It is very easy for adults to take themselves, their opinions, and their work too seriously. There are certainly times for focus, hard work, and determination, but there is a bit more to life. Many people find themselves in professions where they truly impact whether someone lives or dies. Surgeons, Police, Air Traffic Controllers, Firemen, Soldiers all can have impact by their smallest actions. These individuals are but a small part of the population. Yet most of the adults I know will start feeling intense pressure regarding their work. For the most part this pressure is but a vapor, it is not real.
I have started evaluating my efforts by some simple measures and I find it almost humorous where this has led me. There was a time in my life when I treated the panic from others as my own. I would allow it to move me to action without thought or reason. I now ask myself a few questions.
- Is this something I SHOULD do, not just that I can?
- Will it impact someone in a positive, uplifting way?
- Will it matter that I did it, 3 months, a year, 5 years from now?
I point this out as the reason for nonsense in the world. When we begin to think that everything we do is life or death, we need to laugh. We need to understand what fools we are. One way to do that is to just have a little fun. There is nothing wrong with a little childish behavior now and again. I am not promoting irresponsibility, I am interested in balance. Laugh at a comic, watch a funny movie, bake a cake, or have a spontaneous party! Do something fun with a good friend, you will likely help them also.
I really like the principles set up for work in the Bible. Work for six days and take a Sabbath day. The idea of one day of rest for every six days of work applies to many things. I believe I should relax, have some fun and rest one hour for every six I work. This is what I believe is the “Sabbath” of the mind. Our minds are built to both work and play. To create and to recreate. If all we ever ask our mind to do is work at serious things we expose ourselves to damaging behavior. I have seen depression, addiction, and violence result when someone takes themselves and their work too seriously.
Think for a moment about your life. Do you spend so much time working, the people you know best are your co-workers? Do you have any friends that you just hang out with? Anyone close enough to you they would play a practical joke on you? The answers to these questions either demonstrate some balance in your life, or point to a little Ebeneezer Scrooge in you.
We need to apply full effort to our work. We should not turn rote activities into crises and apply unearned value to them. We need to do more than just stop and smell the roses, we need to laugh at them too. In fact, I am going to cut this post short and go relax a little. I might even read a little nonsense.