What keeps you awake at night? For some it is poor health, others it is errant children, while there are some homeowners who live in such insecure areas they are unable to catch even a wink of sleep at night.
This reminds me of a feature I read a couple of years back regarding people who had been forced to abandon their homes and rent in more secure areas due to frequent robberies. I would imagine they spent the night seated, eyes wide awake with terror, wondering whether the thugs would strike that night.
Many others are kept awake by lack of money, which is tied to lack of a source of income, spiralling to lack of food, rent and school fees. There are also those that are robbed of sleep by impending exams, or a make-or-break interview.
And then there are those whose jobs keep them awake, demanding jobs that seem to run on not only their sweat, but their blood too. When they do manage to go to sleep, they dream of spreadsheets, and when they wake up at 4am the next day, the first thing they do is rehearse the morning presentation in their head over and over again. And that is the irony of life right there – a job can keep you up at night, and lack of one can also keep you up at night.
In almost all the interviews I have read of successful business people and captains of industry, all talk of sleeping few hours a night, way less than the eight hours experts recommend.
They talk of going to bed at 11pm and getting up at 4am in readiness for their first meeting of the day, which is normally at 6am when most of the country is just beginning to stir – the message is that you cannot be successful or ‘make it’ in life if you spend too much time sleeping.
And yet there are those who get the eight hours of sleep and more and have ‘made it’, which suggests that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
But I digress. Once in a while, what the future holds keeps me awake when I go to bed at night. My dream is to become financially independent, to never have to worry about money, to be secure in the knowledge that I will never have to agonise about what I will eat the next day, wear, or whether I will have a roof over my head or not.
Sometimes I even wish that it were possible to have a glimpse of the future, what lies in store for me in the next five years, but then I think about it and it occurs to me that this knowledge might trigger more sleepless nights. It is best to focus your energy on the present and leave the future where it belongs – in the future.
If we all wrote down what deprives us of sleep at night, the list would probably be inexhaustible because what troubles me is not what disturbs the next person. While all these fears may be warranted, some we can do little about, all we can do is give our best shot and trust that the outcome of our genuine effort will favour us.
That is why I have decided to do all it takes to stop mulling over what the future has in store for me, I will simply do my part and trust that the rest will fall in place.