Working hard every day is a must. Challenging work toward a job well done is satisfying. Smart work accomplishing an arduous task is rewarding. It uplifts the psyche and pacifies the mind. Each project or task is one more toward a rewarding end goal of betterment, empowerment, and perfection of character.
Work at your own improvement even if you don’t feel like it. Walk, practice yoga, practice martial arts, lift weights, swim, play tennis, learn a language or an instrument. If you practice at becoming better only when you “feel like it” you will lose momentum. When you lose momentum, it becomes exponentially more difficult to start again. “I’ll start Monday” quickly becomes “Okay, I’ll start NEXT Monday.” Then next month. When will you feel like it? How many of us have started over numerous times, repeatedly failing at habit?
Habit is developed by discipline. Discipline is developed by doing what you know you need to do but don’t want to do. Do it anyway.
Discipline is a must these days. You must convince yourself to work hard. Not toward a job, but toward any rewarding endeavor. But work used to be just …. Work.
Although you don’t believe it, life is simple now, compared to just two generations ago.
Years ago, people were required to feed and shod their horses, milk the cows, slop the hogs. Then they could eat breakfast. They had to repair their own saddles, roofs, wagon wheels, tools, cisterns, fences, all on their own. They didn’t call a repairman.
They had to make their own butter and bread. They stored lard and bacon fat, canned their vegetables and fruits. All food was made from scratch. Houses from that time had a “summer kitchen.” This is because the wood stove needed to stay lit all day (like some people I know, lol) and it produced a ton of heat that filled the house. This is great in the winter, but in the summer, it was too much. The wood stove stayed lit and stayed full. Mama was always making something. Want a glass of water? Go to the well or the water pump.
Most “food” today is made in factories, and we reheat it in microwaves. Restaurant food is premade in factories and dumped into grease vats in the restaurant, so we don’t have to wait long at the table. This provides us with a quick meal that’s the same every visit to the restaurant, and ensures the restaurant will glean a bit of profit. And restaurants are everywhere and stay open well into the night. No need to cook, someone is always open to serve you some hot food.
Cars were different back then, too. I remember having to change plugs, rotor cap, points, condenser, and grease the wheel bearings on our cars every 10,000 miles. Every 30,000 miles, the plug wires, hoses, and belts had to be changed. A major malfunction would result otherwise. This was well into the 1970s.
Today, our cars have remote start, heated seats and steering wheels, Bluetooth music and phone connection, 13 airbags, and 17 cup holders. They are designed to run 100,000 miles before the first major tune up. Only a certified technician can work on cars today. I grew up working on cars just to get to school and work. Now I lift the hood and have no idea what I’m looking at.
Comparably, our lives today are much easier than just one hundred years ago. We are so soft. We simply don’t work as hard to accomplish common tasks.
We miss out on a lot of satisfaction.
And we also lose a realistic grasp on rest.
Our ancestors worked all day. Just two generations ago, the average day was arduous. When the work ended, dinner was shared by the whole family. Then it was time to relax a bit before starting again the next day.
Rest was EARNED.
Those people ENJOYED their rest. They told stories, read books, played card games.
Rest was consumed. Relaxation was minimal, and ergo thoroughly absorbed.
There was no TV. When TV was invented, only the well off could afford one. When I was a kid, we had one small black and white TV, and there were only three channels.
Today, however, it is difficult to fathom the wide array of viewing choices. I still have DISH Network, and there are 400 channels of NOTHING TO WATCH. I don’t have even one of the seemingly endless streaming services.
TV, gaming, a thousand restaurants, bars, casinos. Entertainment options are varied and abundant. Evansville has an axe throwing bar.
Nearly every ad on TV or radio is (aside from all the drug ads – ask your doctor if the drug that causes death is right for you) designed to induce you to believe that a device, appliance, or cleaning product will save you precious time and energy.
As an aside, I just love online shopping. If they say, “you don’t have to worry about….” once, they’ll say it several times an hour. At the end of the demonstration, you are convinced that this product is the solution to all your problems (you didn’t know you had) and the answer to all your dreams.
“I’ll have more time and energy to do the things I enjoy,” you think.
But what are those things?
Watching more Kardashians? (oops, there I go again) Okay, Jersey Shore…lol
If we rest all day, relaxing and wasting time, what will we accomplish? Over what shall we triumph? How will we improve, grow, excel?
