Renewal and Recovery is as Important as Hard Work

I would like to tell you a story about someone I know.

Without being aware of it, my friend Mr Ron Hard was living a highly linear life.

He worked long hours, rarely shutting down even when he got home. He was relentlessly spending mental energy answering calls and text messages, without getting much needed recovery time.

This gradual build up of fatigue prompted anxiety, irritability and sometimes self-doubt.

He had very few positive sources of emotional renewal, even from his primary relationships.

In the language of sports, Mr Hard was overtraining mentally and emotionally and undertraining physically and spiritually. As he expended precious little energy in activity and exercise, he had lost endurance, strength and resilience. Because he had grown disconnected from deeply held values or a sense of purpose, the spiritual dimension represented a flatline in his life – a potential source of energy that has not been cultivated.

Mr Hard is not so different from most of us.

These choices he was making are so socially sanctioned and even promoted by the very company (and world) he lives in. We live in a world that celebrates work and activity and ignores renewal and recovery.

We fail to recognise that both are equally necessary for sustained high performance.

Please take a moment to ponder… Is this the kind of culture we want to create in our company?


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Invoking the Big Questions

It is my desire to invoke questions in each of you about the meaning(s) of life in the Gems of Wisdom blog.

Seek the truth, as the truth shall set you free!
Today’s ‘Gem’…

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.:

“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd


I just recently learned that the Chinese word for ‘busy’ consists of two parts…

One part symbolises the human heart and the other part symbolises death.

The meaning that we can extrapolate from this is that when one is excessively busy, our heart becomes dead.

Contrary to this, society today praises the person who is very busy. When we are asked, “Are you busy?”, we are most likely to answer, “Yes”, even if it is not true.

We associate being busy with success; not-so-busy people are not successful. In reality, we find there are plenty of people who are very busy, but going nowhere.

Being ‘busy’ is not always a virtue, but it often means the heart is being neglected.

Take time to ponder…

Your daily Gems of Wisdom is meant to stir you to rethink who you are.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Spend Your Time and Energy Wisely

Welcome to my Gems of Wisdom blog, where I aim to bring back a little bit of reflection time into our busy lives. The Gems of Wisdom is about taking the time to ponder and readdress what is truly important; about taking the time to realise who we are and what we are doing with our lives amidst all of our hustling and bustling around.

We live in a world of digital time. We need to rush just to get through our hectic days. We celebrate and can’t wait for the week to end, thanking God it’s Friday (TGIF!). We quickly react rather than reflect.

We skim across the surface and pretend that we can listen while simultaneously answering our text messages.

We have brief moments (at dozens of destinations), but we rarely remain in one place long enough to get to know people. We race through our lives without pausing to consider who we really want to be or where we really want to go.

We are wired up with cell phones and the latest gadgets but yet we are melting down. Most of us are trying to do our best, but our best is never enough. There is always a strong demand that exceeds our capacity.

We try to survive on too little sleep thinking that this is the way of life; sleep seemingly gets in the way. We wolf down fast food and fuel up with coffee and many of us cool ourselves down with alcohol and sleeping pills afterwards.

Faced with so many challenges and demands at work, we become short-tempered and easily distracted. We return home from long hours of work feeling exhausted and we often experience our family not as a source of joy, but as another demand in an already over-burdened life.

Is this the life we want?

Please take a moment to ponder…

“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.”
– ‘The Power of Full Engagement’, Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skilful management of our energy.

Spend your energy wisely!

Wishing you all the best always.


Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd