Fantastic, fantastic points right now by Bill Hybels.
First, he pointed out that if we underchallenge ourselves, we don’t grow. We need to challenge ourselves and be rigorous at that. That’s how you grow.
But if you over challenge yourself, you break down. Think of weight lifting. You stretch yourself and that causes the muscles to break down, and then the muscles regenerate and come back stronger. But if you over do it, you injure your muscle.
When we over challenge ourselves, we lose our ability to be replenished. A three-day weekend is no longer sufficient to recharge you. You could keep taking three-day weekends and it won’t help, because the issue is not that you just need some rest, but that you are over stressing and over challenging yourself.
Studies have shown that, upon trying to sustain being over challenged for too long, your performance doesn’t simply drop; it drops to negative. It doesn’t just decrease your productivity to over challenge yourself; it leads to negative productivity.
The lesson is: Work hard and challenge yourself. But maintain the discipline of replenishment, and avoid the realm of overchallenge that becomes ultimately destructive.