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Why I Needed to Un-Plug Everything

Today's existential angst story is about my overworked wifi router even if it really isn't about my router.

A while back, my router began giving me problems – among those problems was the fact that some of my devices kept dropping their wifi connections.

It seemed as though they wanted to connect, but just couldn't.

The wifi icon would pop on, and I'd start working feverishly, only to have my laptop suddenly starting buffering, and eventually disconnect – honestly, it was driving me insane.

(Am I the ONLY impatient old fart that hates watching that buffering icon rotate around and around?!)

Anyway, on the one device that magically did connect, I searched online for a way to fix the problem. And, when nothing I did seemed to make a difference, I got so exasperated with the whole lot that I shut everything down. Everything! Even my router.

Then I went to the gym for a workout (best stress reliever ever!), and when I returned, I popped everything back on.

Voila. Connection problem resolved.

"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." Anne Lamott

Isn't that the truth? So the "big reveal" here is that this post is technically not about routers or internet connections; it's about giving yourself a break every once in a while…

Especially when you feel like you're running in circles.

Sometimes stepping out of the race (temporarily) is precisely what you need to do to find your power to finish strong!

Society, but particularly men, seem to admire, and reward "pushing hard" and "never giving up." And though these qualities are imperative – nothing gets done unless someone actually does the work.

But what about another saying that goes, "To everything, there is a season..?"

It's a process of balance. If you push hard, you must also grant yourself time to rest equally "hard," so you can power back up for the next challenge.

Resting, in this case, has nothing to do with laziness or being unproductive. It's a fundamental part of being a productive, healthy, and responsible person.

Often, disengaging with a source of stress for a short while is the very thing that allows you to come back more inspired, loaded with fresh ideas, and with more energy to apply those new thoughts to the task at hand.

Are you lost on ways to power down? Well, it doesn't always mean vegging-out on the couch and bingeing on video games or the sports channel (although it might).

I'd like to think that "powering down" might mean doing something fun, like playing softball or tennis, going skiing or swimming, or hitting a flea market to poke around for unique finds.

After years of working with men that are driven, I've realized that many have been in their own private "rat race" so long that they've forgotten how to unwind (in a healthy way that doesn't involve a Happy Hour). So, in case you fall into that category, I offer the following common ways to unplug:

  • Take a relaxing bath (No. It's not "girly" so get over it! Just pour a couple of cups of Epsom salts into a deep tub of bearably hot water, crank your favorite tunes, close your eyes and settle in. 20 minutes later, you'll be glad you did!)

  • Get a massage or other bodywork (I can even help you with this one!)

  • Read a book (preferably not one discussing ways of 10x-ing your productivity)

  • Go for a walk or getting outside for some fresh air

  • Play with your children or pets

  • Get back to doing something creative: play music, woodwork, cook, anything crafty, etc.

  • Go to a movie

  • Try gardening or working on your yard

  • Rent an Airbnb for the weekend and get away for a bit (even if it's just a "staycation!")

  • And, finally, my favorite; just take a nap... ;-)

None of this is rocket science – but, it is about giving yourself permission to experiment with what allows you to perform at your very best. You do want to be your best, right?

Since you've read this far, I hope you'll leave a comment below telling me if you're going to do something intentional this week to disconnect and recharge. I always love hearing from my readers!

Until next time - be #awesome guys, and keep moving toward a better you.

John Aaron

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