There’s fluttering in your stomach and your chest feels tight. There’s so much to do and no time to recover. You have to keep going because no one else can do it. So you keep on pushing…and pushing…and pushing.
Thoughts about work-life balance pass through your mind but that’s for another day when there’s more time. The family need more attention – but not now. Later. You have to keep going.
You’re awake in the middle of the night – again. Thinking.
When will it end?
I have only one answer to that question. It’s not when you sell the business or retire. It’s not when you go on holiday. And I hope it’s not when you have a heart attack.
It ends when you learn how to relax.
That sounds too simple to most people. If it’s that easy we should all be able to do it. Surely it must be more complicated.
But it’s not.
When you’re relaxed there are no butterflies in your stomach – it feels easy and comfortable. There’s no tightness in the chest – it feels expanded and warm. There may be a lot to do, but you can handle it, or someone else will do it. There’s no need to push, because things keep moving under their own steam.
The reason why you’re not doing it already is because you don’t know how to. You’ve never learned and you probably think relaxing is something everyone can do naturally.
It took me several years to learn how to relax – I was a particularly hard case. I knew how to lie on the beach and sleep and I knew how to take time off, but I had no idea how to be relaxed when I was working or under pressure. No one ever told me it was possible and I had no idea it was desirable. I thought it was quite natural to burn out from time to time when I was in my twenties.
I’ve since discovered that being relaxed is almost magical. It’s not just about feeling great, but great things happen to you too. It gives you energy and you don’t get tired. You really don’t need a holiday so when you have one you can enjoy it. You can create time – yes, I mean that – so you’re not running to stand still. And you can let go of that enormous load you’re used to carrying. Little by little. That’s a huge relief.
If you need to learn to relax, a great place to start is with my new book, “Energy On Demand: master your personal energy and never burn out.” You also get free access to the 5 Day Energy Charge, an online program to start learning how to relax.
“I must say that this book has been a glass of cold water for a man who’s lost in a desert. I have been taking time to relax every day, and it is helping me cope with my daily work demands… especially in being able to come home and be present for my wife.” Mahesh Kamat, Microsoft