“We humans are in trouble… Never before in human history have we had such conveniences and such knowledge, yet never before have our lives been so stressed and unhealthy”.
It’s true. Because we constantly live in a state of paradox. Where we want to be busy, but at the same time not. We want to be prosperous and financially comfortable, yet we don’t want to work hard to accomplish this. We want to realise our dreams and ambitions, but with the least amount of effort possible.
This amazing TedX talk discusses exactly that. And the way I fell across it reveals precisely how inspiration can come when you least look for it.
The truth is, however, that “we have made sleep deprivation a symbol of ambition and rested a symbol of laziness. We have made being too busy a symbol of importance.”
We spend our working days doing exactly that – working – sometimes even overworking ourselves, racing against time, trying to fit everything in those 24 hours that sometimes never feel enough, forcing ourselves to rush to be prompt for our appointments, meetings, errands and classes. Often even forgetting to eat or drink, let alone breathe. We have become so accustomed to this lifestyle that we have truly forgotten the very basics of it. Of what it is like to be human, and just… live.
Remember how when we were kids – without all the digital technology – we used to laugh endlessly for no reason, being carefree, happy, and most of all stressfree? Learning was a joy. As was socializing and relaxing. Naptime was a chore, but now… now we long for an extra hour (or half) of sleep whenever possible.
The aforementioned talk refers to those amazing animals we all at some point or other wished we were: dolphins. They are cheerful, playful, sociable and intelligent. Who wouldn’t want to be like them?
But above all, they teach us three fundamental things that in our hectic lives we’ve lost touch of: how to play – with no rules, no limitations, and find new passion through creativity; how to socialize with others – make real connections and bonds and through that find new purpose; and how to find “downtime” – to relax and rest, to slow down and pay attention, to find this much needed balance that will bring about life satisfaction. “We are so on-the-go that stress has become the number one health epidemic of the 21st century, wreaking havoc in our bodies and minds”. It is a fact that even large companies nowadays introduce mindfulness exercises as a means of demonstrating that “breaks are the moments of breakthrough”; it is where we find inspiration and innovation. And it is how we can adapt to our constantly evolving world and thrive.
We need that moment of rest – even if it does mean that you have to fight the “withdrawal symptoms” of constantly being busy, feeling more tired when you’re doing nothing. You need that time precisely to discover all the new things you can do, which you never thought you had the time or energy for.
You need to stop, before you can start again, stronger and better.
“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”
Also part of Daily Prompt: Pleasure