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Sprint, Rest, Repeat: The Opposite of Hustle?
Should you work in bursts to augment creativity and productivity?
We hope you got a chance to take a look at what is going on in Ukraine. It is a grave situation that has implication for every country. We recommend you watch this defiant speech by the President of Ukraine, a lawyer who also had a successful career as an actor and comedian, where he played the character of a history school teacher who became the President after a private rant about the political situation in Ukraine was filmed on a phone and went viral.
May sanity prevail. Before we get to the main subject of the newsletter, it is worth reflecting on the cardinal principle of negotiations: The one who can walk away from the negotiation table usually gets the outcome he/she wants.
Sprint, Rest, Repeat
If you are reading this newsletter, you are most likely a knowledge worker, i.e., you get paid to think, write, build and speak. These days hustle culture is in vogue. People take great pride in broadcasting how hard they work on the internet. The seductive illusion of hard work makes us believe that the harder we work, the more likely we are to succeed. The truth is that the problems we choose to focus on and the people we choose to work/partner with are much more likely to determine our success.
Hard work matters but only when channeled properly. Instead of hustling all the time, what if we took inspiration from athletes in the knowledge economy? Athletes don’t train all the time. They take care of their diet, their sleep, their training regimen and rest. They work on different aspects of their body according to carefully scheduled plans. Simply put, they have a goal in mind, they work hard in bursts and take adequate rest.
If knowledge workers train like athletes, they are likely to get more done with less and do stuff that moves the needle. History is likely to remember such knowledge workers favorably.
The Lion Model of Work
The lion model of work is worth considering. Sahil Bloom, who we hosted on Network Capital, says, “Work Like a Lion Most people are not wired to work 9-5. Modern work culture is a remnant of the Industrial Age—long periods of steady, monotonous work. If your goal is to do inspired, creative work, you have to work like a lion. Sprint when inspired. Rest. Repeat.”
Why rest and unwind?
To do effective work, to unleash your creativity, you need to block time to change pace, space, context. If you find yourself working all the time, you are likely doing shallow work. It is intellectual lethargy at its best. Deep work, on the other hand, needs an uncluttered mind that has a clear sense of when it needs to switch on and switch off.
That’s precisely why we planned the learning retreat in Chail. We could have easily organized an engaging event in Delhi/Mumbai/Bangalore with a series of stimulating talks and networking sessions but it would have felt like work. After 2 years of zoom gloom, pushing people in a conference room to listen to lectures didn’t seem exciting. That is precisely why we took the decision of nudging our community members to take a weekend away from the daily humdrum of life.
We decided to get back to the core of who we are and why we exist. At the Network Capital retreat we will rediscover the history of how communities came together back in the day, with bonfires, stories and nourishing food.
Instead of networking the traditional way, We will explore the backside of our resumes. David Brooks contrasts resume values with eulogy values. He says,
“It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?
We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.”
On Network Capital, we want to help you build your category of one not only in terms of what you bring to the workplace but also the values you live by. In this 3 day retreat, we will enjoy myriad outdoor adventures curated by Laidback, a venture by one of our subscribers Nakul.
Through these adventures and activities, we will embark upon the journey from Zoom conferences to the real world. We will learn the art of storytelling not about a third person or an external experience but about our larger vision.
In the Network Capital “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” Fellowship, we participate in an activity called “Life Maps” where we reflect on our past and design a life for our future. There are no guarantees in life. No one can know with certainty that their life will turn out a certain way but certitude is not the point of this exercise.
We get so busy with our day-to-day lives that we forget to understand why we are doing what we are doing. The Network Capital retreat will change that by planning a long-form “Life Maps” over the retreat.
We call it the learning retreat because learning about ourselves is the ultimate super power. That’s something we rarely get time for because we are constantly distracted, running from pillar to post. Our inner convictions, our strengths, our most vulnerable moments together define who we turn out to be. We want to propel you to rediscover yourself.
We will consider the retreat successful if you go back with cherished friendships, deeper knowledge about your selves and ideas for connecting with others in order to add specific value to them. Your personal and professional growth will be a natural byproduct.
There will be 4 workshops organized by fellow subscribers
The world in 2022
The adventure kickstarts in a quaint, outdoor resort near Chail. See you on 25th evening
Putting it all together
Working hard is necessary but insufficient to succeed.
Husting incessantly is an indicator of intellectual lethargy. Input is not equal to output.
Train like an athlete, work like a lion.
P.S. “To enjoy life, you don't need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren't as serious as you make them out to be.”
Have a great Sunday!
*** If you enjoy the NC experience, consider gifting it to someone you care about.