Do you work too hard?
Over the weekend I spoke at the Jyske Global Asset Management Forex seminar in Laguna Beach California and…
spoke about how to have a personal or managed multi currency sandwich.
At the seminar, I said that “the ultimate asset is your own business.” I quoted a Time magazine article that began:
Throw away briefcase: you’re not going to office. You can kiss benefits goodbye. Your new boss won’t look much like your old one. There’s no longer a ladder, and you may never get to retire, but there’s a world of opportunity if you figure out a new path.
Yet can having our own business can overwork us so here is a shamanic tip to help you work less and have more.
I was pondering this question about effort as I gazed at the Pacific from Laguna Beach at dawn.
View from my room at the Laguna Beach Surf Sand Spa.
Merri and I were sharing time with Jyske Global Asset Management (JGAM)… many of our readers and several other very smart investment analysts (the other speakers) at the seminar.
One theme regularly repeated by the delegates there was that they have enormous affluence… but no one can enjoy it because they are working to hard!
Southern Californians especially have incredible beauty… a lot of wealth… and fantastic weather. Yet the burdens of living with the taxes… fees… traffic… government intervention… congestion… crime… traffic… pollution and noise are so heavy that they have to work so hard that they cannot enjoy the good qualities.
Laguna beach homes represent incredible wealth but there is a lot of stress involved as well.
There seems to have been an Western industrialized trend. Many people work so hard that they cannot enjoy the fruits of their effort. People put out so much effort that the process weakens or obliterates the goal the effort seeks.
For example married couples want to provide their families with a good home and solid family life. Yet over the generations dads and moms have had to work longer, full and even overtime, to pay the bills. The labor savings devices that technology has created really have not saved labor at all. They have simply provided ways to work more… especially at home.
We can see from an recent article that cell phones and the internet… at home can be as much a liability as an asset.
Excerpts from a USA TODAY article entitled “Working at home: Family-friendly?” by Sharon Jayson, shows how new labor saving technology can also create lifestyle problems.
The article says: Our lives were supposed to be more flexible and family-friendly thanks to the technology at our fingertips. But in this age of BlackBerrys and recession pressures and working from home after hours and on weekends, family time may not be working out the way we thought.
Busy parents who envisioned more time with the kids are finding that more work hours at home don’t necessarily translate into quality time with them.
Some studies suggest parents today do have more face time with their children than their counterparts decades ago, largely driven by increased time spent with fathers. An analysis released last month by two California economists looked at a dozen nationally representative surveys from 1965 to 2008 and found the amount of time parents spend on child care is up dramatically since the 1990s, especially among the highly educated.
But a growing number of researchers say that’s only part of the story. The technology that allows parents to spend more time at home — laptops and cellphones and mobile e-mail — is blurring the lines between work and personal life and distracting them from the “family time” they crave.
Studies that show parents who spend more time than ever with their kids today don’t necessarily capture what’s happening between them, says sociologist Barbara Schneider of Michigan State University in East Lansing. “If you’re not connecting with Mom and Dad — just because you’re in the house with them — what difference does it make?”
And even though an always-on BlackBerry mom may think she’s a master of multitasking, children know better.
Today’s parents might not even realize how their divided attention plays out with kids, says Sherry Turkle, director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Because we have worked at home for decades Merri and I have continually faced this task of balancing our lives with work and relaxation.
Like snacks in the fridge there is this continuing temptation to always take a little more… work.
I generally rise between 4am and 5 am and after doing my morning meditation, I go straight to work. Often I have done a day’s work before breakfast.
If it were not for an Andean ritual, by 8pm I could find myself busy at work.
When this happens… when we work too hard… the fire gets out of balance.
An ancient Chinese saying says: First the wine drinks the man. Then the wine drinks the wine. Then the wine drinks the man.
This is an explanation of the law of diminishing returns which works on everything including work. At a certain point, every hour of work you do provides a reduced return for the effort.
Merri and I learned how to balance our activities in a shamanic way..
A shamanic work ethic can help you find Quantum Wealth. Work habits that spring from ancient wisdom can hep you work less… but smarter and have more… especially more time…. more fulfillment… more good health as well as wealth.
Wealth springs from good health and good health requires balance. Everlasting quantum wealth comes from a state of continuing balance.
Many of the healing sciences in ancient cultures, including the shamans of the Andes, look at existence as a blending of various elements beginning with air, fire and water.
Air represents the aspects of motion… fire provides the transformational qualities such as digestion, vision, hearing, digestion and water provides the solid stuff.
Good health is the correct balance of these three elements. Just as an auto mechanic looks to balance the flow of spark, fuel, and air… the shamanic healers of the Andes aim to balance the air, fire and water.
When the elements of air fire and water are in balance… our bodies and mind can be at ease.
When the fire, air and water get out of balance we feel dis-ease.
The yatchak we lived with taught us to sue ancient knowledge about fire, air and water to create rituals of work that would maximize the return from our activity.
The ancients believe that every day consists of two four hour air, water and fire cycles each.
2am to 6am: Air Cycle. This is time to wake up. The mind is light active and this is a good time to think, multi task and learn.
6am to 10am: Water Cycle. Strength is increased. This is a good time to do physical activity.
10am to 2pm: Fire Cycle. This is the time for digestion. High noon is the best time for the main meal of the day.
2pm to 6pm: Air Cycle. The mind is light and active again/ Study and do mental work.
6pm to 10pm: Fire cycle. If you eat a heavy evening meal this cycle will digest it. However if your evening meal is early and light, this second fire cycle acts like an oven cleaner and burns up stresses and toxicities gained during the day.
10pm to 2am Water Cycle. Best time for deepest sleep.
Merri and I were working to hard. Our health was out of balance. The yatchak explained the bodies natural schedule that supports balance, health and well being.
He taught is the importance of having more than a routine. He told us to create ritual that is fortified with the balance of nature!
Those who live extra ordinarily long lives seem to share this common trait… a ritual. Whatever long lived people do, they do in moderation, in a very similar way and with great gusto.
For example, if they drink an ounce of whisky every day, at six o clock, they do not do this at five some days and eight others. They do not have a half ounce one day and two another. They tend to have one ounce at six p.m. every day.
This instills discipline, keeps life simple (very important) and allows the body to get used to doing whatever it is it has to do.
Take Chris Mortensen one of the oldest documented men in the 1990s who at 113 said of his weekly cigar, “If you take my weekly cigar away from I am going to die”.
The anticipation and ritual of whatever pleasure he received from this was far more life giving than the stress.
The world’s oldest documented woman in the 1990s, Jeanne Clement, at age 122 drank cognac and ate a pound of chocolate a week (but never two).
The shamanic healer advised us to create a three part ritual.
First, eat a light early evening meal… very light. Second, quit work in the evening fire cycle and to change into relaxing clothes at that time. “You have to tell your body that you have quit work for the day,” he said. Third he taught us that it is important to be in bed before the 10pm fire cycle begins.
When we follow this ritual, we find that we awaken naturally easily around 4am to 5am… filled with energy and ready to work.
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