All beings have been pre-programmed to balance work and rest. Man’s constitution, like most other beings, is made to work during the day and rest at night. Sleep, especially at night, rejuvenates and refreshes us. However, with the discovery of electricity, we play night cricket, indulge in late night TV- watching, study, eat and so on. This artificial life-style has a negative effect on our body and mind.
These days, we hear of young CEOs with huge pay packets, jet-setting around the world, working non-stop. Their success stories are featured in top business magazines. Many of them suffer from peptic ulcers, become workaholics, and very soon get ‘burnt-out’ or talk of retiring by thirty. They are advised to slow down, and when they do not do so, their health grounds them. We hear of cases where the heart, created by God to last two hundred years, stops at thirty!
Strangely, no one except the boss is happy with someone who works all the time. Such people are under constant stress, their family is dissatisfied, the children never see the parent and the spouse is disgruntled. Colleagues are envious and friends are non-existent. What is the use of success when there is no happiness, peace, health or harmony in our life?
Some people do not know how to rest or relax. They are by nature restless and agitated. Some sleep with their mobile phones in bed and are disturbed throughout the night by unimportant messages tones. Some feel guilty to be caught resting. Others feel that they will be productive and efficient, if they are always in action mode; they will be classified as achievers and ultimately become successful.
And yet others feel that they should rest only after all the work is completed or after ‘x’ task is over, however long it may take. So they trudge on and on – exhausted. Remember work never gets ‘finished’. It only ‘finishes’ us! Also we will never be ‘given’ rest-time. We have to ‘take out’ rest-time. We have to ‘make time or take ‘time out.’
Of course, there are many of us, who follow the law of inertia and refuse to work until they are pushed to do so, Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda said, “If you rest (too much), you rust”. If we do not use of our body and mind, we loosen them or, worse, lose them.
In conclusion: Do not work ‘relentlessly’ or with less rest and also do not rest ‘worklessly’ or with less work. The body and mind will be of no use if we misuse, abuse or disuse them. They should be used well, in a balanced way, for peak performance.