[OUTLOOK]The cure for life’s spring feverIt’s April. But your whole body is heavy and weary like a cotton ball soaked in water. You’re tired for no reason and feel drowsy all the time. You’ve got spring fever.
The main reason for spring fever is the inability of our biological rhythms to adapt to seasonal changes. Perhaps it is because of the sudden change in weather with no adjustment period after a long cold season, but the spring fever this year is worse than previous years.
Nevertheless, spring fever is bound to fade with time. The real problem is the spring fever of life. We catch spring fever when we feel tired of life itself, or rather when we struggle as if we were stuck in a swamp, because we can’t adjust to the fast changes of life. How can we get over it?
First, there is the Bill Gates method. The best cure for spring fever is lots of sleep, and it is no different to cure life’s spring fever. You need to concentrate on one thing.
As if going by “Hwang’s Theory (Hwang Chang-gyu of Samsung)” that the capacity of very large-scale integrated memory circuits of semiconductors multiplies by two each year, Bill Gates goes to a place where he won’t be interrupted by anyone twice a year, and works to find and open a new way for survival in this fast-changing information technology world.
There he spends time completely by himself and concentrates on his work. He can read through over 100 reports in a week and produce fresh new ideas. Bill Gates calls this his “Think Week” ― his way of getting over lasting spring fever.
To put it the other way around, the spring fever of life itself is a struggle to adapt to change. In order to adapt to change, and, furthermore, to become the master of change yourself, you need to stop being swept around by the waves of change, but rather submerge yourself in the middle of the change and feel it with your whole body. Only then can you understand what the change is and open a future for yourself by counteracting it ― like Bill Gates does.
Secondly, taking a walk is good for spring fever, especially on spring days like these. The ground has finally defrosted after a long freezing winter, and it almost feels as if the ground is pulling you in.
Spring cleanly decomposes all traces of the last season, such as fallen leaves. This makes the land fertile. They say the word “humus,” meaning fertile land, and “humility” have the same word origin. Perhaps that is why walking on fertile land makes us feel humble.
Steve Donahue, who is the author of “Six Rules of Desert Travel,” was crossing the desert in a car when one wheel got stuck in a sand pit leaving it unable to move. How did he get out of this situation? He let some air out of the wheel that was stuck and stepped on the accelerator.
It is the same in life. When you feel exhausted and tired, as if you are stuck in a sand pit, try letting a little air out of your pride and become a little humble.
Then, step on the accelerator again. This will definitely free you. A little less pride and some humility can bring many new chances in life.
Thirdly, you need to take vitamins for spring fever, especially B1 and C. The same goes for the spring fever of life. The life’s vitamin B1 is “Be Yourself!” The 75th anniversary special supplement of “Fortune” magazine carried an article on Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of General Electric. He said the motto that made him who he is today was “Be yourself.” What could have more power and energy than telling someone, “Be yourself” instead of imitating what others do?
The vitamin C of life is “challenge.” A challenge is something that pierces your tired soul, finds a vein of gold and a bonanza. Billionaire Steve Fossett’s attempt to fly nonstop around the globe without refueling by himself at the age of 60 was a challenge. Mr. Fossett is a billionaire, but he is also a billionaire in life experience. There is no such thing as spring fever of life in his dictionary. That is because he continuously challenges himself.
Now then! Let’s concentrate ourselves. Let’s learn humility and let a little air out of our pride. Let’s challenge ourselves once again.
These are probably the small secrets to getting over life’s spring fever and becoming a true winner.
* The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Chung Jin-hong