In a world that rewards results, being busy is not enough.
In the light of the media attention to Elon Musk’s intense work schedule a few weeks ago, I felt the need to share this piece on the need for seeking balance in rather than fall victim to the illusion of busyness in a world that rewards results.
Working hard and continuously is a popular mantra that is not only damaging and dangerous but perhaps more importantly because it feeds a false narrative. Taking some time to recharge and refresh is important and research shows that most of our best ideas, dreams, innovations, and solutions were birth in solitude, a place of rest.
In our fast-paced, always ‘on’ and a hurried world where the pressure to be the ‘early’ bird is always top of mind, there exists an imminent danger of falling prey to mental, emotional, physical and spiritual fatigue.
Sadly, for many of us, we ignore the obvious message here and fail to nurture one of the powers we have readily at our disposal, the power of solitude, rest and safe pace.
Many fall into the trap of equating activities (hurried pace) with progress.
You do not have to be a victim of this narrative.
You do not have to trapped by the desire to outwork and overwork yourself.
If you feel trapped and think it’s too late to change,, I have good news for you, do not panic and I want to challenge you to consider this idea of giving yourself permission to hit the pause, rest or reset button.
Here’s why this is important, each one of us is a limited resource, limited by design and we can not function at our optimum best for too long without sufficient rest. As you read, I am aware of the different responses that are often used to justify the need to work without rest.
In my opinion, that defensive posture is a clue you need to reconsider.
Your busy schedule, title, responsibilities are not valid reasons for not seeking and achieving work-life balance. They are not valid enough to prevent you from daily rest and reset.
And without a doubt, once you embark on this path, you will stumble and struggle a bit, but be that as it may, stay with it. Once the habit of resting is formed, then make it a critical part of your routine so you can achieve more, do and feel better.
Case Study: All ‘reliable’ machines have a maintenance cycle.
Rest provides the solitude that allows for retrospection which is where perspective is confirmed. Rest provides a habitat for the soul and mind to ponder, reflect and re-calibrate. The popular psalm 23, highlights the effect of rest and mentions the role of the good shepherd who makes the sheep lie down in green pastures, beside quiet waters where the soul is refreshed.
I like to see rest as an opportunity to rest as it provides an escape for the soul. This quote sufficiently captures my thought;
“In order to have focus, we need to escape to focus.” — Greg McKeown
Here’s a true story that helped crystallize this concept further.
A few years ago, my modem (dates me a bit), began to act up, and after numerous attempts to resolve the issue myself all to no avail, I gave in and called the technical support helpline for assistance. It was a call I dreaded because of the typical long hold time and who wants to waste precious time, definitely not me.
But, was I so wrong!
“This is a fairly, simple and common problem”, I recalled the tech expert stating and he instructed me to simply turn off the modem, disconnect from the power source and wait for a few minutes.
That’s it? I asked slightly embarrassed.
For my modem, that re-start was the main difference between success and failure (inability). By restarting I allowed the system to clear out hung signals, remove dead and stale traffic and reestablish a connection.
So simple, yet so powerful and I want you to consider the same as well. If you’ve been stressed, overextended, snappy, tense, uptight, overwhelmed, nervous, pent-up, stuck, busy, hung-up, overwhelmed and troubled why don’t you give themselves permission to re-start.
Here are the steps to take –
In essence, hit the restart button and allow your body, soul and spirit refresh. Allow your system clear out the old, stale remnants of yesterday. This will open you up to refocus on the goals, objectives, and vision again.
Finally, remember, the words of a wise king in the book of Proverbs 19:23, that declares a type of rest that leads to life, contentment and is safe from trouble. That’s the rest you and I need.
Go ahead, hit the RESTART button.
May your best always be ahead,