Why is taking a 10-minute break out in the sun on a Tuesday afternoon deemed to be a frivolous activity? Why can’t we allow ourselves to take a break during the workday?
Some may say that it’s because we lack discipline and I agree — If we never take a break from our Blackberrys and iPhones in the evening, then why would we take a break from our desks during the day?
After graduating from college, I decided I needed to gain real-world experience and build self-discipline. So, instead of working with my family, I went to work for a marketing management consulting firm.
After all, I had earned it; graduating an entire year early demonstrated my ability to function without adequate sleep/rest. I didn’t believe in balancing life, or slowing down, or taking a break. In fact, my greatest motivation came from someone saying, “It cannot be done.” As far as I was concerned, I was the exception to the rule, the great overachiever, a real go-getter. As far as they were concerned, I was the perfect candidate for the job.
Eighteen months later, after suffering from chronic back pain, I learned that there is no higher form of discipline than listening to my body. Contrary to what I once believed, self-sacrifice is only a small component of discipline.
Unlike an external source of authority, your body does not place unnecessary demands on you. It is your responsibility to nourish it with proper food, water, exercise, rest, and sunlight, as it exists to serve you. In your lifetime, you may have many jobs, but you have only one body. Be of service to your body and it will serve you well.