The professional and the vagabond

You know you want to fix it up, don’t you.
You know what a vagabond would do? Nothing.
They’d visit for awhile, enjoy the ambiance, and then move one.

I have equal admiration for the professional and the vagabond. Both require full commitment.

What’s happened to the life where you just coast along, doing as little as you can, relaxing your way to the end game? Vagabonds and trust fund babies do that for us.

Slackers too. Someone’s gotta do it! Someone’s gotta take the slow road.

You can’t invent a Third Way without having two poles. In America we are relentless in our time management, in our speed. Not the vagabond.

My dream day is a hybrid splicing of the way of the professional and the way of the vagabond. You could call it the Rhythmic Way. 

(I’ll pause a moment for your rhythm method banter.)

In the Rhythmic Way . . .

You’re on, you’re off . . . . . . . . 

You’re engaged mightily, disengaged utterly . . . . . . . . 

You’re focused and flowing, relaxing . . . . . . . .

Throughout the day.

We do it already, turn ourselves off throughout the day. 

Here are just a few of the forms it takes: internet surfing, coffee breaks, office gossip, texting-sexting-TexMexting, social media, phone calls, junk snacking — 

Why not make it official like the Spanish and go for a mini-siesta for true downtime if you can?

Or do an inversion of the smoking break? A walk-about break. 

I noticed this in my corporate years: Smokers never miss their smoking breaks. No no no they don’t. We practitioners of the Rhythmic Way shouldn’t miss our breaks either.

Studies show we’re far more effective in the latter part of the day after a nap. But how many of us indulge our inner hobo and let ourselves drift off for a short sleep? 

Even when a Harvard sleep researcher has published a book demonstrating how effective naps are!

In the book Take a nap! Change your life, by Sara Mednick, Ph.D and some other guy, the authors speak at length and with compelling science about our heightened productivity after a nap.

Imagine a product that increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves perception, stamina, motor skills, and accuracy, enhances your sex life, helps you make better decisions, keeps you looking younger, aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart attack, elevates your mood, and strengthens memory. 

Now imagine that this product is nontoxic, has no dangerous side effects, and, best of all, is absolutely free. 

This miracle drug is, in fact, nothing more than the nap: the right nap at the right time.

And you know this is true as well for other well-timed breaks. 

The above-mentioned walk-about. 

Connection junctures with co-workers. 

A few minutes to pause and reflect. 

We don’t believe it so we don’t do it . . . . 

And yet our bodies demand some kind of pattern interruption after intense focus. Sneakily, our bodies get it one way or other.  

By interjecting a little Way of the Vagabond into the Way of America we can become healthier and more effective, all while becoming more relaxed. 

And muy sexier too, according to Sara Mednick. She’s a Ph.D, Harvard. Don’t take it from me, take it from science.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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Oh you sweet talkin' maker of your world
Three degrees of influence