close the gap between who you are and who you want to be – between how you manage your energy now and how you want to manage your energy to achieve whatever mission you are on*
(Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz)
This may be counterintuitive, but we develop and grow when we rest and recover following stressful activity.** Peter Senge writes about what happens in quietness and solitude, helping us see more of what’s happening in recovery:
An inner alignment starts to develop that can release extraordinary energy and creativity, qualities previously dissipated by denial, inner contradictions, and unawareness of the situation and oneself.^
If we just keep going in a straight line of stress, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual – it’s usually a mix of all four – then the only thing we’re likely to be developing is an illness, or worse:
There is […] considerable evidence that highly linear forms of behaviour – too much eating, too little sleep, too much hostility, too little physical activity, too much continuous stress – lead to a higher incidence of illness and even early death.
Karoshi is the Japanese term for death by overwork because it’s a thing.
Short of the worst, there’s the likelihood of a higher at-rest heart rate and blood pressure, poor sleep, irritability, emotional instability, loss of motivation and increased injury and illness.
When we’re busy, we can try to conserve energy in order to keep going. What Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz are saying is the best thing to do is to increase stress and then recover, just like a physical muscle:
We grow at all levels by expending energy beyond our normal limits, and then recovering.*
They call this antidote to the linearity of stress, oscillation. It’s important not to have too much linearity in recovery as well as too much stress. What we’re trying to do is build energy capacity.
Curation in its widest sense is creating new possibilities out of the vast resources available to us through specking, arranging and enhancing. As such it is a dynamic activity. Yet within its dynamism lies the original meaning of the word which is to care:
Curation that doesn’t have the sense of taking care, preserving, nurturing is more likely to lead to negative outcomes.^^
In my university work, I’m collaborating with others on an idea intended to release abundance rather than be imprisoned within scarcity. The word we are using for recovery is replenishment, to supply abundantly, from plenir, to fill.
I haven’t got it figured out yet but I’ll keep both working and wandering at it. As I mentioned earlier, it’s where the good things begin to happen.
(*From Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz’s The Power of Full Engagement.)
(**Have you noticed how your best ideas come to you when you’re not trying to come up with your best idea?)
(^From Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution.)
(^^From Michael Bhaskar’s Curation.)