Take A Break
There is an American tendency to think you can always outwork the problem; and I agree it’s mostly true. The challenge, however, is there’s always another problem. So when you run yourself below zero in order to address the current situation you can’t have the same resourcefulness for the forthcoming ones.
Recently, I aimed to check no social media or email for at least two weeks. I did manage to make it about 10 days before I had to start answering emails and deleting them. Those screen shots are EACH from ONE SINGLE DAY of emails. I had over 1,000 items to clean the days prior.
I’m not complaining. Coaching inquiries and busyness are good problems to have. But I was beginning to notice my ability to operate at the level I prefer was getting ever-diminished. So we went to Greece.
This has been studied:
Professorial work sabbaticals pay dividends. That is, the professors’ life works are greater when they have down time. We’ve been trying to figure this out in the work sphere for quite a while with debates about work week hours and limitations. And the fact of the matter is that prior to the industrial revolution, people worked far less than even the 40 hour work week we hold up as some sort of standard: https://allthatsinteresting.com/medieval-peasants-vacation-….
Working 60-110 hours in a week, skipping vacations, skipping weekends, skipping holidays are all more modern contrivances. We made them up. They were not ever really a part of human history until the 19th century. And statisticians and economists have many times over shown that when you double the hours of a workforce you do not double the output: https://hbr.org/…/the-research-is-clear-long-hours-backfire…
In fact, some have gone so far as to suggest that the American institution of slavery (the worst overworking of all time) was a ponderous impediment to economic growth: https://www.gilderlehrman.org/…/historical-context-was-slav…. That is, as much as the American economy was built by overworking enslaved people to death, that growth pales in comparison to economic growth elsewhere and certainly since the abolition of slavery. Worldwide wealth developed since the eradication of slavery in the western world has many more zeroes behind it. Thus, it wasn’t merely one of the greatest moral failings of all time, it was a societal and business pause-button at the macro level.
Acknowledging the dignity and humanity of people, yourself included, is paramount to growth. Part of being human is experiencing all of life, not just a nose to a grindstone. When people can breathe, they can produce from a place with more beauty.
I apply this to health and fitness. People push really hard. And they should. Sometimes. Other times, they’ve been past the point of diminishing returns for so long that a harder push doesn’t really make sense. In fact, in metabolic engineering, we have to eat MORE and work out LESS in order to get someone to a point where she can get leaner. This is confusing to the layperson who’s thinking of slavery or workaholism as a net advantage. It’s not an advantage. It’s certainly not a net win. It’s a detriment. You have to take a break. You have to honor the body, the temple. You have to acknowledged the dignity and humanity of that person.
THEN, when restored, we can spend from the abundance. You cannot spend from a place of overspent. Why are some modern companies more powerful than most sovereign states? Because you can sheer a sheep many times, but only skin him once. Wars of conquest still occur, sure. But they’re so passé. Stealing all the land and resources of a territory works exactly one time. Then you have to manage that land and mine the resources. Oops. Modern companies figured out how to take a little bit of money from MANY people MANY times. Of the top 100 economies in the world, 69 of them are companies, not countries: https://www.weforum.org/…/corporations-not-countries-domin…/
Your health and fitness are like that. Go to war if you must. But lots of tiny transactions with breaks in between have a better model of prosperity.
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