During my undergrad matriculation I studied Political Science. I didn’t take the traditional road like most of my peers. While my fellow females studied law and prepared for a life of litigation and appeals, I turned my attention to International Relations. But I had to be even more different than the rest of my comrades with an affinity for foreign affairs. My area of concentration was international comparative education.

I focused on the unique educational policies of different countries and studied the historical conditions that attributed to the development of said policies.

Yes, I was/am a nerd…or a genius. Whatever you want to call it, I answer to both.

In all my studies I found one thing particularly common about foreign policy with respect to education and work: other countries rest. This seems a bit of a paradox considering that other countries also tend to outrank in the productivity and career stability categories. In other places like France, Spain, Japan, and Turkey the workers not only work less than we do, but they produce more! …say what?

There’s a simple explanation – rest is assured so people can rest assured. Companies value their employees nd give them time off for family life. In fact, I’m fairly certain (though I have no proof) that the concept of work-life balance was developed in another country.

We as Americans are overworked and underpaid. Our society is designed to mill us into working for someone else’s benefit. The majority of us are prepped for birth to be the working stiffs that “keep our society running.” Another portion are destined to become the professionals – doctors, lawyers, professors, executives. While the remainder – a very select few – are coached from birth to run systems and empires.

It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way our education system was designed years ago in order to support our economic structure…and it hasn’t changed since.

So what does this tell me? America, with all its perks and pleasures still has a thing or two to learn about replenishing and rejuvenation. We still have so much we don’t understand about the mind-body-spirit connection. We still don’t know how much we don’t know about holistic economics – making money via enlightened means and the laws of giving money away (joyfully) in order to get more.

So what can be done about this?

Well, it starts with us. The small few who choose to move into a new dimension and live demonstratively. When our lives reek of success, folks are more likely to emulate us in an attempt to have what we have.

And what does that look like exactly?

1. Rest – Take a step back from your everyday hustle. Regroup often. Find 10 minutes each day to celebrate yourself and tend to your own needs.

2. Risk – If you want something you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do something you’ve never done. Take reasonable, calculated risks – and remember to go for the gold. A gamble is always a risk, but a risk doesn’t have to be a gamble.

3. Release – Share the wealth. Taking time to give to yourself every day is essential, but it’s counterproductive if you aren’t giving elsewhere. Working for someone else is not my idea of giving. Share your knowledge – teach a class, donate goods, tutor, mentor, volunteer with animals. Whatever you do, remember to do it well and do it often.

Let’s grow! Good luck and Namaste.