A little while ago I did a video about the Seven Cornerstones of An Effortless Lifestyle – and in it, I mentioned in passing that a balanced life MUST have three components in order to thrive and progress:

  1. Rest
  2. Activity
  3. Fun

And a number of interesting conversations ensued. 🙂

So I’d like to clarify these three a little. It’ll make sense in the end, I promise.


macoy asleep
Creative Commons License photo credit: chefjancris

Why rest? Because if you’re not rested there’s no use getting active because you won’t have the energy to produce results, and you’re certainly not going to have any fun.

Also… I’m not talking about just ANY rest. It has to be a deeper brand of rest. A good night’s sleep is important, and the earlier you get it in the night, the better (think between 8pm and 5am).

But I’m talking about something that goes deeper into your mental and physical fabric, a deeper rest that cleanses the channels of thinking and emotion… so you’re ready to take on the world and more readily creative, among other things.

Some use meditation to achieve this. Others swear by some forms of napping. Others yet love forms of yoga or just plain lying down doing nothing. Depending on your personal makeup, any of these may do the trick. Just as long as you choose something and stick with it.


Universal Studios
Creative Commons License photo credit: photographerglen

And by action I don’t mean just any old action for the sake of action, a routine of sorts, anything like that.

No, I mean getting up and doing the most valuable activities you KNOW you should, could, and by golly would actually enjoy doing.

It may be that exciting report you’ve had notes kicking around for weeks, that your subscribers would really love. It might be a sales call you’ve been putting off for days, or maybe just a daily blog post if that’s part of your business.

Everything else is just dancing around the real issues and the real activity to tackle, to be honest. So make sure you’re doing the REAL work when you’re doing it. 🙂

Now, last but certainly NOT least comes FUN.

04 x10K_ IMG_0171
Creative Commons License photo credit: egor.gribanov

This is something that only YOU can determine, only you can say what is the thing that makes your heart sing and dance, makes your body feel lighter, and makes you look forward to the next moment and the next day.

You NEED that (en)lightening activity. And you can’t fool yourself either and go along with some friends to do something only they consider as fun.

If playing with your kids is fun to you, do it. If a leisurely game of golf does it for you, make time for it. If seeing a movie changes perspective for you, by all means strap on those 3D glasses.

Because believe it or not…

Warning: Do Not Omit Any Of The Three!

Here’s the thing to remember, and why this is SO important on a very practical level.

If you leave out deep rest… you won’t have the energy to get results from activity or to have much fun either. So you need to take care of that. All part of that healthy, wealthy and wise thing.

If you leave out activity… Pretty soon you’ll feel like a slacker because you’re rested and having fun… but lacking that deeper satisfaction that comes from doing your REAL work that helps people and brings out the best in you.

If you leave out fun… what happens is you tighten up inside if you don’t have that sense of fun in your life.  Without any guilt whatsoever, find that something that is fun… for YOU.

You might be surprised how common this is in my native Finland. Most people here have that insane work ethic, don’t really rest… and typically use alcohol to take care of both rest and fun, I guess. 🙂

I remember a couple of decades ago when I was still a university student, I was talking to a visiting American student. He was asking about the various things we were doing, and then came the kicker:


I was left gasping for air, it felt like such a strange question. Aren’t you supposed to just have fun by default… or as a side effect of something you enjoy?  Well, Americans have a way of turning just about anything into a party, so I soon learned the importance of having fun on purpose. 😉

Okay. That’s it for today’s rant.

Just remember – if you feel like your life is going ‘off the rails’ even in the slightest, it might be a good idea to revisit these simple three principles and see that they’re evenly balanced in your life. You’ll be much, much happier and more fulfilled for it! Oh, and richer too.

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Comments to: The Productivity Trifecta
  • July 24, 2011

    It’s just amazing how you can be some much more productive if you have your basic needs filled.
    And yes, everybody has their needs even if they like their job. Anyway the gap between real FUN/SATISFACTION and your JOB is the key.

    Huge gap means huge hangover.

  • July 25, 2011

    “Huge gap means huge hangover.” – haha, well put. 🙂

    And yes, satisfaction is a big key here… as the old adage goes, “if you can’t do what you love, at least love what you do” and then you can go forth and win…

  • August 2, 2011

    What rest and fun is concerned, on my Travel Lifestyle Blog
    I have the book: ‘The Lazy Way to Success’ as recommended travel reading, because it clearly recognises the importance of both rest and fun. (You can find a link to it on my Home Business Lifestyle Blog, just above the Orange ‘Current Home Business Lifestyle Posts’-divider.)
    Btw. on the Travel Lifestyle Blog, I also recently wrote a post about the Apple iPhone, so if you happen to have funny stories about your iPhone feel free to write your comments.

  • October 22, 2011

    Fun and rest? What’s that??? LOL

    I don’t think I can even relax and enjoy myself any longer; keep writing blog posts in my head…

  • October 22, 2011

    Heh, I can relate to not being able to turn ‘it’ off… especially when it’s something you love to do. As far as exhaustion goes, it’s the better kind 😉

    Eventually though, I think you need all three to keep not only yourself satisfied but the readers as well…

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