“Restlessness is part of our humanity” – Ronald Rolheiser.
We are restless creatures. Never really satisfied and never really content.
I’ve been thinking about this strange characteristic of our humanity quite a bit for the last year or so. It reminds me of a great line from the character Morpheus in the first Matrix film, “What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”
Do you know the feeling? That feeling that your life is too small, like an ill-fitting sweater. You feel boxed in, hemmed in, contained and that you need to break free. You want to know everything and everyone, read all the books, watch all the shows, love all the people. Yet, here you are in the middle of it. Hemmed in, frustrated, feeling that something is wrong with the world, that your life and work should be more, bigger.
I think entrepreneurs and Heavy Chefs feel this perhaps a little more than most. We are not satisfied. There is always more to do, to build, to conquer. Yet, this can be exhausting and burn you out, not to mention leave a wake of damage as you plough forward. How many relationships, friendships, and families lie on the trash heap in the name of bigger, better, more?
What is the answer here? Do we try just to remain in the moment, be mindfully present always, accepting things the way they are? Do we try and sit quietly in perpetual ignorant bliss? We are beings of the future, this restlessness is the very reason civilisation does and can move forward, the reason why we can create wealth, educate, heal, and innovate. To deny this future surging urge is to deny what makes us human. There are quite a few things in our world that must change. Enough is enough, they cannot be made peace with. Sitting and accepting all is not the way to go but the trouble is, this ever-restlessness is also the very thing that will kill us if we are not careful.
Perhaps it’s a paradox, two opposing truths? We need to be restless because it is what drives humanity forward, but we also need to be present, to be mindful and aware of what is around us right now and to not die from stress and worry. I suspect there is more to these two than just embracing both. I believe they are connected and not only opposites. In fact, it is only when we are aware and present that we can fully see what it is that needs to change. It is not a paradox, but a process.
Here’s my two cents, and your training naked exercise for this week.
Reflect, then act. Take some time each day, each morning to reflect, to sit and be present. Perhaps take stock of what is happening, what is frustrating, what is life giving, what you are grateful for and what not. Do this with paper and pen. Then move from that place and embrace your restlessness. Go for it. Make a dent in the universe, slay monsters and save some princes (they need saving).
Get skin in the game.
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