If You Go Fast, Will You Go Far?
Did you know Formula 1 engines typically last only a few races? It's not that they are built to inferior standards. After all, they are often the pinnacle of engineering. So what's the reason for such a poor lifespan?
Those engines typically work at their full potential all the time. And for most physical objects working at maximum capacity is unsustainable.
That's not good news, but there are worse. It's not just mechanical objects that suffer from this condition. Our bodies and brains are also pretty bad at sustaining prolonged effort.
So how do we make sure that our minds and bodies won't break down? We need to take care of proper rest. Make sure to idle for some time before we get back to full speed ahead. Maintain our mental engines, so they are ready for when it is necessary to accelerate.
Proper rest is different for everyone. Some like lying on the couch, some prefer walking. Some read, some do needlework. Some run, or climb, or lift weights.
The rest does not necessarily have to be passive. What's more, active rest is often better. What's important is to do the opposite of what you do when you work.
If your work consists mostly of physical activity, your rest should limit physical activity and introduce some mental stimulation. If you are a knowledge worker, your rest may incorporate some motion or physical exercise. As long as you are not doing or thinking about your daily chores, work tasks, and other problems, you take care of your body and mind. You are making sure they have enough power to get you through another week of work.
This newsletter is a note to you, but even more so, it is a reminder to me. I tend to enthusiastically say "yes" to new opportunities. This is great and it helps me discover how I can live a more fulfilling life. But it comes at a cost. The cost is that I often end up overwhelmed with projects and mounting deadlines.
That's why I want to continually remind myself of the importance of rest. Without it, I won't be able to hit my goals. Rest is not for the lazy. Rest is for the ambitious who want sustaining success. After all, sprinters rarely travel far.