How seemingly ridiculous Challenges bring growth and awareness.

life lessons

Holidays are a time most people take a breather, spending time with family and friends. Historically I have used holidays as days to catch up and get ahead. But this past Holiday a weekend I gave myself permission to "sleep in" which means sleeping past 5am. And I succeeded I woke up around 6:30am.

My brain began contrasting the things I could against the fact that my calendar was empty. Then a curious little thought creeped in. "What If I just stayed in Bed, relaxing & thinking?"

So I tried it, and I managed to stay in bed for about another 45 minutes and it was difficult. Like really difficult. I wondered, and still wonder, why it was so challenging. Its not like Ive never worked a 20 hour shift before, or pulled all nighters to complete a task. But still I failed to invest more than 9 hours resting and reflecting even though I was asleep for 8 of them hours.

Which of course led me to wonder if I am the only one who struggles with this, So I posted a challenge on LinkedIn to get a feel for where folks are on the matter.

THE RESPONSE

To my surprise I got a whole bunch of responses and here are the numbers:

  • 6 people jumped in
  • 10 people said negatory, Im out
  • 2 people said they do this on the regular

It was interesting that of the people that jumped in, some asked to sprinkle it around over weeks or months, one asked if he could substitute a beach chair for laying in bed, and some confessed that this challenge was in deed a huge challenge.

Only a few said "Im in" without concessions which I credit to their sense of adventure and testing their resolve.

The Outliers

My dear friends and members of The Cultivation Crew Maria Martin and Sarah Gonnella are the only people i know that regularly take 12 + hours in bed resting and reflecting. I dont know how they do it and maybe you can help me figure that out. 

The Norm

Most of the people that responded sighted things like family, guilt, and a drive to achieve as the things that deter them from taking the challenge. 

Conclusion

Full confession, I have not accomplished 12 consecutive hours of thinking and reflecting in bed. Self judgement and my pursuit of fulfillment are what fuels my restlessness. That being said there was a time that dedicating 5 minutes for reflection felt like a ridiculous impossible task.

And with the same effort i put into achieving and knocking stuff out, I have achieved a habit of investing:

  • 60 minutes per day in exercise
  • 60 minutes per day in thinking / journaling
  • 7ish hours per night sleeping

While this is way short of 12 hours relaxing in bed, it is a quantum leap from where I was. 

And thats the point! It is the challenges that we take on that help us discover the depth of capacity we have.

So what challenge are you taking, and is it a repeat or will it drive you to honor and care for yourself?

 

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