Sometimes the best way to work on yourself is to stop working altogether

Sometimes the best way to work on yourself is to stop working altogether

August 9, 2021

Welcome to Week 21 of the AD Way.

Sharpen your saw by learning new skills and working to improve yourself. Seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more knowledge and to become a greater expert. Challenge yourself to be innovative and creative. Take risks and get uncomfortable. Be a lifelong learner.

Most fundamentals fit pretty well with what’s happening the week they pop. Sometimes its uncanny.

But every now and then we get a fundamental that’s more of a “right message” at “the wrong time” kind of thing.

We’ve got one of those this week.

Don’t get me wrong. I think everyone ought to have some things they’ve identified for self-improvement and a realistic goal in each area.

Which of us wouldn’t be happier if we were fitter, stronger, more knowledgeable, kinder, or better organized? None of us. Exactly!

The concept: 100%.

My interest in the concept at this current moment in time: 0%.


Because I’m tired.

I don’t think we’ve been honest enough, with ourselves or each other, just how difficult the last 18 months have been.

Learn new skills? How about I just work on getting through today and tomorrow?

In fact, if someone were to tell me to “pick up my saw” and “sharpen it,” I’m pretty sure I might suggest a place or two for them to put it. Yeah. I’m a bit irritable.

But it’s not for nothing. The work’s been really hard. The hours long. The boundaries between work and home, blurry.

And while navigating the pandemic at work has been challenging, at least at work we have each other. Navigating it at home, with (and for) our loved ones, friends and family has been harder. More stressful. Sometimes scary.

Are we giving ourselves enough credit and self-love for what we’ve experienced and continue to struggle through?

Are we giving our loved-ones and co-workers sufficient forgiveness and understanding for the stress that they are under?

Are we sensitive to how stress impacts our mood and behavior?

Are we exercising and getting enough sleep?

Are we taking time off and time away to rest, recharge, unplug and refresh?

Are you?

I took my kids on vacation a few weeks ago.

We rented a house not far from a beach. We hung out. We did a lot of nothing.

I like to think I’m pretty tough. I think we all do. But man, I needed that. Badly.

You see, sometimes, the best way to “work on yourself,” is to stop working altogether and take a break.