Being on fire, rest and the rise

in Self Improvement10 months ago

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

- Terry Pratchett -

One of the standard definitions of rest is "cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep, or recover strength," Mmm,'s been on my mind a lot over the years because I don't generally sleep well for various reasons. But lately, I've been focused on rest in a broader sense; I've been thinking of rest in a more overarching, general life, way.

Being on fire

I have a high work-rate, a high operational tempo, so I do more with less time. I sleep for around five to seven hours a night, sometimes much less, and that creates more time in each day, but it's not just about finding that time.

I have the skill to wring more out of the minutes and hours of my life and it's worked splendidly over the years. I'm always thinking, (not always a good thing of course) and know how to prioritise, set less important things aside, process information quickly and efficiently, then schedule and execute actions that gain good results quickly. No, I'm not a machine, and neither is every aspect of my life executed by the second, but to fit everything in I have to apply structure, discipline and proactive...Sometimes it doesn't work so well, but usually, in this regard at least, I'm on fire!

Being on fire has worked really well and I rarely let the flames diminish to an ember - that's that operational tempo thing all over again. But there's only so much of me to fuel the fire, loth as I am to admit it, and sometimes to effectively fuel the fire I need to let it burn a little lower in some areas and that's the rest I'm talking about.

This rest I speak of isn't about sleep and is not about doing nothing either, my life is too short and precious to me to do nothing with it. No, rest means a rest from some things and the rise of others.

As I deploy my life, get everything done in my professional and personal lives, there's a cost. Sure, I'm efficient and hard working, have good stamina and apply methods that keep me standing and moving forward, but there's an expense involved, nothing comes for nothing; sometimes it's ok for that cost to accumulate, for some areas of life to suffer a little for the greater good, and sometimes that rising cost needs to be addressed.

There's benefit in pulling back somewhat in one area to have the ability to push forward in another, is what I'm trying to indicate here.

An example could be my Hive activities. I was looking at some statistics around my hive account last week and noticed that for two hundred and thirty nine weeks I've posted every day - posts with an average word count of between 700-1000 words - that's four and a half years of every-day posting when lined up in a row. I've maintained my personal life and commitments, relationships and so on, held an executive-level job, travelled around the world, competed in long-range rifle and handgun shooting events around Australia, found great successes, some failure and adversity along the way and...well, I had a life I guess, but it's been difficult to maintain it all at the level I prefer.

I use this example instead of others as I don't like to get too personal in the online world. Essentially, I use it to demonstrate work-rate in general, my commitment level to my life as a whole and ability to sustainably apply effort...but sometimes I need to find rest because being on fire all the time is hazardous.

Over the years I've found that rest by scaling back in one or more areas for a time - even areas in which I've found great success and value - and allowing others to rise to the fore has worked well and has positively impacted my life as a whole. Maybe rest isn't the right word though and I should use refresh instead? Either way, that shift has often caused my shoulders to drop, my mind to spin in different directions, to ease a little, and my entire being to open up to receive the new thing, paradigm or concept which, in itself, is refreshing. Taking that break from one thing and delving into another has been a valued and essential part of my life from time to time.

It doesn't mean I let things go completely, that's not my style; and that rest-paradigm isn't a retirement-paradigm, no, not at all. It's a temporary shift and usually, when I come back to the other thing, the fire flares up and rages more intensely than before, and that's kind of fucken cool.

Being on fire, taking rest and rising has been a constant cycle in my life and I'd have it no other way.

Feel free to drop a comment your thoughts below if you like or tell me if you've been in this position and how you handled it.

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default; tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind - galenkp

Any images in this post are my own.


polyphasic sleep is something that can work really well. I started with the 7.5 hours straight, then moving to the 6 hours + 24 minutes nap and in emergencies going down to 4.5 hours + 2 naps of 24 minutes.
I allowed me to save a lot of time and being more awake and conscious during the day.

I've heard that...this post isn't about sleep though, it's about taking a rest from one activity to give me the time to do others.

I know it. But you pointed out that you are not in the need of huge sleep so I felt to share my experience with that

Oh yeah, sorry I forgot I mentioned that. There's reasons I don't sleep well, although sometimes I do and I tend to get by.

Rest when yer DED!

I jest of course. I get you totally mate. You know that of course from chatting about it.

Life is short and things happen that sometimes make you rethink your priorities in a shoogle things up way where you might decide to focus more on one aspect than another. Nothing is permanent but the focus on you and yours and the priorities there is the best bet I would say.

And I fucking love that Terry Pratchett quote!! :0)

Lol, you said it!

A small shift might be exactly what I need, it's happened in the past. I'm sure things will work out exactly how they're supposed to.

And year, that quite is awesome right?

It totally is. I shout teach a man to fish all the time in work when I have had to deal with idiots. When I read that one it took me back to the Pratchett days and I genuinely laughed.

You got it dude. A little change, a big difference and you can just see how it goes!

Pratchett is a funny dude and how brilliant was his spin on the fantasy genre!

I remember when the first one came out and thinking this is bloody genius! I think I might need to revisit them!

Yep, I reckon now, later in life and at a higher level of Titanness, they're come over a bulit differently.

I've always admired the rate at which you execute life in general, but I know myself well enough to admit that I would probably not be able to attain that personally. I often wonder how you do it all but I know that you are excellent at shifting things around, prioritizing and making shit happen.

Rest and refreshment should be a standard for anyone that works as hard as you do and going at 180kms/h for years on end is going to end in burnout which is never a good place to land.

That's why I make my weekends count now. Spending time with my niece as she grows, teaching her about nature and building fun stuff, getting in an extra couple hours of sleep all help to fuel me up for the next cycle of work madness. We have to take the breaks when we have opportunities to do so.

