The poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: “And the night shall be filled with music, and the cares, that infest the day, shall fold their tents like the Arabs, and silently steal away.” The picture that this quote paints is of a star-filled sky with the sound of soft music filling the air while we each pause and allow the cares of the day to not overwhelm us.
Business is not for the Fainthearted
Business is tough, it’s a warzone. For this reason I would encourage you to ensure that you create the space in your business life for moments of music, or reading, or just reflection.
In your business life you will quickly realise that there will always be a next thing to do and your mind will keep jumping to what needs to get done. However, its important to realize that to be truly effective we need to take moments to pause.
Our minds need to rest. Our bodies need to rest. It is imperative you allow yourself to do that which you also enjoy and just ‘to be’ rather than ‘to do’. I would go as far as saying that pausing is essential to living.
Are you Reflecting?
As you rest, take the time to reflect. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” These famous words by the philosopher Socrates should give us pause.
Margaret J. Wheatley said “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” Take time during your break to think about what is important, to revisit the set points in your life and to ask yourself: “Am I busy with the right things or am I just busy? Am I building something great for future generations or am I just on a treadmill going around in circles? What is the legacy that I am leaving for my children and my grandchildren?”
A Business Secret
The marketplace is about winning ground, much the same as it is with a game of football. Here’s a great secret, effectively used by President Obama, that you can win much ground in business without any finances, just contrive how to win with words fitly spoken.
You will earn great respect by being a good communicator, it’s one of the most effective tools in commerce, but rarely used to its maximum potential. The bad news is that you will not develop the gift of utterance unless you have at least put in sufficient time to pause and reflect on the issues of life.
The most effective way of communicating is with short sentences or proverbs, which would be more easily understood and recalled than long and laboured discourses. Summarizing long narratives into short sentences requires thought, which by implication requires reflection.
Advice from Scripture
Indeed, in Psalm 46:10, we read God’s challenge to us: “Be still, and know that I am God.” We are commanded to be still. We are also challenged to reflect – to know that God is God and He is still in control, that He is the ruler of the Universe, yet still loves each one of us and carries us in His arms.
We would be wise to remember that God has created us to do good works, but that the world is in His hands and not our own. We are exhorted to think about bigger things in the midst of our pausing. As we pause and rest in God and who He is working through us, we are then more able to reflect Him in our lives and to those we share our life with.
About the Author: Dr Alan Louis is a third generation entrepreneur in a family with a 100-year business history. He devoted his life to Christianity as a child. Awarded a PhD in Commerce, is an Ultra Ironman Triathlete Gold medallist and was inducted in the IBC Hall of Fame for entrepreneurship. Internationally he has served on more than 100 private corporate boards, and has experienced the trials and successes of commerce for 3 decades.