We are all familiar with the desire to give our 100% at something, whether it’s work, school, relationships, etc. Not only are we familiar with the notion of giving 100%, but so is the rest of the world, that includes your boss, your teacher, your significant other, you family, heck even your pet (seriously). The fact is, it’s an admirable discipline to have and yet it’s a discipline that is somewhat expected from us in this day and age. But what few people realize is that in order to give 100%, you must learn to give 0% (That’s not a typo, I literally mean zero, nada, zippo).
You see, we should all strive to give our 100% at anything and everything we do. If we’re going to do something halfheartedly, then what’s the point of doing it to begin with? Life is too short to do things halfheartedly. But what we fail to realize is that in order to have the strength to be able to give 100% we need to rest. We need to be able to not give 100%. We need to be able to give 0%. Our capitalistic culture will not only ask for 100% from you, it will ask 100% of you, and there is a huge difference between the two.
100% from you
When someone or something asks 100% from you, they ask that whatever you do for them, be done with all your devotion. Once that task is done, you have accomplished your goal and have met the request. For example, work. Your boss asks you to give your 100% at work, and you do. But once that shift is over, you’re done, you go home, and that’s the end of that day at work. Of course this is different if you are paid salary, but even in a salary situation there are clear goals that once met, identify your completion. This is not the same as:
100% of you
In this scenario, not only are you to give your 100% at the task at hand, you are to give your 100%, 100% of the time. Meaning, our culture is always asking for your time. This can be a combination of work, school, volunteering, etc. Our culture does not care if you have worked a full day; if there is something left to do, and you happen to have a couple of hours left in the day, guess what; our culture is going to require those hours.
Scripture tells that whatever we do whether in word or deed, we ought to do it unto the Lord with all our hearts (Colossians 3:23). In other words, we need to give our 100%. But the same scripture that says to work giving your 100%, also says to rest, that is to keep a Sabbath (Deuteronomy 5:14). Now, this post is not about the religiosity of keeping the Sabbath, rather it’s about a principle, a simple one; the principle of rest. The problem with rest is that, for the most part, rest is counter intuitive to our culture for true rest looks like laziness. So we have all sorts of people running around, hooked on caffeine, stressed out of their minds, trying to find that ounce of energy to make it through another day because they don’t rest. They can’t rest. Think about it, if you ask someone “what are your plans for today” and they say “nothing” a few things will immediately happen. One, you will probably think “well that’s a waste”, and or you will try to suggest something to do. But the truth is, to do “nothing” is probably one of the hardest things to do.
So I decided to put this principle to the test. As you guys know, I am now the editor of List25.com. It’s a decentralized job where I work from home and set my own hours (for the most part). It’s a great job really. The problem however is simple. It’s easy to blur the lines of giving your 100% at the task at hand or giving yourself 100%. In other words, it’s not that difficult for me to spend a whole day or even my weekends working on social media engagement, posting, editing, etc. And I do it gladly, because I want to give my 100%. In my mind I do this unto the Lord. Nevertheless, I was recently struck with the realization that rest is just as important (If not more) than work. Consequently, I decided to start observing a Sabbath on Sunday. It is a time where I shut my phone off or at least put it on vibrate and place it far away from me. It’s also a day where I stay away from social media, websites, anything that I would consider work. Furthermore, I stay away from people (check out this post to see why). All in all, I am left with a day where I do no chores, no work (for the exception of about an hour in the morning where I have to post something) and no socializing. It has been a complete game changer for me. After I started doing this, I have realized that now I approach my weekday with more energy, a sharper mind, and a not so dreadful outlook for the rest of the week.
Wow this is a long post, lol. Let me conclude it with this. I summit to you that in order to truly give your 100% at something; you have to learn to give 100% to yourself, which translates into 0% for anything else. Rest is not laziness, rather it’s the preparation for the awesome work that you are going to do the rest of the week, since your mind will be sharper, more energized, and will hold a more positive outlook on things.
Get some rest my friends.
This is also the reason, why I don’t post on weekends…fyi 🙂