“Life is a race.”

“Life is a competition and if you don’t run fast enough, you’ll get trampled upon.”

“Successful people don’t sleep”

More often than not, we get so accustomed to the thought of how work and more work is all we need to be successful that we go through life trying to exist and we forget to live. I am not against hard work. I just have a bias for a balanced life. It’s a fast-paced world we live in, and there is always that desire to be ahead of one’s game, to outrun the next man, to bag that degree, to make mama proud. Oftentimes, we disregard one major factor that leads to a successful life – rest. Society has somehow found a way to cajole us into believing that only failures take breaks.

I had just left the venue of the seminar and the words from the last speaker still echoed in my ears. I listened to the song on the radio and a particular line from the lyrics gave a new perspective on the narrative in the pursuit of success.

“But when you get fast money, slow down don’t crash. With all the drives in the world and I swear you still need gas” This was from Big Sean’s One Man Can Change the World.

I listened to the song with reasoning ears, these lines gave the song a new melody. Health is wealth! We have gotten so ingrained and busy with work that we forget to cater to other important aspects of our life. Many now see resting, taking time outs or having a good laugh as a failure’s recipe. Society has cornered us with that unhealthy way of being successful that the majority breeze through life without ever taking time out to breathe. This is where the winners don’t sleep and play yen yen yen talk factors in.

Life will come at you with its chaos and thrills, when you seem to be on Big Sean’s Fast Lane, where everything and everyone seems to whiz by in an uncontrolled rush, be it an exhilarating or excruciating way, … slow down don’t crash –

Take breaks and rest! It’s is okay, you’re not irresponsible.

Take good care of yourself, unwind, relax, eat good food, spend time with your loved ones and refresh yourself. 

This is part of your personal development. I know you will be tempted to go extra hard on yourself, especially on days when you have exerted all your energy and it seems like there is still a lot of work to be done, or you haven’t done enough and you feel empty. Ease up and take a time out. There’s lots of drive in the world – many business proposals to be pitched, many milestones to reach, tons of achievements to be accomplished and I swear you still need gas, save that energy, refresh yourself. There is no point in coming to the negotiation table all drained and worn out with no energy to strike a bargain or enjoy the deal.

Don’t be so obsessed with securing the future that you forget to simply live and enjoy the moment, that you forget to care for yourself – mentally, physically and spiritually, forget to nurture those healthy relationships and you end up starving yourself of your care and attention. There is more to life than bagging that award, meeting that deadline or getting that promotion. There is time for everything and it is not okay to convert play or rest time to work time. I just hope now and then you slow down, take a deep breath and just soak yourself in the consciousness of the moment and live.

A car dashed past and nearly scratched mine. I slowed down and noticed for the first time in forever the calm ambience of the sea, the little children jumping in and out of the water by the boat close to shore. It looked ordinary but for weird reasons, it made me smile and wonder how much time I had let slip by. I glanced back at the pile of documents and laptop lying freely on the passenger seat. It was time for me to slow down and not crash… I need gas too. I pulled over at the next bus stop and sent Dera a text –

“Hey dear, I cancelled my appointment and took the week off. I’ll make us dinner. See you soon”

A popular quote hit my head as I turned on the indicator to go left. I let out a smile, then a mild laugh as I said it out loud in the car “Try Dey rest, this life na once.

Dhesert Chequer

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