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Building your empire by not doing

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We create a busy circle around us, always moving, always doing…but doing what? There never seems to be enough time to do what ever is required in our day. At times, we might also have so much to do, we don’t even know where to begin. It is a constant from the moment we wake and by the time we go to bed, we are not sure what we have accomplished but we must have done something…right?

Doing, does not always mean accomplishing. We create an atmosphere of doing but if we are doing, have we dedicated time to build? There is so much to do and there is always one more email, one more phone call or one more task that is to be done. To take idle time is a waste because I could have done one more thing in that span of time. A while ago, at a leadership talk, someone said something profound. “If you are always doing and moving, when do you take the time to build?” How do you know it is the right path and direction if you have not taken the time to put your head up to see if you are still on the right path?

This reminds me of a piece I read by Marcus Aurelius, former Emperor of Rome in his book ‘Meditations’. I his book he said that there were three key pieces that allow us to move forward with far greater depth and meaning. He said that to accomplish those important things in life we need to find moments of serenity, search for the lived truth and the best imagined life.
– Moments of serenity – no matter how busy our life is, we need to take a moment at the beginning or end of each day to reflect on what was important. It is by reflecting, we understand the bigger perspective of what we are striving towards.
– Search for the lived truth – find the people that you respect and admire and what is it about them that you appreciate and pull that into your life. You don’t want to be them, but you want to blend it with you to make the best possible you.
– The imagined best life – now take the moments of serenity and the people you respect and admire and pull it together to vision where you will be 1 year, 5 year 10 years out. The foundations you have laid will help direct you to where you have to be.

Pulling these three concepts together involve reflection, appreciation and focus. Words that allow you to slow down to understand what you are doing and building. Now, my own life is deemed busy; however, if Marcus Aurelius, as Emperor of Rome, was able to do all three of these while fighting military campaigns, extending his empire and running an administration, I am sure I can find time for these three concepts. By doing this, you able to build out your own little empire!


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