So I have this friend from Kansas who refuses to take a day off.

He was born on a farm and grew up working the fields and livestock every day, without fail.

Miles and years removed from his childhood farm, Mike continues to work every day.

He told me that he cannot go to sleep unless he’s done some kind of productive work that day. He doesn’t believe in skipping a day of work, and he integrates his leisure time with his work seamlessly.

I joked with him that even the man upstairs took the seventh day off.

He laughed and said,”I know, but it’s so ingrained in me I have to do it.” he has to do at least one piece of work that will propel him forward.

I know the feeling.

Mike is successful in his work life and his home life, running several profitable businesses, enjoying a happy marriage for decades and watching his grown children start their own families.

Mike is the exception that proves the rule.

Countless other people have burned themselves out vainly trying to follow Mike’s path, devoid of his wise approach.

Mike is successful for a many reasons, here are a few:

He is extremely organized and finds time to squeeze productive time into what would otherwise be wasted time, for example working on a flight while others are watching inane sit coms.

He makes time every day for the most important areas of his life: Faith, Fitness, Family (and Friends), and Fortune

He works when he is at work, meaning he maximizes his productivity at work

He compartmentalizes his time— he doesn’t let his work interfere with the other areas of his life and times in his day.

Mike is also afraid that if he skips a day, then before he knows it, letting the important things slide will become a habit.

I admire Mike and agree with him about 99%.

The 1% difference is I have come to believe in completely “turning off, tuning in and dropping out” on a regular, planned basis. (note: Timothy Leary’s original quote was, “turn on, tune in and drop out.” By turn off, I’m referring to electronics, esp. any internet).

Rest and Recovery allow life-changing ideas and less-than-obvious answers to difficult problems incubate, percolate and integrate unconsciously only to surface to our consciousness when given the space and time.

Martial Arts wisdom tells us we cannot live at the summit, that proper preparation is essential to any endeavor and that rest is a non-negotiable component of successful living.

Life is a forever flow from one extreme to the next, evinced by the yin/yang symbol. Highs give way to lows and vice versa. Work creates the need for rest, which in turn prepares us to work harder and better.

Being able to ride these waves between extremes gracefully is a master skill to a successful life.

Our Summer Break is over, my time turning off, tuning in an dropping out has made me excited to get back to classes and to see everyone again this week.

It’s time for action.

Bring on the back half of 2015!