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Deliberate Rest

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Where is Everyone?

As I sat at a park in my neighborhood on a very nice day, I noticed something. Where were all the people? We live in a neighborhood filled with kids and families, and the temperature was perfect on a Saturday afternoon. Is everyone busy with kids’ sporting events, work, or watching college football? Is everyone just too busy to enjoy being outside? I decided to walk through some ponds to a table to have some time of prayer and reflection. The tennis court and basketball court were empty. I encountered very few people taking a walk. The Homeowners Association put benches all over the walking trails, but nobody was using them. Where is everyone?


I am reading a book called “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less” by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. It is clear that some of the greatest authors, scientists, politicians, and businessmen valued recreation and rest. They played tennis, took walks, vacationed regularly, and even took naps. Okay, I know where everyone was. They were either taking a nap or on a weekend getaway.  No, I know better than that. I have been involved in the crazy weekend rat race of sports, shopping and household chores before. I struggle not to work on Saturday.

Pang says that proper rest is an essential component to work. Rest is active, deliberate, and requires skill. Our brains are constantly working and solving problems. A simple walk can be all we need to solve a difficult problem. Great ideas can come after a recreational activity.

Rest, Reflection, and Business

As I read through this book, I plan to put some of these theories to the test. How can we actually implement a routine that properly includes reflection, recreation, and rest? Does deliberate rest actually help a business grow? Is there a way to find the time? From what I have experienced and studied, rest and recreation do help decrease anxiety. It also helps you tackle difficult problems.  We have to make decisions regularly, and proper rest and reflection help with this.

Here are some ideas that I plan to implement.

  • Take 20-minute naps.
  • Go for a walk to think through a problem.
  • Spend time in prayer.
  • Play tennis, go on a bike ride and get outside.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. I need 7.5 hours.
  • Reflect each day on what I am grateful for, my progress toward my goals, and my challenges.

I think it would be a great day when I see people playing outside, fishing at the ponds, taking walks, playing basketball, and sitting at benches. One day that might happen, but I am thinking the electricity will have to go out.

How do you relax and reflect on what is most important?