A few days ago I was having dinner with a group of friends and I was stuck by something my friend said. She’s a PA (physician’s assistant) and it was her Friday, but she was late meeting up with the group. She explained that she had gotten caught up with some administrative work that just took longer than expected but I could tell there might be something else. Later in the conversation, and this is what struck me, “I just have a hard time turning it off with certain patients.”

It’s totally understandable, especially in the medical field where truly someone’s life is in your hands. It must be difficult to switch over to dinner with friends or enjoying the weekend. As I started to think about it some more, I kept running into other examples of people that had trouble turning it off. Then I realized, I have trouble turning it off too.

The Grind is a funny thing. No matter who we are or how far along in our own personal “grinds” we are, it can be difficult to remove yourself, even when it’s necessary.

Necessary? Wait, what? Haven’t we been preaching that the Grind is 100%, in the moment, at all times? Well yes and no.

Yes, when it’s grind time and you’re in the moment, you should 100% clear focus and intent on whatever your activity is. A clear mind and focused intention is required to produce exceptional quality in your works, whatever they may be. But, can one be too focused? Of course.

I’m not going to sit here on my high horse and preach about being perfect. That’s not even close to anything true about myself. In fact, in writing this very blog, I learn and realize things about my own Grind that honestly, aren’t up to par. None of us are perfect. Perfection isn’t even an attainable goal. So why try and pretend? Why do some of us keep pushing and pushing until we’ve pushed ourselves into a rut? Because we don’t know how to turn it off.

It’s an important lesson and one that many people struggle with, primarily, because it’s not an easy thing to do. When your goals are important to you and you’ve set a level of expectations for yourself, it can be difficult to step away. But we all need to find a way. Find a way to take a step back, take a deep breath, and let go of the pressures of the Grind.

Ever had that feeling coming back from a nice relaxing vacation? You feel at peace, your batteries are charged, your mind is calm and you’re centered. That feeling is important. That inner calmness reaffirms your direction and stokes the flames of desire and intention, just in a more calm way.

So how do we work on turning it off? What’s the answer? It’s going to be different for everyone, but we all have to find that mechanism that works for us to bring us back to balance.

Mine, the daily dog park trip with my pup Little Bear. There’s just something about it that let’s me let go. I think it’s because in even thinking about going to the dog park, I have to be unselfish. It’s Little Bear’s time, not mine. And because he doesn’t understand the worries of the world, or what pressures are weighing heavy on his poppa, he can enjoy every minute of the park. When I see how happy it makes him, all my troubles and worries melt away. For that 30 minutes to an hour, I get to enjoy playing with my dog and not have to worry. Sometimes, there are pressing matters and all we get is a few minutes, but still, it’s enough to take the edge off.

There are other’s as well. My favorite hiking trail is a good change up from the dog park or a long drive or even just watching the sunset. It doesn’t matter what you do to let go, as long as you find your happy place.

Life is a grind in and of itself. Take that Grinder mentality into everyday to chase your dreams and passions, but don’t forget it’s ok to be human once in a while. Even Superman takes of his cape sometimes. Let it go, then pick it back up and run like hell with it.

Grind On.