Nothing, nothing at all, is worth losing your sleep over!

Examine what’s it that’s disturbing you and weed out that factor from your Life. 

I met a senior banker the other day. He said, “A banker’s Life is a dog’s Life! I used to love my work. I still believe I love it. But I don’t know why I am unable to enjoy what I am doing, and of late, I am even unable to sleep well. The stress keeps me awake,” he confessed. I told this gentleman that if he is unable to enjoy whatever he is doing, and if it has reached a point where he is unable to sleep well, he must seriously pause and reflect. I advised him to step out of his “work-work-work zone”, take a vacation and think through his Life!

This is the nub: nothing, nothing at all, is worth losing your sleep over. If you can’t take your mind off work it means one of three things: 1. You don’t have enough reliable support (staff, material, resources) to do what you are doing 2. The system (colleagues, bosses, clients, work culture) at your workplace is highly disorganized and stress-ridden. 3. You are a lousy leader and manager. There could be other reasons. But these three are principal among them. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then you must go do what you love doing. Simple. And if you enjoy your work but if any of those reasons is/are prevalent in your work Life, you must get down to fixing them. Simple again!

AVIS-Viswanathan-what-intelligent-living-means

The idea of living is not about obsessing over earning-a-living. It is not about slogging for 40 years and then hoping to find happiness, inner peace and freedom to do what you want to do at the age of 60. You have been given this Life so that you can be yourself, so that you can go do what you love doing. Now, when something disturbs your equilibrium, you must zero in on what it is and weed it out. Rather than suffer and endure a Life that you don’t want, you must make choices that help you with your inner peace, and help you to find and follow your bliss.

Learn to be free in Life. There will be problems. And you cannot escape those problems. Intelligent living does not mean being free of problems. It means being free, living free, despite those problems. It means choosing not to be a slave to whatever you do to earn a living and not to feel like a hostage of circumstances. What is the point of this Life if you cannot be who you want, do what you want to do, live the Life that you believe in and, at the end of the day, get a good night’s sleep?

Nothing’s worth losing sleep over

At times when nothing works, a good sleep works best!
This past week, a challenge that I am faced with, has had me working overtime with our lawyers. It involves a lot of paperwork and preparing a case. Often times, I have woken up in the wee hours to deal with it. So, in a sense, I have been short on the hours of sleep that I normally get. The apartment above ours is going through a complete renovation. All day the workers are knocking away at the floor, ostensibly to remove all the tiles in an effort to re-lay them. The noise from the floor above is deafening and allows no room for even a few minutes of rest and repair during the day. Overall, it has been a very demanding week. That’s when I got a window today – around mid-morning,  having completed all the documentation I had to on the legal front, to take a break. But the workers were pounding away above me. I wanted to somehow just catch up on my sleep. I decided to shut out the noise by reminding my mind that I did not hear it (a principle I have mastered through the practice of “mouna” – daily silence periods). In a few minutes of continuously directing my mind, the noise levels became irrelevant. And I fell asleep. I slept for a good four hours, soundly, uninterrupted, and woke up recharged and refreshed.
Nothing works like sleep. Nothing quite rejuvenates the way it does. Nothing fills your soul with confidence and conviction more than a few hours of sleep!
I have often found that the first casualty of any Life challenge is sleep. Sometimes, the lack of sleep in your Life is not just because of work pressure. But because you are worried, anxious and are despairing over a situation that you are clueless about. Your mind will kid you in such circumstances to stay up without sleep in the hope that you can find a solution to whatever vexes you. Staying up for a few nights to finish assignments and meet deadlines is fine. But inability to sleep because of worry is a no-no. It simply doesn’t help. Sleep deprivation in fact compounds matters. It makes you weak and fatigued. How can you address your Life challenge when, at a physical level, you remain exhausted and spent? So, the golden rule of intelligent living is to not let anything come between you and your sleep cycle.
If for a few days your sleep is interrupted owing to travel or work pressure or a crisis you have to deal with, restore your usual sleep pattern at the earliest opportunity. Ideally, set your worries aside as you put head to pillow. People tell me that this is difficult. I do agree. Initially, even when you close your eyes, your mind is hyper-active and is going bang-bang-bang throwing up all your worries and playing up all your fears and insecurities. But the clothes peg approach works great here. Imagine you have a clothes peg next to your bed. Before you sleep, you will probably remove your day clothes and hang them on the clothes peg. You will then wear your night clothes and hit the bed. Do the same with your worries. Hang them on an imaginary peg. Don’t worry about your worries – they will go nowhere. When you wake up in the morning, you can take them back. Train your mind, with consistent practice of the clothes peg approach over a few days, and be sure, you will begin to sleep well. Very well.
Good sleep cannot solve your problems. Nor does worrying! But sleep helps – where worrying can never help – in recharging all your batteries so that you can face Life and take on your problems with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. Ernest Hemingway (1899~1961), the legendary American author, champions good sleep thus: “I love sleep. My Life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you see?” The big moral here: It’s not worth losing your sleep over anything!