“All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak. A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)
Last week, I spoke of Memento Mori – the Stoic practice of remembering one’s death in order to stay motivated and focused on the important things in life. Yet, I want to make an important distinction that many people struggle with today. Although one should focus on working hard, there is a time for rest. The “hustle” mindset that pervades much of today’s entrepreneurship culture is not one that should be aspired to as the final product. The goal is not to be busy; the goal is to be useful. The aim is to be fulfilled AND free.
Do not catch yourself working harder when you could be working smarter. Oftentimes, when I am struggling to solve a problem, taking a walk or sleeping on it is just what I need to make things click. Ensure that you are taking time to become multidimensional – read books on a variety of topics, watch great works of cinema, and expose yourself to new genres of music. Practice creating. Building anything unique requires practice. A change in perspective can be a powerful tool.
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