Rest // Do Less and Live More
How has success become associated with being “tired, stressed, and overworked?” Having limited downtime and minimal vacations? Is this what it means to have it all? To be living feeling as full as possible, which is ALB’s definition of success?
What does success mean to you? An amalgamation of feeling happy, healthy, driven, passionate, and accepted? Does working until you physically cannot see or think straight because you are so exhausted seem compatible with this definition of success?
Life is not just about being successful; it is about being on an unwavering journey of understanding yourself. To define and give yourself your best life possible. Love the life you live, right? That is a more authentic definition of success.
So much of this has to do with rest. Rest is often seen as a sign of weakness and, dare I say it, laziness and a laissez-fare additude associated with being disinterested.
What if you considered it all from a different perspective. Rest is the antidote to that overburdened definition of success. Rest is neither a sign of instability nor a gift. You need rest on the regular. It is as fundamental as work, if not more. Without rest we can neither work nor play. We simply do not function, are not ourselves, and are not living at our best.
Balance, again, is major. Calibrate yourself with what makes you feel good in life; it gives you a purpose to wake up every morning. Your equilibrium is composed of what keeps you going; all parts that are necessary, not just what you think you need. Work, rest, friends, family, self, travel, sweating, drawing, reading, writing, anything really. Humans are beings of emotional drive; they cannot just function on the work-home-work-home rhythm. They need everything else. This need does not make you weak or less worthy than those robots who can function superficially and then eventually — yes it happens at some point — crash.
Resting is not just sleeping or sitting on the couch watching TV; it is engaging in activities of deep play. As Alex Soojung-Kim Pang defines in his book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, deep play is comprised of “activities that are […] voluntary, intrinsically rewarding, mentally and physically engaging, and imaginative, absorbing and effortless.” How do Sami Inkinen, Co-founder of Trulia, and others members of the C-suite have time to train for Ironmans and simultaneously run the world’s most influential companies? They ensure themselves a balance: space to invest in a hobby that is more than a diversion and space to simultaneously lead their brand.
Food for thought: Why Ironmen and Ironwomen Make Great CEOs.
Let yourself rest. It will make you more productive when you work. And, let me just add that work does not need to be such a miserable thing — but that will come another time.
Provide yourself with the framework to bloom into a version of yourself that lets you feel full on a daily basis. Not because you have to do something to deserve it, but because you need it. It is a right of yours. And you will have it.
If you are interested in delving deeper into this subject, consider reading Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less and Jason Kelly’s Sweat Equity: Inside the New Economy of Mind and Body. ALB’s July reads (coming soon!) will provide some insightful novel suggestions.