Keeping things short
This is a very short one today, you may understand why when you read the next couple of paragraphs…
As I am wondering around, trying to emulate Caine from the famous TV series Kung Fu, I like to notice things.
Believe me I am no Zen master or Yoda-like creature, but I like to aim high…
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!
– Norman Vincent Peale
Sorry, I digress… Enough of the philosophy, let’s get on with it…
One thing I notice is how incredibly busy people are nowadays!
I often hear parents talking about doing more miles than an Uber driver in New York! They probably have similar diets too (apologies if you’re an Uber driver who takes care of your health, I’m really over-generalising here, but I need to get my point across).
Now there is a fine balance between doing what really needs to be done and doing “stuff” because you think you have to.
Do you really need to do all those miles?
Do you really need to work 80 hours per week?
Do you really need to go to the gym 6 days per week?
Will taking your child to an extra ballet lesson when they’re already doing it 3 days per week as well swimming, kickboxing and football get them, or you, any further?
If you are running yourself and your partner into the ground, it’s time to take stock!
I’m all for getting kids active but is it worth that extra lesson when you’re talking to your family like Satan and don’t even have the time or energy to connect with them over a meal or read your child’s favourite book to them at bedtime?
This applies to any activity, not just time with your kids!
I often get people asking me what fitness programme is the best? What supplements should I take? What diet should I be on? How many reps should I do? How long should I meditate for?
My response to them and myself (yes, I do talk to myself sometimes), is: What can you eliminate? What unnecessary baggage can you dump to lighten the load mentally and physically?
It doesn’t matter what you hear about grind, grind, grind, work, work, work, your energy is finite!
At some point you will need to rest your mind and body.
Even your precious iPhone has to rest, recharge, reboot and update! Why should you be any different when your brain power and bodily functions blow the iPhone out of the water?!
When you are not piling your plate, day or life full with junk, your body and mind can cope, and you avoid feelings of burnout.
The human brain has not yet evolved to deal this fast paced, technological life we now lead. It still thinks it’s back in the stone ages running from woolly beasts and living in small family groups. Go easy on it when it needs a rest, give it time to catch up!
A note on the ego
I see a lot of people using “busy” as a badge of honour. This is the ego in action!
The ego (which we all have, myself included) makes people think that being busy or looking busy makes them important, successful and cool.
You only have to count the number of people carrying around those shiny, plastic coffee mugs, which look like something from the set of Aliens, to recognise this.
Are you really so busy that you can’t stop for a drink? Even baboons stop to drink!
Trust me, it’s not cool to be that revved up on coffee that you’re storming around like a German WWII soldier on Pervitin!
If you never stop to get stuff done, you will never stop! There will always be something to do, no matter how many tasks you tick off the list.
It’s not cool to die of a heart attack or stroke at 45, leaving your family up S#*t creak without a paddle, just to get more “stuff” done!
What can you eliminate?
To be clear, I’m not saying that you should lie on the sofa all day because eventually someone will come and take it away!
What I am saying is focus on what’s important for the day and work around those things!
It may be one thing, it may be five, but my advice would be not to make it more than three really important things!
So ask yourself, what I can take away, not, what can I add?!
May the force be with you, Gareth – trainee Jedi.