(Un)fortunately, we all need to rest.
No matter how fit you may be (ie: David Goggins), how many caffeine-related drinks you consume or anything else you may think of that keeps you going – at a given point your body will shut down. We all need to recuperate in some form or fashion.
The question is how often and how long?
Getting a good night’s rest is vital. This is a given. However, there are moments in life where you are going to need to sacrifice that bit of sleep to push yourself that much more. Whether your preparing for a race, grinding on your start-up to drive sales, working on a project to deliver your excel file on time, or any other goal you may have. If you really want to succeed at something, you are going to have to go beyond exhaustion and at times sacrifice what your body yearns for. That bit of extra sleep, that nap, or a moment to just relax and lay back.
You may have heard the phrase “When the going gets tough, the tough get going…” – I often like to exchange the second “get” with “keep”. There are moments where I am just plain tired. I want to sleep. I want to lay down and close my eyes. I want to relax and push whatever I intended to do off for another day, another moment. Potentially procrastinate. There is plenty of time, no? No!
It’s alright to rest and at times relax and soak it all in, get a good night’s sleep. But you need to understand when it’s time to grind, then it’s time to grind. You need to want to succeed. You need to want it more than you want to breathe (Great speech by Eric Thomas). You may have gone to bed at 0200am, but when the alarm rings at 0500am you have no excuse. You need to move your mind, focus, concentrate, and push every fiber in your body to follow along. It all comes down to your mindset – to the choices you make.
This past weekend with the time change in Europe and other places across the world heading into wintertime (setting the clocks back an hour) – it was just one of those moments. My kids got up earlier than usual – which meant it was time for us to get up as well, and by earlier I mean 05:30 am. Unfortunately, my morning routine is not what I should be, due to my knee injury, hitting the gym is currently not an option, nor is any other sport aside from stretching and meditating. So with the kids up early, it was time for a very early breakfast and what would become a long (but fun) day.
My wife and I are a fantastic team. We each know who does what and are well coordinated to get things done. During my corporate years, I was up early, did my sports, meditation, then the kids got up, perhaps snuck in a mail or two, worked through the day, and then despite being tired you kept on grinding. The dogs needed to head out, dinner needs to be prepared, we need to wash, clean, hold some calls for post-work meetings due to time zone differences. These days, there are other things that keep me very busy. I like to keep my head and body on track as far as possible.
Nonetheless, I bet just like myself many of you feel the same way after a day’s work, kids, etc. I know I feel tired and feel exhausted, but I conscientiously make the choice to sit down review and reflect on the things I’m working on.
I encourage you to do the same.
There are moments where you can stop the grind. We all need it and that is okay. Nothing should make you feel guilty to enjoying life and the moments that make it what it is. But you always need to hustle – hard!
Will Smith said it best. In an interview, he said something along the lines of;
The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is: I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. You might have more talent than me; you might be smarter than me. But if we get on a treadmill together, there’s two things: you’re getting off first, or I’m gonna die. It’s really that simple.
With that said, regardless of how tired you may feel. Ask yourself, especially when you feel exhausted – is it okay to stop right now or will you put in that much more work ethic to succeed at accomplishing what you set out to do. Perhaps it’s the latter so that when you get there you can reward yourself with something bigger than just a short break.