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Stop resting from work.

Do you recoup after a long day by staring at the TV and drinking beer or wine? Are you constantly falling asleep on the couch at night? Or instead of reflecting on your business and personal life in your quiet time, are you reflecting on other people by scrolling social media?

We all do this at times, but how long has this season been for you?

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a few different groups on the idea of Work vs. Rest.

My favorite teachings are these small intimate settings when people start to get real. People start to peel back the onion in their life, as well as push back to each other and to myself.

This blog is not to go into the depths of the Work vs. Rest teaching (I can do that over a coaching session :)), but the high-level concept is there is an opposite and equal reaction for our energy efforts – our high energy put towards work, we need to counterbalance with rest – sleep, chill time, reading, solitude, etc. So the high output we give towards execution, delivery, and performance; we need to counterbalance with developing ideas, strategizing, and reflecting.

We were created to rest and work, not just work.

When we look at how man was created in the Bible, we see man was created on Day 6, and on Day 7, God said to rest, calling it the Sabbath. How cool – the very first day on Earth for mankind in Genesis 1, was to rest! God created us to rest and then go to work. We are to work from a position of rest, not rest from work. When we are working from rest, we are going into work with full hearts and energy. Full of ideas and desire to be productive and effective. When we are always using the weekend to recover, then when Monday rolls around, we dread it. We are limping back into work for another week of hammering things out.

We need to work from a position of rest, instead of resting from work.

We all find ourselves in seasons where we push the limits of Work vs. Rest, and it becomes Striving vs. Crashing. We strive so hard at work, kids’ activities, and social engagements; that we end up crashing at night and on the weekends. Reality is, we can only go so hard until our body and mind can’t go anymore.

In a recent conversation, a successful individual was convinced they were winning in Striving vs. Crashing and believed it was the only way. The individual was meeting deadlines, getting incredible new job opportunities, getting kids to/from practice, so they felt it was a success. They also conceded that crashing was the only way since they had young kids, both parents working, and they will recalibrate when the kids are older.

Without debating if Striving vs. Crashing is truly working in their life, my heart is to share some thoughts on way this is not sustainable. Yes, we need to do it at times because a big deadline is approaching, the end of the quarter is near…but to be a great leader at work and home, you need to recalibrate sooner rather than later.

Few reasons why Striving and Crashing are not sustainable:

* You are creating bad habits. In order to keep this rhythm going, you are creating bad habits, addictions, or coping mechanisms to keep it afloat. TV binge-watching, aimless social media (which studies show the connection to dopamine increases), alcohol, porn, and others. These bad habits are difficult to break even when the deadline is over!

* You have zero capacity. If there are any big changes in your life that require more of your time, you will cave because there is nothing that can give. You have a fender bender, an employee leaves, a kid breaks an arm – all of those would suck – but you have no capacity to handle this extra load. The ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ saying applies here.

* You are not spending time reflecting. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but studies show the importance of solitude. As the book, ‘Lead Yourself First’ puts it, solitude is critical to leaders as it brings self-awareness and emotional balance.

* You are not present with the people you are with. Your mind is on other things. Your next meeting, your next conversation – but you are not present with those in the room. Most often your spouse or kids are the victims of this one.

* You are emotionally unstable. You are quick to snap at other drivers on road, maybe even family members. You beat yourself up for minor errors at work. You are hard on yourself and others.

* You are not dependent on God. You are dependent on yourself. You think you need to work around the clock to get the job done. You think if you don’t reply to that one last email, make that phone call, then it will all come crumbling down. No, it won’t. It doesn’t when you were on vacation or out of the office. Rest shows our dependence on God.

Unfortunately, the illusion of Striving vs. Crashing is that it is working and you look like everyone else who is also running around like crazy. However, Striving and Crashing is a ticking time bomb.

Thank you for reading!


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