitcom so it’s not that long. 

9. “I don’t need to exercise, I’m still young.”

“You’ll age quicker if you don’t take care of yourself,” Juancho warns. “Health is wealth, so as early as now, you have to invest in yourself, in the things that you want, and how you spend your time. Getting your body engaged and feeling aware of your physical state is a good start to a long and healthy life.”

When it comes to exercising, the gains outweigh the pains and excuses. A regular exercise routine will give you improved physical and mental health and can set your mood for the day. Best of all, it’s never too late to start. “There are many things that you will never regret doing, and exercise is one of them,” says Juancho.

For those in the Philippines, MindNation WellBeing Coaches are available 24/7 to help you build better physical and mental health habits. Book a slot now through FB Messenger http://mn-chat or email [email protected].

For more information about Fit Crew PH, message them on Instagram @fitcrew_ph.