You know the feeling of walking into the gym after months or even years of not working out? You know you aren't as strong as you were, you have a long way to go, and you know it's going to be painful. That's the way any real progress is made.
Anyone that knows anything about muscle growth knows you must tear down to build up. We push ourselves to the limit to force our bodies to adapt and grow back stronger. We teeter on the edge of breakthrough and breakdown, but if we aren't careful we will certainly get hurt.
The temptation I face, not only in the area of physical exercise, but more so in the arena of my own personal growth, is to live at the line of breakthrough and breakdown while rarely retreating to recover.
If I can just make a little more progress at work. If I read one more book. Listen to one more podcast. Watch one more video. Write down one more good idea. Then I'll be where I want to be. Then I'll arrive...
It's a great strategy for pushing forward. It's also a great strategy for burning out, breeding discontentment, and feeling emotionally exhausted on a regular basis.
I am terrible at genuinely relaxing. I've told Lacie this plenty of times, and I really am trying to work on it. I know I have to, or I'm going to sacrifice my own mental health and relationships for the sake of "progress."
So I'm taking off work today. I'm not responding to emails. I'm going to stay off my phone as much as possible. I'm spending time with loved ones. I'm walking away from the line and resting.
I am resting because breakthrough, progress, and growth are wonderful. They are unachievable, though, if you never allow yourself to rest.
To all my driven, high-achieving, fully-engaged, hard-charging, curious, passionate friends, it is okay to hit pause. You don't need my permission, of course, but maybe you need the reminder.