You can consider this to be the companion post to the previous one, even though it seems somewhat contradictory.
Didn’t I tell you to slow down?
Yeah. But of course it must be remembered, in true NTJ fashion, that slowing down is a means to an end, that end being your ability to live a more comfortable and enjoyable life and ultimately get even more things done by not worrying too much.
But now I’m going to tell you another rule to live by.
Fuck contentment. Fuck “relaxation.” Stasis is death.
What do I mean by this?
Obviously it’s important to lay back and do nothing once in a while, but this is all too easy, and you risk falling down that pit of least resistance into a deep hole. By “relaxing” too much, you’ll just sit down in your hole of contentment and not get anything. Finding a way to relax and not be nervous, as discussed previously, is one thing. Sinking into hedonism is another thing entirely.
I know. That used to be me, and these habits are still very hard to break.
Do nothing and get nothing.
I can tell you how I feel when I’m “relaxing (ie: doing nothing).” I often feel frustrated. Chalk it up to my need to create structure (which as I’ve said, can often work against me when I fail to do it correctly), but I need to do something. If I’m just sitting around, I can often feel helpless, because I know there’s things I should be doing but am not doing, or if I don’t have things to do, I still get the nagging feeling that I’m doing nothing anyway.
Like I said, this can be a setback in some contexts, but it greatly helps in others.
If you need to rest, you must rest, but rest is the path of least resistance, and life is prone to choose that over more solid considerations.
If you wish to go above and beyond, you need to be in a constant state of motion.
You’ll have plenty of time to rest and remain in stasis. You’ll have until the end of time to do that, in fact. Death is called eternal rest for a reason.
Why be in a state of death when you’re still alive?
The important thing is to always stay in motion. You’ll have plenty of time to be in a state of relaxed stasis later. If you’re content, you’re not challenging yourself. And if you’re not challenging yourself, you won’t grow.
Here’s how you can “relax” and get things done at the same time. You take the approach I took to get my book done.
Do a little bit of work over a long time. Have some kind of timetable and just keep chipping away, every day. This way you won’t stress out from a work overload but also get your desired task done – if you stick to it faithfully (which can be admittedly difficult).
My schedule for today looks something like this:
- Get this post out.
- Complete an ebook from Copyblogger.
- Work on a post at the OBD Wiki blog.
- Work on my other, non-fiction book.
How I do it (and in what order) is up to me, I just need to make sure it’s done.
So I have my tasks. I don’t feel frustrated, because I have structure. I’m not doing nothing, but I can still “relax” in the conventional sense of the word because I’m not doing too much at once or adhering too much to a schedule.
The conclusion of this short post is as follows:
It is important to slow down, but don’t confuse slowing down and not being nervous or hasty with “being content” or even “relaxing (again, doing nothing).” Those are excuses to be in stasis.
You should always be in motion. You’ll have plenty of time to be static. That’s for when you’re dead.
These two posts are meant to be companion pieces, and they may sound contradictory, but I trust my readers are smart enough to figure it all out.
Basically, don’t fear the future too much and sacrifice the present, but also don’t sacrifice the present and the future by making a habit of taking the path of least resistance and doing nothing under the guise of “relaxation.” The latter is even more frustrating.