#007: Listen To Your Body

We often underestimate the incredible abilities of both the human mind and body.

One of the ways we do that is by simply not listening to the signs they give us.

Growing up, I bought into the No Days Off hype like my life depended on it.

I would wake up at 4am with Kaleb Monday-Friday and workout before school. Some days we'd hit the gym at lunchtime and then again after practice. Yes - we'd go 3 times a day along with school and practice sometimes.

I would feel like a total loser if I skipped a scheduled day to put the work in.

... Which is probably why I was hurt all the time.

Whenever my body would give me a sign to take a rest day, I would feel like such a pansy.

"Somebody else is working harder than you. They're gonna gain an edge as you fall behind" - myself to myself every time it happened.

It wasn't until I had hung up my cleats that I realized that the No Days Off mentality like that was one of the biggest reasons I wasn't going to play pro baseball.

Had I taken a few more days off here and there, I bet a few things would have happened:

  • I would have been hurt way less because of the obvious benefits of rest that my ego wouldn't let me see. My central nervous system wouldn't have felt shot all the damn time which wouldn't have made me rely on caffeine as much as I always have.
  • I would have appreciated the game more.

I no longer play ball but I took that No Days Off mentality with me into my work in entrepreneurship too... and it's led to quite a few burnout phases in my life.

A few years ago, I read and looked through Kobe’s book, The Mamba Mentality, and something clicked. Sometimes you know what you need to hear but it needs to come from somebody (like Kobe) for it to sink in.

Kobe is known for having one of the most ludicrous work ethics in all of professionalism. Like MJ, his name was synonymous with work ethic and competition. 

One of the things that people don’t know about is his commitment to both rest and time away from work. Of course those things are valuable but I always struggled with feeling like I was falling behind the competition if I did that.

If you accept that you’re in it for the long haul (whatever you are going through yourself right now), then you can see the value in rest and taking time away from work.

I always knew that but never acted upon that understanding for more than a few hours. In his book, Kobe admits to never having a 100% firm schedule when it comes to work.

What he meant by that is this idea: He would schedule his workouts (multiple a day, of course) for every single day. 

However, if that day didn’t feel right, he would take the day off. Maybe he’d just focus on the mental aspect of the game and watch film or maybe he’d sleep all day and just take a family day.

That rest is what Kobe was able to use to reset the Mamba Mentality.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot today because I just did that myself a few days ago. After working like a dog recreating our site, creating content, writing like an over-caffeinated Hemingway, and working on my other businesses to fund this dream of The Uncommons…

… I hit a wall. I was so tired and burnt out that I took a day and a half completely away from any and all work. I slept 12 hours two days in a row. I went to the beach for 4 hours. I sat and watched 7 hours of New Girl.

I re-f*cking-set my whole mentality.

Everything needed a rest. Now I got it and feel even better than I did before I went HAM on work last week. 

I’ve heard other people say “listen to your body” a thousand times. But then I read that Kobe actually did it. And I love Kobe.

So… if you don’t wanna listen to me, listen to Kobe.

There are going to be times when you just simply need a day. A full damn reset.

Honor that. Take that. Enjoy it. Appreciate the time away.

Then get back to work.

To getting back to work,

- Luke