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LOADED THOUGHTS, EMPTY LIFE......originally appeared in frankly speaking


So it was another morning last Monday and I was out early that morning. And as I scouted around the beautiful city of Lagos, I paid attention to very many people on their way to work. Many were by the roadside waiting to board a vehicle, many were in commercial buses and taxi cabs, some were in their company buses and very many were in private cars all on their way to work or place of business.

I paid attention to all these people, I peered at their faces and observed their body language and believe me, it wasn't an encouraging observation. Nearly everyone looked very tired and unhappy.

Though it was the start of a brand new working week, everyone looked very tired and overworked. No one appeared excited, motivated, inspired or happy to be on their way to work. Nearly everyone looked very tired. Some were even asleep in the cars and the ones awake were lost in thought and had this worried and distressed expression on their faces.

Lagos, a beautiful contemporary city of style, class and taste with great aquatic splendour, strong enough to inspire anyone; but the residents didn't look inspired, motivated or happy to live in such a wonderful city last Monday morning. Most people looked very tired, stressed and uninspired.

Tired on a Monday morning? Why? Why are we tired after a weekend? Hmmn.

This got me thinking and I figured many may perhaps be tired because they are working very hard, most people are working non-stop, most people are working round the clock, but the big question is where is the result of this hard work, where is the evidence?

I think the reason many of us are working so hard and have nothing impressive to show for it is because we are working hard but working wrong.

We're using the right energy for the wrong purpose hence, we lack
impressive returns.

You see, beyond our individual lives that may not reflect results reflecting the enormity of our hard work, our corporate existence also in terms of structures, processes, institutions, public service, business management and public administration are also not fantastic nation-wide. Most companies, institutions, business and infrastructure management is way behind compared to even some other African countries. Banking, transportation, immigration, aviation, hospitality, environment, security and even commerce - there's frustration everywhere. So how come people are so hardworking yet nothing is working well? Hmm

Truth is, ladies and gentlemen, our hard work appears to be a futile one and we are mostly working wrong.

Many days ago, I wanted to be sure which was more tiring, physical work or mental work, so I researched and discovered that mental work is more tiring than physical work. Mental exertion is more tiring than physical exertion. And the reason is simple. It is possible to pause, and rest or completely stop physical exertion and refrain from work when you choose to. You can decide to stop the physical activity and rest, you can sit for a while, lie down for a while and take positions that will offer your body the needed rest. However, when your mind is working; when serious thinking is on-going, the likelihood that your emotions would connect with your thought is high because your mind, will and emotions are all located within your soul. So your emotions mix with your thoughts, when this happens, even when you're mentally tired, you lack the power or capacity to stop thinking because of the emotions. No matter how hard you try to stop thinking about an issue, your mind will still find its way back to it if that matter is very important. This is the reason why mental work is more tiring than physical work, it's hard to stop working mentally no matter how tired you are but it's easy to stop physical work once you've had enough.

Now the reality is, mental work leads to virtual productivity but it is physical work that brings about physical productivity. Whatever your mind develops is invisible, unless and until it's physically applied, created or implemented, it cannot benefit anyone.

In my opinion, many of us are mentally industrious but lack physical productivity, that's why we're so tired yet there's no physical evidence of our hard work.

The second important problem is what our mind is busy working at. Many of us think so hard for a very long time everyday not on productive matters or creativity tasks or problem solving but on fearful and depressing situations.

Our minds are working so hard, processing matters of fear, insecurity, anger, suspicion, regret, self-pity, offence, envy, strife and uncertainty of the future.

Our minds are so busy with over thinking, over analysis and over processing of troubles, problems and crisis we fear may occur in the near future.

Many of us are tired, not because of physical work but because our minds are loaded with unending worries, our minds are working non-stop it's so
hard to get our physical bodies to do anything useful, hence we're tired and drained of energy even on a Monday morning yet, have nothing to show for out fatigue, no productivity. Am I talking to someone this morning?

Analysis paralysis, over thinking, many of us dwell for hours on these issues and the following thoughts, what will my boss do to me today, he is so wicked and insensitive, what's my employer planning to do with me, will he pay salaries this month, what is my client thinking, hope they won't end the contract based on how the economy is, what's the plan of this my desperate colleague, what can be his next mischievous move, I
need to be a step ahead of him or her, will I be promoted this year, this my oga may not recommend me o, ha, I've not sent money to my parents for some time now, I don't even have enough for myself, they must really be mad at me now, what sort of child am I, it's not even mid-month yet and my salary is almost finished, how will I survive till month end, no one will lend me money, I hear they're planning
retrenchment in our office, I pray my name don't make the list o, what will I do, I'll just die, this my husband that has suddenly pass worded
his phone, what is he up to now, who is that person he's always chatting with and smiling, is he cheating on me, I must find out, my wife is suddenly fond of her boss and they're now spending more time together in the name of work, is anything fishy going on, I must know, Oh, a new session is about to begin, how will I pay school fees, the rent is about to expire, how will I pay rent, my car has become very problematic it keeps disgracing me, when will I have the money to replace it.

Over thinking, worry, worry, worry, we become so tired and we really can't tell why.

Ask yourself this question and be sincere, how many things do you really do physically in a day? How really physically productive are you, are you working physically every hour back to back? So why are you always very tired? Is it a case of mental exertion on matters that don't produce nothing? Worry is extreme hard work, you just don't realise, that's why most of the day you're sitting in one spot yet you're so tired.

Ladies and gentlemen, to convert your mental labour to productivity, take your mind off what could be, take your mind off situations and events that are negative and scary, and focus on daily to dos, not daily to worry.

List the things you want to do every day and go ahead and do them. Ask yourself, what am I doing today, List them and do them. When you become physically involved in work, worry is mitigated. Throw yourself into physical productivity by being deliberate with physical work and your mental fatigue will cease to be an issue. In fact you will become happier.

Ladies and gentlemen, beyond hard work, become productive.

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Last modified on Saturday, 29 October 2016 15:42

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