Do not be afraid to rest

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Ain’t no rest for the wicked…

pexels-photo-large“Do not be afraid to rest.” I vividly remember one of my higher ranked marines telling me this as I continued to run up hills after hills without taking a break. It was against my principle. I never believed in resting during a run. As long as my limbs are functioning, I was going to keep moving. If my legs are gone, I will crawl with my arms to the finish line. Having this type of mentality, it was never easy to just chill and take a break.

If you are a workaholic or a goal oriented individual, sometimes it may be hard to deviate from your work or everyday routine. You are busy trying to get closer to your goal or that you have gotten so used to your established routine, you may feel uneasy and even guilty about doing something outside of your work. I am not saying it is bad that you are a daily grinder and you love putting in work while everyone is chilling and relaxing.

file0001083610876I myself is like that. I have an established routine that I follow almost every day for seven days a week. And it became more like that especially during this year since I decided to work on three long term goals all at once. It is hard for me to deviate from working on these goals, because I am so eager to get closer to the finish line and I hate being distracted or put on hold from pursuing my goals.

I disciplined myself to focus mainly on my goals and minimize instant gratification and pleasures. And I have gotten pretty used to it and I do not mind my monk-like lifestyle, because it’s been producing some positive results. And I thought time spent with my son can be considered as taking a break and balance out my work life. However, not too long ago, I got very stressed out from a situation that I was dealing with and I decided to give myself a break.

What I learned from taking a break…

This may not seem like a break to most of the people, but to me it’s a big change from my every day routine that I’ve been stubbornly following for a long period of time. I still kept up with some of my daily tasks but decided to omit a few from my every day routine and to just lay down, sip some adult drinks and watch some movies and TV shows rest of the day. And just by doing this for one day made a big change.

Here are some benefits I got from this “one day” chill out “session”

nature-beach-sand-ocean-largeMy mind was liberated from my goals. My mechanical brain got accessed to my creative side and a broader perspective. Since every day I was just focusing on things that need to get done before the end of the day, my life and my perspective became too serious. I forgot to see things from bigger perspective and evaluate my progress and my life in more open and lenient way. Also I became more forgiving of myself from some of my shortcomings and praised myself on how much effort I put in so far to keep up.

My weight on my back was lifted and felt more refreshed. All that stress and pressure that accumulated for a long period of time seemed to have lifted up a bit. And I felt like I can put all that weight behind and start everything anew. Even though, I am going to pick up from where I left off, I still felt like everything was fresh and new.

The most important thing that I learned is that taking a break once in a while is not so bad. In the long run, it can have some positive effects and can help me progress further with my journey. And this is something that I need to get more refined with. I need to learn to know when to take a necessary break and when not to. At the end, everything is all about balance. Too much of one thing can be harmful whether it’s work or break.

 

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9 comments

  1. Nate says:

    This is a great article! I am glad I came across it. Sometimes it can be hard to remember to just slow down and enjoy the ride. I am definitely going to use this article as a reminder that is it okay to take a breather every once in awhile. Especially after putting in work, when it well deserved. Thanks for this!

  2. Daniella says:

    Hi Joon,

    I really enjoyed reading your article, I found it very interesting!
    I had the same problem as yours when I set goals, I don’t move from them until I get there, without giving myself any credits. I just go and don’t think about nothing but just the goal. Lately, I have realised that taking a break make me think better and also, I work more effectively. Now one of my goals is to take at least one hour a day off with the people I love so much. ” My family”
    Thank you for this excellent post!

    • Joon Park says:

      Definitely. Family and your loved ones are always important. I also take at least two hours off for my son to either teach him something new or just interact with him. It’s actually a part of my daily schedule. But also aside from spending time with people you love, it’s also important to take a breather for yourself as well.

  3. Kristof says:

    Great advice about resting. Sometimes when I start working on a new project, I just keep on working and working and can’t stop. But I noticed that when I work for many hours my productivity is going down and I can get much better results by working shorter periods and taking breaks more often.

    • Joon Park says:

      If your productivity is going down, then you can definitely give it a shot on taking breaks. Experiment with it and see how it pans out. I’m not a big fan of taking breaks either because I feel like it’ll keep me from progressing, but the break I took recently wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

  4. Lilg06 says:

    Hi, your post is really helpful—especially for me– I am so happy I stumbled upon it.

    I am a national level basketball player and like you said a ‘Workaholic’ kind of person working day in and day out, seven days a week to reach my goals; that is to play for my country. In pursuing my dream, I had compromised a lot: my health, even my personal relations and that’s something I don’t want anyone else to do.

    I like your idea of taking a day off in between and just chill with your family and friends or just give yourself a treat to activate the creative side of your brain. However, it’s really hard for me to take a day off when the only thing I can think of is my future Goal.

    • Joon Park says:

      I rarely take a break also. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s different for everyone. Only you’d have to try and see if it will be beneficial in the long run or not. If your performance in your basketball is decreasing no matter how hard you’re working, perhaps you can take a break to see if it will help you in the long run.

  5. Mmace43 says:

    Thanks, Joon. Glad I found your post. It just seems like I have done nothing but work, work, work for a while now. So much so that when I have taken a break I felt guilty over it. And it only was for a short time. Recently, I have felt like I needed to continue and push the envelope and others have reinforced this attitude. But maybe now I can just sit back and have an adult beverage and relax a bit. Thanks to you. Looking onward to seeing more from you in the future.

  6. Fadhil says:

    Hi,

    You have a very interesting story here. I totally agree with you that taking a break from whatever we are doing could actually improve the output quality that we are going to get.

    As an entrepreneur myself, I know that we can be easily carried away by the loads of works that need to be settled. Taking a break is the last thing to be considered.

    In science, there have been a lot of studies on how the brain can actually improve its functionality after a person taking a break. People should take this fact seriously and apply it in their daily life in achieving their goals.

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