“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” Oprah Winfrey

I switch on and I switch off. There is no middle. Nothing. I’m working 1000% or I’m relaxing, reflecting, partying, playing sport, whatever – I’m not working.

Most entrepreneurship advice you consume talks about working 100 hour weeks, focusing on your 9pm to 2am, never taking a day off – even at weekends and not spending any money. I’m not having it!

Now I know I’m not a millionaire but I also know what drives me and how I need to live my life to remain productive and reach my goals.  If I locked myself in my office for 10 years with no socialising, no wine and no golf I’d die. I promise you, there would be no output after a while, no work, no content, nothing, zero, just me on the floor crying.

My best ideas come to me away from the grind; over a margarita on the beach, in the pub over a chilled beer or when I’m getting some sun in the garden – rare in the UK but it sometimes happens! It isn’t when I’m grafting, stressed out and burnt out. How can that lead to creative thinking?

More than helping me to create, taking a step back allows me to do something I think it’s impossible to do in the office – reflect. Looking at my life from afar, taking pleasure in my successes and considering how I can improve in other areas. I’m a huge believer in living as hard as you work and always celebrating your small successes. But there is a balance…

This shouldn’t come across as a contradiction to previous articles.

Obviously you have to work incredibly hard to create a week to be proud of every week. If I relaxed at the weekend having been a bum all week I would feel like a fraud. I am hard wired to do whatever it takes to win, if I’ve had a bad week I’ll work harder, you don’t get the rewards without the work.

I hate taking time off when things aren’t going well, I want to fix things not escape from things. Equally, when I’ve been killing it for a while and myself, I really want to take the time off that I need. Both because of its massive value and because I love it, and I deserve it!

I earn every holiday and weekend off that I have. I work harder at certain times to create the time for rest and reflection.

Related — 8 Signs You Need a Holiday Right NOW!

This all leads back to self awareness; you might hate days off, sport or socialising and like working all hours. Great, you know what makes you tick, you’ve won. You might hate working, that’s fine too, just don’t expect to be given much in return from the world.

I know who I am and I know what I want. I know what will get me there and what makes me happy.  Why can’t I win and have a life? Has every hugely successful person who’s ever lived never taken a weekend off? Course they have. Do your hero’s never get drunk once in a while and embarrass themselves? I assure you they do. Just when the cameras are off – usually!

I will never again berate myself for doing things my own way.

That is a fundamental reason why this blog exists – to make content like this in a creative way but equally to document my own journey. What works for one won’t work for everyone, plus you need to develop at your own pace.

Related — Practice Makes Patient

Why compare yourself to billionaire entrepreneurs with 20 years more experience? If you just started out running would you train like Usain Bolt right away? I don’t think so. If you wanted to break the world record for a bench press, would you try lifting that at your first attempt? No.

Take small steps, learn about yourself.

Slow and steady wins the marathons. All successful people completed marathons, not sprints.

If you’re nearly dead and you need a break from the grind please have one. Listen to your body and your mind. Having a break and allowing yourself some time away is far better than quitting way too soon.

Go get some wine, plot your path with clarity, reflect often and treat yourself like the hero that you are — it might just help you stay the course.

Oh, and if you see me drunk in a bar, buy me another drink — it means I deserve it! I hope you deserve to be there too…

-Matthew Brown

Related — Self Awareness Superpowers of the Elite

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Thank you for some of your time.