Sleep is not an escape for being idle. Sleep is restorative. Sleep feels good when we’re sleeping off a productive day. If hard work doesn’t precede sleep, there’s little need for rest. Idleness requires a jolt – not a nap. Our bodies thank us for a good night’s sleep after a hard worked day, and jolt our minds into knowing that good feeling, creating habits of desire for doing good work. Conversely, our minds will tell our bodies to stay mindlessly idle, burning fuel while going nowhere, when it senses we habitually use our time poorly.
We cannot cast blame on anyone else if we find ourselves tripping over stones we’ve once thrown. Though they may skip and bounce before coming to complete stop, we kept a close eye on them, so we know where we will find them. This also means we will know how to avoid them, step over them, or pick them up.
We are hardwired for survival. We wouldn’t be here if this truth wasn’t as old as our DNA. Survival is defined as, “the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.” Easy is defined as, “achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties,” and “(of a period of time or way of life) free from worries or problems.” To be optimistic about the future means to fully understand that the path forward will be filled with inescapable struggle, and therefore worthwhile. Nowhere is it written otherwise.
If you were to equate your ego to square footage, how much space would your ego occupy? Would it be a tent? A studio apartment? A tiny cottage? Perhaps a mansion or sprawling estate? Once you’ve decided, now consider what your ego’s place of residence will look like from a satellite picture. Is the size of your ego’s abode all that impressive from this perspective? Even the largest estate your ego could dream up becomes an indiscriminate dot.
Being accepted for who we are as humans has a side-effect. We tend to overlook that in pursuit of wanting to be accepted for being the unique individuals that we all are, we do more to compartmentalize than unify. We make the tragic oversight that what’s most important is that we are all human – regardless of race, religion, politics, sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity or nationality. In a world that desperately needs more understanding, we fail to listen closely, look deeply, and judge our thoughts and actions as equally as we do the high standards we expect from others.
The difference between busy and productive is akin to the difference between asphyxiation and a hug.
We don’t require vacations from work. From time-to-time, we require vacations from how we are currently thinking about our work. If we are feeling overwhelmed, it’s likely not the quantity of work, but rather the quality of our work being hindered by our mental approach. We are hard-wired to work; to put our minds to good use. The world doesn’t benefit from good minds being idle. The best vacation would be a permanent vacation from negative thoughts; thoughts that keep us from being the best versions of ourselves.