Lifting heavy shot is my thing, although it gets heavier than I can handle sometimes...So some get's tossed aside.

I hope you're having a good weekend with your niece and if she's not there, that you're finding something good to do for yourself. Sometimes just twiddling can be worth the effort.

You're stronger than most Galen, sounds like you deserve a good chill session in a far away place where there's spring water that you can taste straight out of the ground, verdant blue skies above and greenery all around!

It's been a great weekend with my niece, she's the coolest kid I know.

Twiddling time at some stage for sure 😁

I do like me a good old water tasting in the wilderness...I don't know why, but I can't help myself. Must taste that spring or creek water even knowing some fucken animal pissed in it. 🤪🤣

rest by scaling back in one or more areas for a time

I think that's a good way to put it. I once knew a guy who divided his life into three parts: personal, social, and financial. His idea was it's impossible to devote 100% to everything. I wish I could tell you the math he had worked out, but I don't remember it. It was something like each of these columns can be at around 33%, or one can be at zero, one at 33 and one at 66. And so on. So in his view you could have a balance but if you wanted to focus more on one, one or both or the others would have to suffer for it. Scaling and shifting. So then for a break, it was shifting back from social and financial and into personal. I don't know if that's a good system, but I found it interesting to remember about.

I admit I'm not very good at balance or at focus, but it is something I'm always trying to improve on, as I have been trying to improve on it all my life. Hmmm. Someday I'll get there.

His idea was it's impossible to devote 100% to everything.

This is true...That's why I hate the term, work/life balance. I tend to prefer being one hundred percent in the moment I'm in rather than try to split my focus. Of course, that can switch in an instant depending on what I need to prioritise.

I like focus, but it's difficult to have laser focus all the time...Sometimes mine resembles a garden sprinkler going in every direction at once. I'm human I guess, or so I'm told.

Sometimes mine resembles a garden sprinkler going in every direction at once.

Mine too, unfortunately. Probably most of the time. But I do try to pull it together at least sometimes. Having a schedule and forcing myself to always stare at it helps a bit.

Lol...Staring at the schedule, or staring into space...both have their merits. 😂

Haha absolutely!

Getting burned out here on the road...

Just another "Day @ the Office" for me.

I am currently in a loading dock being "burned" 4 hours of my clock toasted and still burning... "Assholes"

It is a food whrs. Mitchells In Albertsville, AL. I try to avoid them when at all possible. They are shitty with our time.


Yep, the same old loading dock story huh? They operate to their own time.

I think rest is important; at the same time, however, I don't think that everyone rests in the same way... I'm obviously not talking only about sleep or sleep.

I too, like you, go to a thousand in my activities and the time comes when I have to slow down; I never put anything aside obviously but I simply slow down, recover my mental strength, distract my mind and then when I'm ready I set off again and usually I do it stronger than before this because that fire you speak of flares up in me.

The beauty of all this is that, over time, getting to know me, everything has become natural... when I resume the activities in which I have slowed down the flames light up without aids, artifices or efforts, it just happens.

It sounds like you have a similar process as ai do. I think whatever works for the individual is right and the there's many ways to acheive the same result.

Well yes, I believe that everyone should get to know each other and know what works for them.

It is also true that there are models that can be followed if they think they are valid, that too could be a good thing if evaluated and considered.

Balance is everything in life, so do what you feel is right. Only you know what is best for you, so do it. Life is short and sometimes things need to be rebalanced.

Yeah, sometimes it tips one way or the other, and that's ok as life happens right? But it's got to be addressed at some stage and energy needs to be recovered.

Whenever I read some of her posts it always amazes me, how she can be constant in Hive, while traveling the world, working full time and having a life.

The answer would be that it's her lifestyle and being around these parts is like eating, sleeping or brushing her teeth, they are things she can't stop doing, they are habits she has and since she likes it, it doesn't weigh so much on her.

However, a rest is always good for the body. I try to keep the rule of resting and sleeping 8 hours a day.

Sometimes I go overboard and I feel like I'm wasting time.

Whenever I read some of her posts it always amazes me, how she can be constant in Hive, while traveling the world, working full time and having a life.

I think you mean he. I'm a man.

Taking rest and relaxation is an important part of life and these that don't do it will pay the price eventually.

Well for me it hasn't always been that way, sometimes when I rest or try to do something else I get carried away.

I think I get frustrated easily and quickly expecting the things I do to pay-off even when I'm not putting in enough work.
And that makes it hard to form a good routine of consistency.

Solving this issue to me only boils down to my mentality. I need to work on the way I think, practice go habits and apply discipline.

(Deep breath)

I think I get frustrated easily and quickly expecting the things I do to pay-off even when I'm not putting in enough work.
And that makes it hard to form a good routine of consistency.

Deluding yourself that a lack of effort is going into return good rewards will get you nowhere, and getting frustrated won't either. Try ownership, responsibility, discipline and hard work.

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There is a lot to be said for doing nothing. I understand that it can be difficult for some of us. I personally felt guilty if I did. It took me a long time to realise how much inner work I got to do, by stopping.
We are all different, so what's important is to understand what works for you, so that you can thrive.
I guess what I am trying to say, is that you can get a lot of work done, by doing nothing sometimes.
Here's to lots of adventures in nature for you in 2023. Be kind to yourself @galenkp xxx

I like the idea of shifting focus away from one thing to another as it stimulates the mind a little, and means I can come back to the other a little more refreshed. A small break isn't a bad thing huh?

I would summarize that it's a matter of priorities and that your priorites from today are not necessarily the same ones as yesterday or tomorrow... !PIZZA

This seems a fair statement.


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