042 When You Pushed Yourself Too Hard, Time To Learn How To Do It Right

  • When everything is all about work, work and work…

April was a month all about work, work and work. In the first week, I conducted a 3-day-workshop for participants from various countries. In the second week, I spent an entire week in another country giving on-the-job training to my younger colleagues. In the third week, I participated as an observer in an intensive staff training camp in Indonesia. By the end of these three weeks, I succumbed to viral infection. Fever erupted, throat inflamed and cough persisted. Even so, it was not the time to rest. I had to return to work in order to complete a speech-writing assignment that I promised. The entire month had been spent on rushing to finish one task after another.

  • My Mistake: Pushing Myself At The Expense Of Health

The moment I submitted my final assignment, I felt as if the last ounce of energy in me had been depleted. In the subsequent three days, I slept heavily like a log, turning in as early as 9 pm, and only to wake up at 7 am. I was no longer feeling sickly after three days of medication but my body was phlegmatic and aching. And my energy level dropped to its lowest point in the entire month.

While I had gained tremendous satisfaction from overcoming challenges at work, I knew I was carried away by the adrenaline of work success. My mistake: I had pushed myself at the expense of health. To make things worse, I was not alone to suffer a deterioration of health, my children were not spared from the viral infection. Feeling remorse, I made two rules for myself from now onwards:

Rule One: Stay healthy with adequate sleep, food and exercise no matter how busy it gets.

Rule Two: Stay away from my loved ones at the earliest signs of health problems.

  • Learn to do things in moderation through gardening

Setting rules alone is not sufficient. I know that doing things in moderation is something important that I need to learn quickly. Gardening, a new hobby that I recently picked up, seems to be the ideal hobby to train patience.

The hobby began slightly more than a month ago when I started bringing home flowers that were routinely discarded in the office when a new floral arrangement arrived. This was how it looked when I started in late March.

Three weeks later, I did a little upgrading and this was how it looked in mid April.

Then this afternoon, I took some time to tend to these beautiful orchids, look at how much they have grown!

Little by little, I am beginning to appreciate the beauty of making things work in their natural pace. Neither in accordance to my pace, nor follow the pace set by others.

William W K Tan

28 April 2018

Saturday, 9: 45 pm

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