When we think of what limits people like us, the main constraint we have concerned ourselves with recently is that of imagination; we are constrained not so much by resources and capacity but by a deficit of imagination as to what is possible. There is another limit I have become aware of recently: our ability to push forward is limited by how much and how well we manage our rest and recovery. Sleep, obviously, but also taking a full day of downtime every week, taking real vacations, building in some rest and meditation time every day. All of life is the oscillation from on to off, from inhale to exhale, a continual pulsing back and forth.
One of my great challenges is turning down the volume — backing off and pausing. I am not someone who needs a trainer in the gym to push me; I need the trainer to say stop, you are tired, and you need to rest. This is all in sharp focus, because last week I had an actual vacation — meaning that I didn’t carry my phone with me, that I wasn’t in a constant full-on all-systems-go mode. I did do perhaps 4 hours of AGEIST oversight and writing last week, but for the first time since we started this venture, I was not micro-managing the enterprise. We now have very good people who can steer the ship when I am away. Pro-tip: when you have good people, let them handle the show; better for them and better for you.
The effect of being full-off is that upon return, my brain and body are fueled and ready for action: Houston, we have a go for launch. But let’s remember what we just learned: it was a considered period of being off that led to being so energized now. Yang is only sustainable if coupled with an equal amount of Yin. An imbalance of either will get us in trouble — either we end up with the car in a ditch, or we never get in a car in the first place. Our challenge is to understand on which side we are imbalanced. Too much Yin? Get a boxing coach and feel the exhilaration of smashing a heavy bag. Too much Yang? Spend an afternoon sitting in a garden checking out the wonders of nature.
Onward and upward,