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rest ethic


First introduced to me in Kevin Kelly's Excellent Advice for Living, the so-called "rest ethic" is a concept that really resonated with me. The full quote goes like so:

“Efficiency is highly overrated; goofing off is highly underrated. Regularly scheduled sabbaths, sabbaticals vacations, breaks, aimless walks and time off are essential for top performance of any kind. The best work ethic requires a good rest ethic.”

The last line especially really speaks to me. I am a person who loves to work hard. I love a challenge--especially when it comes to physical endurance. In a very real and natural way, if you choose to be challenged like this on an ongoing basis, you either take rest seriously, or the universe takes the rest for you (as a result of mental burnout, exhaustion, or injury).

If I endeavor to do something, if I commit to it, it is not some casual thing. I mean business. I want to perform at the top. I also schedule many hours per week to do a lot of nothing, which apparently seems paradoxical to many people. No I can't hang out, no I do not in fact have anything else planned, yes I know how that sounds. Anyways, It's not paradoxical. I know from experience when I am given a break against my will after working too hard, it destroys much more progresss than if I had worked at a more reasonable effort consistently with lots of rest.

I'm really glad that someone much wiser than me has aalso come to the same conclusion and made my theory a bit more legitimate. Anyways, that's all to say that today I did really nothing at all. And it was quite productive.