Over the last little while, some of you may have noticed that I stopped writing articles, poetry, and quotes, to the extent that I even placed a hold on my site. The reason for this was because I was in a place in my life where I needed to take some time out to myself and really reflect on my personal goals. It was a difficult decision to make, but I felt it was a necessary step in order for me to be the best I could be for myself as a human being on his own personal journey, and as a friend, mentor, or brother to those of you out there that I strive to inspire and motivate in every way I possibly can. I have to say, there are no words to express my gratitude for all of you, your patience, and your appreciation of my efforts.
I know that during this hiatus, I’ve lost some readers and followers here and there, but it was something I believed I needed to. I do hope that those readers and followers return after seeing that I’ve re-launched my blog, but if they choose not to, I wish them all the best.
This break was an experience that truly took me to the next step of understanding myself, and I felt it would be something to share with all of you, so that perhaps, if any of you go through something similar, you would be able to think, “If a guy as crazy as Nadir could get through this, I can too!” See, I was at a point in my life where I felt overwhelmed by all of the things I had going on. It’s true that those things are there because I put them there, and that I often speak about how I pride myself in being involved in many things, while still maintaining sanity and efficiency. What I realized however, is that in choosing this kind of lifestyle, I would have to take a break every once in a while, because if I didn’t, I would burn out. Unfortunately, the way I learned that was by getting so close to burning out that I was left with a few scars. Fortunately though, scars are great reminders.
What held me back from taking a break all these years was that I feared losing my connection to all of you, or that I would lose whatever it was that fueled my ability to write. In a similar manner, I feared that taking a break from my companies and projects would make me lose the connection and attachment I have towards my passions and ambitions. Still, it came to a point that my body and mind began to weaken in their abilities to inspire me and help me keep going. It was definitely time for a break.
In the process of learning about the importance of taking breaks, I realized that it was about more than just taking long vacations or breaks every few months. As necessary as breaks like those may be, I found that what maintained my every day sanity was the small breaks I would take every day. What that meant was that I would put aside some time every day towards a personal goal, or towards simply resting and doing nothing. My attachment to ambition and drive made that difficult at first, but I forced myself beyond my comfort zone because I knew it was a necessity in order for me to see any chances at growth. Here are some tips, based on what I’ve learned:
- Do something for yourself every day that’s unrelated to anything you do, or any specific deadline – even if it’s just for 15-30 minutes of your day
- Try something new once a week, to challenge yourself and to keep your mind and body guessing
- Interact and socialize with people at least once every 1-2 weeks, solely for the sake of socializing – personally, I meet up with a few friends for coffee every two weeks, and we talk about life and ideas, without much reference back to our work or school lives
There are the obvious kinds of long breaks, like a week long vacation to a new place or a place you find comfort, but there are times when that can become a bit hurtful to our wallets. During times like those, put away all of your work stuff, school stuff, or anything related to your everyday routine, and just wake up every morning with something new scheduled in. For example, if you live in a place known for its tourism, spend a week living like a tourist, checking out the attractions, gardens, trails, events, etc., and come home every night to cook yourself a meal (and I mean, really experiment with new recipes and cuisines) or go out for dinner to a place you never thought you’d try. That’s what I’ve got planned for my next vacation, and I have to admit, I’m excited!
Long breaks seem like a big risk, especially if you have a lot of things on your plate. As an entrepreneur, it took a lot to make me realize that it was important for me to step away from it all for a short while, but after recognized the importance of it, I took the leap. Looking back, I don’t regret a minute of my break, and yearn for the opportunity to enjoy it again in the future, God-willing!
Earning your break
One other thing I’d like to talk about is the importance of recognizing the value of yourself and the value of a break. For the longest time, my businesses weren’t bringing in much income, and I was really struggling financially. I had to work harder than I ever had in my life, while making much less than I ever had. Still, I stuck to it, but eventually, I was drained. I needed a break, but I felt like I hadn’t earned it yet because I wasn’t making the amount of money I wanted to. Sure, things were looking up, and the finances were building, but they were nowhere near enough for me to go off on an expensive vacation or anything like that without taking a major financial hit. Every day started to become a chore, and I was starting to hate my career, not because of what I did for a living, but because I didn’t have the energy anymore. I learned, after speaking to a few close friends, that I actually had earned my break because of the hard work and effort I had put in every day to get to where I am. I was reminded that success isn’t about how much you make, but it’s about how much you value your efforts at the end of every day. If you’re happy with yourself and your effort, then take a break. If not, and you still feel the need for a break, then make a plan for doing better, then take a break, but get cracking on implementing that plan as soon as you’re break is over.
Look at it this way: when working out, you take breaks between each set, be it 30 seconds or a minute or two. Then, you take a break of at least 24 hours between working each muscle group, in order to give that specific muscle group enough time to recover. The truth is, rest and recovery is just as important to growth and development as hard work and ambition is. It’s all about balance and moderation. Work hard, push beyond your comfort zone, and take care of yourself through rest and recovery, because it’s with these three ingredients, along with faith and reliance on God, that we’re able to see results and success. Like they say, every once in a while, you have to stop and smell the roses. If you don’t, you’ll go on through an entire lifetime without having ever really lived.