Sunday, June 24, 2018

Renewing Ourselves, Renewing Our Selves

A while ago, I wrote in an article that, "Perhaps the greatest mistake in managing our lives is to treat energy and willpower as finite resources."  It is partly for that reason that a major theme in the book I'm currently writing is renewal.  All of us lived new and fresh lives as children growing up.  The challenge of adulthood is to re-new and rediscover that early sense of adventure and excitement.

One of life's great paradoxes is that we need routine to efficiently navigate through life--think how exhausted we would be if we had to approach each task as if it were our first time--but it is precisely that immersion in routine that makes life feel, well, routine.  Renewal requires new-ness, the exiting of routine to partake in what we find enjoyable, meaningful, and energy-giving.

In the new book I describe a "principle of alternation" that helps us recharge:  By arranging daily activities so that we draw upon different strengths, we rest one set of functions while exercising others.  For example, I might alternate trading time with time spent helping people as a psychologist and then turn to immersing myself in family activity and finish the day reading a new book and listening to favorite music.  The energy from each of these activities stimulates the next ones.  We become like batteries continually connected to a power source: we don't run down.  

That is an important part of living a truly diversified life.  When we alternate activities that draw upon the best of us, energy and willpower are no longer finite resources.  We spend much of our days facing the sunshine.  That not only brightens our perspective, but lights our path. 

Further Reading: