If You Don’t Want To be a Loser-Do This-Often
I have just done something so extraordinary for me that I am in shock. When I realized I’d done it, I was embarrassed, for a moment. Ok- in truth I usually do it at night. But today I did it in broad daylight, and in public! Have I gone absolutely fricken mad? No- and here’s why.
I think it was in John Grisham’s ‘The Firm’ that I read about the crazy world of high powered, dog eat dog lawyers, where each tried to out-do the other by billing more hours. No-one went on holiday because someone would knife you if you did, and take your job. Or was it a ‘Wall Street’ era story? Does not matter. Point is, if you are as paranoid and insecure as me, you’re always petrified that unless you put it in relentlessly, and kick goals constantly, you’re somehow going to be found out as a pretender and get the big boot out the door, into a world of selling bananas on street corners.
And that’s why I was so shocked when I realized what I had done, in bright sunlight, just an hour ago. I quickly comforted myself with this reassurance, given to me by a media tycoon three years ago. It’s powerful. And so basic.
It’s ok- relaxation is not for losers.
You see, what I had done this afternoon was simply this- I had an afternoon sleep, in the sun, with the waves as my lullaby.
The picture with this post shows that moment. Ok- I am on a week’s holiday. I am allowed to go on holiday. I have 14 weeks of accrued leave owing to me. We need to take breaks. Real breaks. But bloody hell, every ounce of my being resists the temptation to relax and enjoy it. My mind keeps racing. I keep checking the email. I feel as if I am somehow cheating because I am here, and not there.
But then I fell asleep. For two hours. In the sun. And when I woke, after a moment of panic, I relaxed back, and went back to sleep.
I know relaxation is not for losers. That’s what Adrianna Huffington told me (and 3,000 others) at Cannes in 2010. It is vital for our well-being, creativity and to maintain performance. But I still find it one of the hardest things to do.
Taking “Deliberate Oxygen’
I have got better in recent years at taking what I call ‘Deliberate Oxygen’, and wrote about it in possums piece linked here. But true relaxation, switching off, is much harder to do.
The Power Of Daydreaming
Andrew Denton told our leaders conference in February about his being ‘a great believer in daydreaming.’ He talked about learning to do nothing. Daydreaming, he said, is in his experience the most fertile creative state there is. “The simple act of allowing your brain to freewheel can lead you to connections and solutions that have previously been hidden in plain sight.” We must disconnect, he says, to find our own voices again.
How Do You Do It?
How good are you at taking deliberate oxygen, or more specifically, allowing yourself to totally relax? Do you ever daydream? Really? How do you do it? Is there a secret to it? If you have it, share please!
For me, it remains a work-in-progress. So, dear Possums readers, with your good grace I am going to return to my deck chair, and try to daydream a little about the future, about opportunity, lessons learnt, growth and possibilities. I am going to try really, really hard to enjoy the next four days, and not let my inner voice of fear and doubt undermine my totally deserved space to find my own voice.
Oh- and if you see me in a few weeks on a street corner with some beautiful bananas for sale, please- buy a bunch. Xxxx