If you just woke up — don’t open your eyes. Breathe slowly. Listen to your heartbeat. Do you hear how your heart continuously contracts and relaxes?
Notice the rhythm. It takes effort for the heart to contract. So after each beat there is a pause. A moment of silence, and then again, regeneration.
The natural rhythm
This “effort-break cycle” is the natural pattern of life.
You can notice this pattern in almost everything you do.
You exercise — repeat, break, repeat. You learn — study, digest, study.
You are born in contractions and after you die they throw the earth over the coffin in a rhythm. Shovel after shovel.
You probably know how it sounds.
Lethal work pattern arrhythmia
That “effort-break cycle” pattern seems so natural and obvious.
Notice that some people do not work this way.
I have observed two opposite extremely unbalanced “strategies” — the kamikaze and the floater.
Take a closer look at the behavioural patterns of those dear to you.
1. The Kamikaze
It is 1 AM — I just got home from dinner with a client. I am replying to emails – the never-ending to-do list. I treat everything as urgent and important.
Next morning I wake up… and open my laptop. Where is the time to live and reboot?
This is the way I used to behave. I missed my mother’s birthday. I used to read nothing but business-related books. I was eating KFC and not working out — because I was busy working.
Was that a suicidal path to burnout? The kamikaze misinterprets busy-work as a way to success. He behaves as if his heart is always contracted.
There are always goals to hit. Always alert and under pressure. No time to recharge and catch some perspective.
One day I realised that I was fat, tired and lonely. And gave it a second thought.
2. The Floater
One of my friends from high school has been stuck in one business role for years. How did he even end up in the role of a project manager in the trading industry? Why is he doing it? And does he even like it?
The Floater often does not analyse the reason and the goal. He is not only hesitant about asking his boss for a new challenge but also he is not even interested in any change.
He has sat in that boat from the day he was hired and he has been floating towards his retirement ever since. He will not move because he does not want to risk getting wet.
At home he behaves the same. His goal is to go through the day. He is not taking any proactive action to change his life. Often he contaminates people around him with his negativity, spy theories and steals energy like a black hole.
In this deadly, boring cycle he behaves as if his heart is always relaxed. Nothing excites him, there is no pro-activity, no action.
This passive state of waiting your whole life only for it to end.
Balance like a lion
The way I believe life tastes best is being alert to grab opportunities when they arise. Catch them and deliver on them quickly and persistently.
But give yourself breaks. Devote time to “unproductive” inspirations such as art, the mind, wandering and nature. Sleep 8 hours a day. Eat healthy. Work out. Think strategically. Love yourself and others.
Like a lion — be all energy while chasing prey, but lay lazily under the tree before and after.
Like your heart — contract, relax, contract, relax…
Do you agree? Does it make sense? Please comment or drop me a line.
I am always hungry for new viewpoints and ideas.