(photo: Suzanne's Pics 000)

Much of who we are as a person is all wrapped up into this physical form. It needs time to rest and recover from the daily grind that it must endure, and although thinking is a mental process, it is also part of our body and will have a direct effect on our physical health.

In training in the martial arts or any physical activity, it is likely that your muscles will be sore and your body will be tired from the work-out. Just as you tear and stretch your muscles, your life often reflects the same type of bruised or ragged feelings.

However, after a visit to the martial arts class, fitness center, or gym, we don’t see it as a failure when we come home with torn muscles, beaten and tired. So, as we discussed earlier, let’s apply a positive spin and see life tears, bruises, and bumps in the same manner. Reflection is part of the recovery process.

Who doesn’t love a little R&R?

It can take days to fully recover and be ready for another workout. It is a common misconception that you should train a muscle on a continuous basis. Rest is often the hardest concept for people to understand. It is true, that muscle growth begins (let us include life tears too) after you leave the training center or gym.

Fitness experts will tell you that one of the fastest ways to build strength is to get sufficient rest and recovery to allow time for muscle growth and repair. So after a few life-challenging battles, be sure to take a vacation from the grind and be able to come back stronger and smarter. Putting some distance between you and your damaging life events (a breakup, lay off, family spats, failed projects) can often lend perspective and a fresh healing point of view.

One of the great benefits about owning your own time is that you can be sure to get enough mental rest and recovery when needed and according to your own schedule. Too often people work themselves to death. The Japanese actually have a name for it – Karōshi, which can be translated quite literally as “death from overwork.” It is occupational sudden death. The major medical causes of karōshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.

This happens when people assume that work related tasks are more important than their own lives – they literally take life too seriously, so seriously in fact, that it kills them. This sometimes grows from a false belief that they are indispensible; if they are not at their desk the entire company will fall apart.

So, take a break.

In studying for a test or exam, memory experts suggest that you study for a maximum of 50 minutes and then take a minimum 10 minute break. So using that equation try to apply it to your own life using the following formula: 10 minutes is 20% of 50 minutes. So, directly after any stressful challenge, consider the time you spent on it and get a minimum of 20% rest.

This is for simple life-based issues and not for building muscle, which is based on tearing and requires more rest time. If you have a life-tear (for example the loss of a loved one), then you would require far more recovery time.

Note that it is key to get a break directly after any stressful event and not wait too long to begin. If you are on fire Monday, you can’t wait until the weekend to put it out. Also, refer to my Stop, Drop and Roll strategy (lesson 79) as taught in NRG (Book 4 of Winjitsu) for what you can do to deal with an in-the-moment situation.

In my system of the Martial Arts – the Martial Science, we train in a large variety of martial art skills. Experienced students are expected to be well versed in practically every aspect of the martial arts. There are over 100 specific areas of focus in the Martial Science alone. One of the reasons students are able to learn so much (and still excel at a fast pace) is due to the science behind proper rest.

Reflection is part of seeing the big picture

When you take time off from a subject, you will be able to allow that information to sink in and by revisiting it often, you will truly be able to improve on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. This is very challenging to do if you are deeply involved with any one task – as you might not be able to notice the areas that need improvement.

This is why having a private instructor is so valuable, as they can see things from a unique perspective that you might have missed because you are too close to the task at hand. Therefore, learning to use the sword and then taking a break to focus on learning the staff is a great way to truly master the martial arts as well as any other skill set.

The Entrepreneurial Myth

This is a well known strategy coined by Michael Gerber as the Entrepreneurial Myth. His theory suggests that if we are too focused on doing the work itself, it will be harder for us to build and grow a business, which should be our primary focus. However, if we take a birds-eye perspective of our business and understand that we should be running our business as opposed to allowing our business to run us, then we can dramatically improve our results.

If your nose is buried deeply in the account books, you cannot see the customers passing by your window because it is not arranged in a compelling way. You cannot see your sales agent mishandling a customer, costing you business.

This is often a challenging task because most people go into business in a field that they are skilled in. Take a look at the following two lists and see if you could draw a line from the trained professional to the business you would most likely find a person working in:

Chef Garage

Mechanic Art Gallery

Accountant Donut Shop

Ninja Restaurant

Baker Bookkeeping Service

Artist Martial Arts School

A Double-Edged Knife

It would seem obvious for a Baker to open a Donut Shop, but the problem behind that theory is that this person is most likely to be doing all of the work (i.e. – making donuts constantly, not running the Donut Shop itself). If you want to run a business, however, it is a good idea to consider getting involved in something that you know very little about in order for you to be forced to find someone who does. This will allow you to focus on the purpose of being in business, which is to make money. Now it must be noted that some of us are in business based on our passions which is okay, but it isn’t the concept behind making money which is usually the prime purpose of a business.

I learned this principle the hard way, being the type of person who focuses on making an income with his passions and skill. Since I am so familiar with the work, I often find myself doing most of it. Since I love what I do, it is just part of the process. I also have learned that it is very hard to just sit on your hands while you let others with half the skill or motivation, attempt to complete a task you could do. It can be very frustrating. However, after many years of failure at delegating, I have discovered how to do more in less time and with less effort.

But that brings us to the required business mind-set of testing and just as a student of the martial arts must test for their next rank in order to move to the next level, you too must test out various strategies long enough to discover what works and what doesn’t. Then you will take that information, improve on your strengths, and eliminate your weaknesses.

Very often you will discover that you have to take a break from your clients just as I need a break from my students. Taking a break should be a regular part of your routine and include all three areas of Mind, Body, and Spirit. This means resting the mind by perhaps learning to master work-life separation. Giving the body plenty of time not only to heal after a workout, but also plenty of sleep and frequent naps. Taking a break from your friends, family, or regular routine is also encouraged. Breaks also give you time to reflect and ponder the who, what, when, where, why and how of your life.

In my own life experience, I have made some of the biggest leaps and discoveries in those periods where I was able to remove myself from the process and truly take a break from the ‘now’.

Winjitsu Work Out

Find the time to give your body (including your mind)

a break, not just today, but as a regular part of your life. Incorporate breaks into your routines of life, work,

and study, just as you would that annual vacation or spring break. Make a list now of ways for you to do just that.

About the Author RICK TEW

I will do the splits for you too. I provide edutainment events that help you to be a Ninja in what you do. I offer Martial Arts Therapy Retreats on Samui Island in Thailand. My unique Winjitsu Mind-Body system of coaching inspires you to BE more fulfilled and to DO more to KickStart your ideas.

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