One of the best sounds a soldier could hear only comes around once or twice a year. Every single morning, we woke up at 5 A.M. for physical training (PT) and eventually it takes it’s toll on everyone. Exhaustion eventually kicks in and your body begs for a break. Then on the morning you least expected, those life changing words came, “ZONK!”
This was leaderships way of telling us to go back to bed and catch up on rest. I have never seen grown men and women run as fast as they could back to bed. There is no method to it. There is no way to predict when a zonk is coming, it just happens. Soldiers are built to be strong, but we all need a break every once in a while.
Civilian life is no different. As ambitious or motivated as we may be, we all need rest. We need time to relax and recover or we will drive ourselves into the ground.
In such a fast-paced world it becomes hard to slow down for even just a moment. Often times, we must be the ones to provide ourselves with the opportunity to zonk. We work so hard to keep up with the world around us that we often forget to take the time to just breathe. Our motivation and aspirations take priority and we forget one of the first lessons that we learned as children; in order to grow, we must rest.
This is why our parents set bedtimes for us as children. All the adults could stay up late but the kids needed to go to sleep early. My parents recited that very mantra; in order to grow you must rest.
Somehow as we grow older, we convince ourselves that rest and recovery is less important. We are consumed by the grind and our desire to be everything we can be. We work to develop our careers, home life, financial security, hobbies, etc. and rest and recovery both become one of our last priorities. Our mind and body can only do so much without rest. Eventually we hit our threshold and TRUE G.R.O.W.T.H. requires us to rest and recover for us to be able to resume our journey forward.
Rest doesn’t always mean sleep. Emotional rest may be trying something new to mix up your routine. Close the computer, turn off your phone and spend some time enjoying yourself and what makes you happy. Sometimes taking a vacation isn’t always an option. Try taking a night to just sit and relax either with the ones you love or simply alone.
Sometimes we must force ourselves to rest. It’s not easy for those of us who are truly ambitious and motivated to continue to grow, but it’s necessary. I guarantee the motivation and aspirations will be there for you after you have recovered. Once you have given yourself the ability to rest and recover, you can resume your journey to TRUE G.R.O.W.T.H.
Timothy A. Natale
Motivate. Inspire. Grow.
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