• William Shewfelt

The Tree That Sways, Stays: Keep Working or Know When To Rest?

I’m a huge believer in daily disciplines. Creating habits, routines, and practices that will lead to a better life over time. We know that consistency is the key to massive, exponential growth over time. We know that things are always growing stronger or weaker. There’s a constant ebb and flow.

But how do you balance this with the reality of being human? Getting sick, feeling emotionally drained, dealing with crisis, feeling exhausted?

Do you still get up early, go train no matter what, get your work done, and push through the pain?

It’s a heroic and noble concept on paper. One that a guy like me would love to stand behind. But the truth of the matter is, the tree that sways stays standing. The tree that stands rigid gets snapped.

It’s an old proverb but it’s true. If you can sway through the storms of life, you will keep standing. If you are rigid, inflexible—you probably won’t be standing for long.

Life tends to exist more on a spectrum rather than a black or white, yes or no, binary system.

So what happens when I get sick? Or depressed? Or exhausted? Burnt out?

My honest take is that I keep punching away, but I learn from the experience. I don’t want to arrive at a conclusion before I’ve tried.

If I’m sick, I would rather still wake up at 4am, go train, and do my work—instead of automatically writing myself off. I want to take the shot, accept the challenge, and see how I stack up.

Odds are you’re stronger than you think and you’ll be able to keep going even in the face of significant adversity.

I’m a huge believer in just putting one foot in front of the other. Of resting at the end, not in the middle.

Giving up on my daily disciplines (4ams, training, diet, working, personal development) even for a short period of time sets me back multiple days. Literally—I get thrown WAY off course. That’s been my experience.

So I would rather—sick and tired—still take a few steps forward. Remember…you can always sway! So maybe do a little less work that day. Maybe change up your workout. Maybe take a nap during the day or go to bed way earlier.

Sometimes it’s better to sleepwalk through your daily disciplines than give them up altogether.

And sometimes, you really may need to just take some time to rest and recover. But don’t give that to yourself easily. You want to earn that.

Just my two cents! What’s your take?

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