This week I was reminded of the “sweetness of doing nothing,” that is, of enjoying the intentional pauses of non-productivity so that we might enjoy life more…
Around the 3rd day of the challenge, I began recording my thoughts + reflections as I rounded the hill in front of the house. This is generally where I walk to cool down…
This week, something struck me—
#75Hard is an “all or nothing” proposition. You either make it all the way, or you fail and you must start over. That is, if you don’t drink the water, if you don’t make the workouts, if you don’t read the pages… if you forget to take your progress pic that day…
… then your gain for the entire journey thus far is considered NOTHING and you begin over at Day 1.
That’s the rule.
And, of course, it makes total sense in a challenge like this.
But most things in life aren’t that way. Yet, oddly enough, we tend to treat them that way.
👉 We mess-up the diet at one meal during the middle of the week, so we toss the entire week out the window.
👉 We lose our temper during an exchange, so we assume we’ll never get our anger under control.
👉 We rank the budget, so we assume we’re not good at managing money…
👉 blah, blah, blah…
It’s easy to treat life as if it’s “all or nothing.” But, life isn’t that way.
Proverbs tells us the righteous fail… and they get right back up (Proverbs 24:16).
We’ve got a few youngsters on our #1B7 team, so I’ve been crafting a system for them to use to grow a lucrative business, as a side hustle. Particularly if they don’t have any experience in the industry.
If you’re 18-23 (OK, we can fudge the numbers a bit), and are interested in learning more, complete the form at www.Jenkins.tv/form and see if this is a fit for you…
We have video training, live calls, a printed worksheet you can follow, and more…
Again— www.Jenkins.tv/form if you want to explore it some more.
I write more about this in the “fun” section below, as there was major overlap for me here…
A few years ago I created a text thread— one whereby I’d post a daily post of encouragement to the men who attended the Advance events. The events were held twice a year, so I wanted to offer something to empower men to “advance” between the Advances— to move forward in real time.
It so happened, life fell apart.
And, when it did, a lot of things fell to the wayside.
The AdvanceCast was one of them.
A few weeks ago, I decided to pick it back up. And, now I’ve got it humming again, with a steady stream of content dialed in, timed-up, and ready…
Text the keyword ADVANCE to 205-259-5221 — you can ALWAYS opt out at any time.
(I send the messages at 12 noon CST each day.)
Last Sunday Beth and I visited a church I attended years ago— just as we’ve been exploring our next steps in the world of faith, as well as our desire to build strong roots with a faith community.
We breezed into Church Unlimited, where my friend Brandon Ball is the pastor. Over the past few years, Brandon has developed a unique voice in the area of radical, one-sided grace (which is— in reality— the only kind of true grace there is).
This visit— and the reminder that grace really is no-strings-attached (particularly hard in a world where there are so many strings, so much cancel, and so many gotchas— especially among the most outwardly religious)— was refreshing.
I’ve written about this before, so I’ll save the ink here…
We host these gatherings once a month, generally on the third Tuesday. The next one = August 17.
We often have 20-30 or more people. And, don’t worry that you won’t know any of them. Every month new people show up and fit right in.
What do we do?
We just cook and hangout.
If the weather is remotely decent, we light up the fire pit. And, when I’m not in the middle of a fitness challenge, I share the bourbon.
Fun = Saturday, hands down, was the best… we actually did nothing. Well, not exactly…
… it’s just, well, we didn’t run into the day with a plan…
I ended up…
✅ lifting weights and going on a run (part of the #75Hard Challenge)
✅ stopping a block before the run should have stopped to speak with one of my neighbors… un-rushed, unhurried…
✅ reading 20+ pages of the Bible, digging much from the obscure passages in the Old Testament (which is where I found myself, by pushing trough at least 10 pages per day since beginning the #75HardChallenge a few weeks ago)
✅ working on my weekly schedule a bit, continuing to refine it…
✅ watching a bit of TV
✅ chatting with some of the kids…
✅ visiting the new O’Henry’s coffee shop
✅ going to a movie with Beth…
✅ out to eat… and finding that a friend’s son opened / owned the new restaurant / bar…
✅ heading back to the house to just relax…
The only things PLANNED in this entire day were the exercise and reading portions of the 75 Hard regiment I’m on…
Everything else just happened.
It reminded me of this…
I read Michael Hyatt’s book Free to Focus a few years ago. He writes about doing “less” stuff so that you can really zero-in on what you want to do. Then, he discusses the importance of margin, of living with quiet space. That is, do less stuff. And do it less of the time.
Hyatt tells of a phrase he and his wife learned while traveling through Tuscany while on a sabbatical (he unplugs for an entire month every summer), a dolce far niente. It means “the sweetness of doing nothing.” That is, it’s not only a refusal to fill every space with something, it’s a celebration of that space where nothing else exists.
Hyatt reminds us,
Our brains aren’t designed to run nonstop. When we drop things into neutral, ideas flow on their own, memories sort themselves out, and we give ourselves a chance to rest.
Sufficient sleep keeps us mentally sharp and improves our ability to remember, learn, and grow. It refreshes our emotional state, reduces stress, and recharges our bodies… Meanwhile, going without sleep makes it harder to stay focused, solve problems, make good decisions, or even play with others.
To summarize in my own words, “The quiet space is where the magic happens.”
Turns out, we don’t have any space for magic. We fill it with smartphones + film series + memes + sound-bites + anything else which can hold out attention. We don’t value the pause; we value productivity. And that productivity- whether it’s notching off another project or checking off another social feed or film- often masks the fact that we’re afraid to confront that quiet. You see, sometimes we’re addicted to the noise.
If you can’t hit the pause button, do a day of unhurried and unplanned… it’s often a sign you’re living out of rhythm.
With the launch of Oola’s #1B7 project— and our focus on that over the past few months— I knew we had been….
This was a great move back into the right direction…
(I talked about this on the podcast episode at www.jenkins.tv/blog/rhythm)
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