My surfer friend, Mike, counsels high school youth and shares that it’s ok to fail. There is a freedom in actually pursuing failure to the breaking point, of going to the places beyond our physical and mental limits. It is in these moments of failure that we have the potential for the most growth and transformation to a higher level of being – but, this restructuring only happens when one steps back for a bit and time is given for full recovery.
I often fall in to the mind trap of trying to achieve perfection and find myself stymied by staying in the safety zone. This mindset dissipates play and discovery, but when I embrace how failure can be a good thing, true learning can awaken and I am imbued with wonder.
Just like in training one’s body, if you push yourself to the limit and allow yourself to have muscle failure, it then becomes essential to give your body time to recover and build new muscle fiber.
Similarly in life, one can push oneself to the maximum to give it the best effort – but then, one must allow oneself to rest and find renewal. In ancient spiritual text the idea of Sabbath – a full day of rest – is one of the first commandments.
In our modern frenzied life, perhaps this idea of a break once per week from all the digital devices and media has some real merit?
What would it be like for you to slow down and turn off everything and just be eye-to-eye with your friends and most beloved? You would work hard and give your utmost for six days each week, but what would it be like within your community if you all agreed to make one day special and for this day to be about nurturing relationships and one’s inner life.
To be on the spot and performing 24/7 isn’t a sustainable way to live – so, how can you find your point of failure and realize that you’ve done your best and now it’s time to recover? In the long view of life, a decision to honor time-off once per week could helps you achieve the highest levels of personal success.