Friday, June 05, 2009

Wisdom From Alex

Photo by 713 Avenue

Wisdom is never far away.

I was having a chat with my mate from college, Alex Maskiell, on the phone last night. As per usual, our conversation diverted onto the deep side of things. Alex has a strong sense of ethical and moral character - I like his integrity and honesty. He, also, is influenced by his passion for sports and fitness (unlike me), which makes for great conversational cross-pollination. He made two points that I liked and, upon reflection, took some takeaways:

1. I conveyed my frustration with my so-called 'issue' - the inner frustration I feel with wanting to use my intelligence, initiative, and 'goodness', but, due to my lack of trust in my mood swings, it seems like I can't move forward. He used the analogy of a physical injury. A physical injury, say a broken leg, needs time to heal. You can't play rugby with a broken leg. You can't go to the gym and do weights with a broken leg. My issue is the same. My brain - a physical organ - is a bit ill. It needs rest. Recovery. And more importantly, patience. Patience heals.

2. The philosophy of weightlifting. In weightlifting, there are two essential ingredients to optimal performance: Lifting and Recovery. You lift, but you need to give a solid amount of time for the muscles to recover, because that is where a lot of the strength and fitness benefit actually comes from. So, too, in life, you need both. Productivity and Relaxation are intertwined and interlinked. If you are being too 'productive' and not relaxing, you are not going to be as effective. Same with 'relaxation' - if you are only relaxing, well, that becomes laziness I suppose. You need balance. Know the signs when you are doing too much of one. In my case, perhaps I was doing too much 'lifting' and not enough relaxing. Relaxing brings clarity. That clarity gives strength to the muscles. The muscle of the mind.

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