Monday, August 25, 2014

The Least

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”

Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Sometimes thoughts like these may come:  “Relax.  Take the day off.  Your work will be here tomorrow.  You should take a break.  Let it go, just for today.” 
The problem isn’t that set of thoughts.  The problem is determining their source.  There are times when there is a legitimate need to take a break or a day off from Purpose.  I’m just not sure when.  It’s not that I want to be a workaholic or burn myself out.  But there’s a qualitative difference between genuinely needing rest and being seduced by the Enemy. 
The best way to judge this is to set a goal.  Malcolm Gladwell says we need 10,000 hours of practice before we are really proficient in our work.  If you take a break, will it significantly impact that number?  Probably not.  But if you say, “Ten thousand hours?  Yes, I could use a break, but maybe just one more hour towards my goal won’t hurt,” then you should Keep Going. 
Taking the day off won’t make a huge difference, but it will make a small difference, and it’s the small differences that add up
The other factor to consider is this:  You probably don’t know how close you are to10,000 hours.  The work you do at this moment may get you to that magic number.  At the very least, it will get you closer.  So unless, you’re completely exhausted, then do just a little more.  If you’re completely exhausted, by the way, you’re doing it wrong.  Purpose shouldn’t exhaust us, it should invigorate us.
At the moment, I’m not completely exhausted, but I am tired.  I’ve done just a little more tonight.  This may not be my best blog.  It’s certainly not my longest blog.  But at least I wrote it.  At least I did something to move forward.  At least I remembered to Get Started and Keep Going.  And sometimes my least is my very best.