This post is for Humans Only …

by Brian Ritchie

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2013 19:45
782 words · 4 minutes read

Have you ever had one of those days ?

You know, the days where you just feel like you’re brain isn’t working at its optimal pace and all you feeling like doing is curling up and sleeping. If you say no, chances are, you’re one of those super highly motivated, constantly productive, mythical beings and if you are one of those, please ping me because I’d love to learn how to not ever have those days.

For the rest of us though, my initial investigations lead me to believe that this could be brought on by one of two things :

1) Burnout

2) State of being Lethargic

Lets dig in a little deeper.


burnout brian ritchie

Burnout – Image courtesy of Paul Henman

Now when I say burnout, I don’t only mean those overworked mental or physical people who pull 15 – 18 hour days at work but also, those who, and this is important, are just tired of routine. You know, you wake up at 6 am, and get ready, head to work, have lunch, come back and read or watch tv and go to bed only to wake up the next day and repeat the entire process over and over again, ad infinitum.

The problem with either of those situations is that, its not the body that immediately gives way, but instead, the mind. The place where it matters the most. The mind starts becoming numb. It grows weary and tired because there’s very little stimulation from activities beyond the norm. This creates a sort of void per say, a vacuum where your mind just stops thinking, and NO, your work schedule and tasks or that awesome new fiction book you picked up doesn’t really count. The stimulation is not really enough to force the mind out of its state of lull.

Being Lethargic

Now being lethargic on the other hand doesn’t necessarily happen because you have a routine, but instead, happens because you don’t work the physical body enough. This is more commonly seen in the cubicle-workers and keyboard warriors of today – which tends to be most of us.

The physical body needs as much stimulation and for lack of a better word, exertion to constantly keep itself motivated and active. That 30 minute walk or jog you do on the treadmill is seldom enough to upset the rhythm of the physical self so much so that it leaps out of its state of lethergic-ness. Now, this can also sometimes be overcome if you have taken care of point one – Burnouts – because the mind is smart enough to fool the body into continuously doing what it does. In a way, its mind-control except to yourself.

Now there are definitely a few ways to curing this but you’ve got to do them when you can and fully commit to it (which again is the hard part for most of us) but I always prefer the following two because it personally has given me the most impact in my life.

1) Holidays

And by holidays, I mean take a complete break off the regular routine. Go somewhere completely different and let your mind soak in the pleasures of new sights, sounds and smells. its new information and thus jolts it back into working double hard to get out of lull. Forget about your phone or laptop or book (if that’s part of your routine) and instead just experience the world around you. Sit in a cafe and observe the millions of micro interactions around you and ponder on the infinite number of possibilities when one of those micro interactions change. Its truly a meditative moment.

2) Meditate

This brings me to my second point, meditation. Now I still haven’t fully implemented this in my life but my meditation I don’t mean sit in an awkwardly painful position or buy a ton of woo-woo stuff only to get it to work. The truest form of meditation is the ability to look back within yourself. Take time to revisit your mind, quiet it down ask yourself why and move at a pace so slow it makes glaciers envious. You can do this even while staring at your screen, heck you can do this anytime you like. Just quiet down, forget about your surroundings and just breathe. Look into the darkness of your mind and illuminate yourself.

You’ll find the two suggestions above rather simple in its form but again, let me revisit them with the emphasis that you do not do it with your default routines for vacations or meditations in place. Instead you do it with one focus and one concern only, your mind. Take care to forget everything else.