Be Like a Light Bulb: The Importance of Resting Ethic
“Most people in life are dim lights, they’re on but they are not bright. Because they are trying to conserve energy. You should make a choice, you are either on or off. There is either GO time or there is relaxing time. Try to be more binary. You have more energy when it’s Go time” -Andrew “Cobra” Tate.
I love this concept. A period of Inactivity, followed by a burst of Activity. This totally in line with one of my previous posts: Work like a Lion, not a Cow: https://hardfork.substack.com/p/work-like-a-lion-not-like-a-cow
Once you see this, you cannot unsee this. This stuck with me when I heard Jackie Chan talk about how he was so influenced by Fred Astaire: frenzied dancing followed by a stillness. He followed the same principle in the many martial arts action movies he filmed. Seriously, go rewatch his movies, this becomes very clear.
In the past my calendar would be jam packed with meetings and calls and to dos. It was what I thought you were supposed to do. I used to feel guilty when I had a short or an easy and quiet day for work or for my business. I’d wonder what I am doing wrong or start to think I am not doing enough to move things forward.
But you move the business forward by brain work. When am I NOT thinking about the business either consciously or subconsciously? I’ve come to realize that the ultimate flex is an empty calendar as both Warren Buffett & my friend Shaan Puri point out: https://twitter.com/ShaanVP/status/1489680121015377921
Using my mood journal and reviewing my calendar schedules, any day where I had a full calendar, I’d feel massive anxiety, and was just plain worn out. With no time to do the hard thinking and problem solving that drove the major results. Or have enough open time to troubleshoot the inevitable issues that come up. I got caught in the trap of mistaking activity for results.
Naval famously said: “Productivity is the Enemy of Creativity”
Rest is absolutely critical for high performance. Without it, it’s like revving your engine until it breaks or blows up. We’re in a new world now where our brains power everything. As the Doomberg crew calls it: “The Gig Economy for Brains.”
Naval again says: “Some of the most creative and productive people I have ever met work in multi-week bursts and then have weeks where they just idle with little done. It’s the nature of the human animal.”
All-in and fully energized OR quiet and at rest. There is no in between. This is a key habit for effective work in the modern day. Don’t be a dim light.