Rest should be earned. Rest should be savored, its sweet syrup deliciously licked up by our voracious souls, ravenous for a few moments of recuperation.
Yet, sadly, I am aware of people who rest all day long. They never produce. They never read, study, practice anything, excel at anything, grow in any way. This is tragic. It is a waste of life.
Two examples, both from my time in Law Enforcement.
One. I made a family fight run at 3:30 am. The woman was going cuckoo for coco puffs; a true high speed come apart. She was angry about something; I can’t remember what. The house was a disaster, a complete shit show. No one in the house had ever thrown anything away. There wasn’t a trash can anywhere, it all went onto the floor. While gathering info for the report I asked her where she works. She’s on disability. (She’s 20) I clarified that some doctor had labeled her unable to produce work in any capacity in any way despite her jumping around like Daffy Duck at 3:30 am. She confirmed. I looked at her fully capable body and asked the nature of her disability. She gets headaches occasionally. I then told her that I have five jobs. I work 60+ hours a week. I’m never late. I get headaches occasionally, too; but I’m there.
I know a guy with no fingers on his hand. Never missed a day. I just graduated school with a blind kid learning massage. He brought his guide dog to school. I used to know a guy whose leg was blown off by a landmine in Vietnam. Never missed a day at work and went to the gym three days a week.
Yet, this young lady rests all day long. She never values rest because she is always resting. She never earns rest. Even while resting, she does nothing. She doesn’t grow. She doesn’t strive. She sits on her couch and drinks until it’s time to fight. And obviously she never cleans her house.
Two. I arrested a drunk guy. Well built dude; he obviously goes to the gym. He got so drunk he entered some random lady’s house, sat in her armchair, and started masturbating. I’m not joking. He was still going at it when I walked into the lady’s house. When I asked him what he was doing he told me he thought he was at his friend’s house. So, I had to ask, “You jerk off on your friend’s couch?” While booking him I asked where he works. He doesn’t work. Disability. I asked the nature of his disability. Tourette’s. He hadn’t even hinted at an episode the entire time I was with him. No ticks, no physical or verbal outbursts; despite being inebriated. I asked if he takes meds; yes. So why can’t he work? Doesn’t want to. “Why should I? The government pays me to stay home.” (by government, he means you, my dear reader)
Again, he will never taste the umami of rest. He will never enjoy the pleasant petrichor of rejuvenation gleaned from the brief respite earned by working and achieving.
Okay, I must take a short break here to explain something before you go apoplectic. I am not saying that anyone with a disability doesn’t deserve it or shouldn’t have it. I personally know numerous folks that honestly can’t work due to severe pain, lack of mobility, or crushing mental or emotional dysfunction. That’s not what I’m talking about.
My point is that some people choose to rest all day and never do anything productive. They are fully aware of the location of their laurels because they are sitting on them. They are wasting a life. They are letting life pass them by. Resting all day erases any value resting ever had.
Resting should be earned. Resting should be so eagerly anticipated that when the moment finally arrives you hold onto it tightly, vowing to never let it go, knowing well you must. But rest should be so sought after that you embrace it in your arms like a lover at the end of the day.
Today we don’t have to change our tires every month, or bake our own bread, or tend to our livestock, or do any number of physically demanding things required of daily living 100 years ago. Our lives are easy by comparison. But now we have time to discover ourselves, strive toward our own greatness. We can work to become more than we are, instead of working just to survive one more day under the sun.
Work and Rest are Yin and Yang. They each are a part of the other, they promote each other and deserve each other. One is useless without the other.
All rest and no work is profitless. All work and no rest is disastrous.
Rest when you’re done working. But work.
Work toward something. Move toward a goal. Aim for triumph.
Rest a bit each day.
But earn it.
Joe “Weeg” Weigant is a Holistic Health Practitioner, Metaphysician, and Empowerment Coach. He combines bodywork, energy work, and coaching to relieve anxiety and depression and balance the nervous system. Weeg coaches his clients to drop the white flag of victimhood and pick up the banner of empowerment, inspiring them to stop riding in life’s trunk and take the wheel of their lives.
Weeg sells herbal products by Nature’s Sunshine, Pure Herbs Ltd. and Juice Plus. He teaches Karate and Tai Chi, Reiki Certification, as well as seminars and workshops in metaphysical and spiritual matters. Weeg is available for sessions at Tri State Holistic Wellness by appointment only.
Contact by text 812.568.5356, or Facebook Messenger to set an appointment.