Somehow we get this idea that the most successful people are superhuman, immune to the need for rest, for breaks, the need to recharge.
Do me a favor. Drop that notion like it’s hot, and leave that steaming mess where it lies.
The fact is, the most successful people have recognized and mastered the art of rest. They know that thirty hours at the absolute top of their game is far better than eighty hours of irritable, burnt out mediocrity.
Now, don’t mis-hear me. I’m not saying that you should only work when you feel like it. What I am saying is that in the same way that you build time in to work out, or to read, or to drink coffe, or (of course) to work, you need to purposefully build in time for one of the most productive activities…
Two years ago, I kicked off the new year firing on all cylinders. I was motivated! I was starting a new career, producing an album, finishing up my real estate licensure, and I snagged two cash-flowing rental properties in as many months, both on creative financing. I was in the zone!
Then a couple months later, I had settled into a little more of a sustainable pace—bluntly, I had slowed down.
I remember lamenting this to my mentor, wondering why I couldn’t be hyper-productive all day, every day, 365 days a year.
“I don’t want to take time to rest, I don’t want to slow down, I want to be making constant progress!”
The reality is that that pace was not sustainable. I’m only human. I’m limited by my mind, by my body, by the amount of time in a day, and by finite stores of energy.
In short: I need rest. As a human being, I simply can’t sustain an inhuman pace.
This reality, though, once I come to grips with it, should allow me to re-frame how I see rest.
So let’s go about that task. Let’s re-frame.
What we want, when we’re fighting against our natural ebb and flow in those moments, is to be constantly productive, right? We want productivity at all times! “I can’t rest because my competition doesn’t rest!” we think to ourselves.
Here’s where my mindset shifted. What if that activity of resting, of slowing down, of allowing your mind and body and spirit to be rejuvenated, is the most productive next step available to you?
I believe that there are times when this is precisely the case.
In popular fitness thinking, there is a heavy emphasis on the importance of rest time for those hoping to build muscle. “Strength and muscle gains abound during rest periods.”
When you work out, you sweat, you holler and shout and you feel great because it’s outwardly obvious that you’re making progress and doing work. But then, the next most productive step available to the person trying to build muscle, is to rest and allow their muscle to rebuild.
The challenge is that it’s nowhere near as satisfying or outwardly glamorous.
The reward is that it works, and those muscles rebuild just a little bit stronger.
Rest is a crucial ingredient for those wanting to cook up some true greatness. Rest is often the most productive next step available to you.
After all this talk about rest, that is exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to take a few days off to spend some time with my family over this wonderful Christmas season. I’m going to rest, relax, laugh, eat too much, watch some football, resist the urge to work, and busy myself about the task of resting my mind.
I’ll be back right before the new year, when I’ll be announcing an AWESOME GIVEAWAY to kick off 2016!
As you know, I’m all about inciting action. Here’s your assignment: allow yourself to rest. Be present with your family and friends, be present in the moment, knowing that a rejuvenated you will be ready to go when the time is right! Embrace your need for rest and be thankful that it’s a truly productive next step.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you!
Go-to Resource: This book does a phenomenal job of examining the spiritual aspect of work, what role it ought to play in our lives, and how to identify the answer to that crucial question: “What’s best next?”