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Tag: recreation

What a lazy psychologist knows about Sundays and holidays

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There is a reason why most religions tell us to take a day off a week. And have the occasional holiday.

It seems to be this.

We humans are creatures of action.   Or, activity, rather.  There is nothing that we like more than scurrying around – looking for our cheese like a mouse in a maze.

But we get so focused that we stop noticing the maze.  And we don’t notice signs warning us the cheese is about to finish – or be moved by some scurrilous self-serving mouse-licious mouse who has always hated us – well you know what I mean.  We get maze-vision.

So we need to take time out regularly to keep our perspective, to keep sight of alternatives, to remember what we truly value.

Did you take Sunday off?

And if Sunday, is not your day off, have you taken a full day off during the last week – not to shop but to relax, to let your mind wander, to remember the good things in life, to celebrate, to find renewed purpose?

To keep your eyes on the horizon, to feel the earth beneath your feet, to touch and feel what is around you, to smile at your companions.

If you didn’t, reform your busy ways.  Become a lot more idle.

You’ll get a lot more done and be nicer to be with too!

And for the lazy psychologists popping-in here, can we get theoretical for a moment?

I have three unresolved ‘issues’ with the theory of action.

I begin by asking: what is the ontology of humankind? Cognito ergo sum. I think therefore I am?  Or I am busy, therefore I am?  Your thoughts?

And why is action so inimical to good judgment?   I have a sneaky feeling that the tension between the tunnel vision of action and the lateral thinking of creativity and wisdom is a tension we have created somehow.  But I don’t know the answer to that.

So for now, I resolve that dilemma by zig-zagging along.

I find clients whose life is in disarray won’t take holidays.  They work 24/7.  I include young people in that group.  We think of them as fooling around a lot.  Actually they are working hard at being young.  Taking a break is hard for them.  It seems they are anxious about their goals.

I haven’t resolved this dilemma either.

If you have answers to any of my predicaments, I would love to hear from you.

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Reminding myself of the importance of recreation through Steve Pavlina’s personal development forum

I’ve just joined Steve Pavlina‘s personal development forum. The posts are a bit reminiscent of “Dear Auntie Jane” though the younger people in the group won’t remember the one-to-many days when people wrote in to a newspaper or magazine. This is truly many-to-many in 2.0 spirit and people who join are knowledgeable about personal development and willing to share their ideas.

I posted a few replies to youngsters who felt disoriented and benefited in 2.0 spirit from reflections on my own life. I moved countries last year having done so five years earlier (so fourth city in five years). I was well aware how much time I was spending networking professionally and attending to functional things.

It’s really important to lead a full life with relationships close and social, casual and professional. Everyone should be pursuing a good range of sport, cultural and social activity. It reminds me of David Whyte quoting Rainer Rilke’s poem about the fire and the night. We don’t want to concentrate on the fire. It ignores the night. We want to look at the night which holds everything including the fire.

Hard as it can be when we are under pressure of immediate things-to-do, we need to cherish our wider night of activities we hold dear. Mindtools has an database system for building goals in all areas of our lives – though you can do it on paper too. It is well worth an annual springclean to check through our appreciation of the fullness of life and let the mundane details and work take their place in the wider scheme of things.

Minutes after  I drafted this post, I discovered MindGym, a coaching site with a fresh approach.  Oddly, they think it is a good thing to be taking work home with you.  Sure, we all do – but a good thing?  Must take that up with them.  And folks, the MindGym is British! Yeah!  Must definitely get in touch with them.

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