As a child, I was seriously addicted to McDonalds. Back then, I also took their theme song to heart: “You deserve a break today at McDonalds.” I would get on my blue bicycle, ride up to those golden arches, and get ready for my ‘break’ – amazed at how many millions of hamburgers they had sold.
The older we get, the more important it is for us to truly learn how to ‘take a break’ – to put our work and activities on pause – whether for vacation or just a weekend.
So many of us program ourselves to work extremely hard during the week, and then look ahead to the ‘promised land’ of Friday. The problem with that is that, most of us have way too many things going on. Or we feel guilty when we take time off, so we forgo our breaks.
As a life coach in the entertainment industry, I’ve learned a lot of lessons from some older Hollywood veterans, including the ‘Art of the Break.’ Some of the most famous actors of our time found a way to live in the moment and take time off. The late Tony Curtis loved to paint. He even painted an amazing piece for me one night while we were having dinner and enjoying a break from work. Paul Newman raced cars in his spare time. It seems that with of age and experience, these men learned that life is for living. After all, you’re not a ‘human-doing’, but a ‘human being.’
So this week, let’s begin to live in the moment. Start by putting these three steps to good use: Rest, Refresh and Restart.
- Rest: Find a place to just relax, whether it’s in a hammock, on the beach or just a quit place alone.
- Refresh: Pay attention to how good you start to feel as you slow down to the speed of life.
- Restart: Begin the next day with new energy and a fresh perspective.
When we start to take some time for ourselves, we become more relaxed, and as we become more relaxed we get more things done in a more efficient way. As Pope Francis has said, “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, or play sports.”
So keep telling yourself to rest, so that you’ll be refreshed, so that you can restart your day with a greater motivation and ambition. After all, “You do deserve a break today!”