As an entrepreneur, I am called upon to divide my attention among many different tasks. In an effort not to become overwhelmed, or the candidate for a triple bypass, I have found the key to making my life (professional and personal) a whole lot more productive and enjoyable.
I delegate. Over the years I have accrued a team of professionals who I can call at a moment’s notice. I find I actually am more financially fluid since I have been delegating, because I can take in more work while remaining confident that it will get done well and on time. And I can concentrate on projects that I am really good at, which are, as it turns out, tasks that I really enjoy.
As an added bonus, all this delegating allows me the luxury of setting aside time to contemplate. I find some of my best ideas emerge after moments of contemplation. I suppose everyone has some form of this kind of relaxed focused attention. And if you don’t, I highly suggest you do.
I was curious what the act of contemplation meant to others so I did a little searching and found two very different points of view (in the form of quotes) on this topic:
“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.”—Edgar Allan Poe quotes (American short-story Writer, Editor, Poet and Critic, 1809-1849)
“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.”—Chamfort quotes (French playwright, 1741-1794)
While I agree with Chamfort that we should “think less” I disagree with his apparent assessment that contemplation involves “thinking.” Instead, I take contemplation to mean a “thoughtful consideration.” How this is different from thinking (and I think Edgar Allan Poe would agree) is that “thoughtful consideration” is looking at an idea from 360 degrees while remaining detached from the outcome.
“Thinking,” on the other hand, is a subjective experience, which puts a majority (if not all) of the focus on me and how am I going to figure out this problem that is about me, and how will it affect me.
Sounds good. But, after reading a little bit more about Chamfort, I discovered he was known for his biting satire. And since satire is known for its contradictory messages, it caused me to reread the quote I had judged so swiftly.
Personally, I love to have my ideas and concepts challenged. It helps me to remain fluid creatively so that I remain open to inspiring ideas. At the same time, when we challenge concepts brought forth by others, we can create a healthy dialogue based on respect. From here collaborations and networks can be formed.
So, perhaps I jumped to conclusions about this celebrated French playwright. Somehow I believe he contemplates far more than a single quote may reveal. This is precisely the kind of situation that deserves thoughtful consideration. Nothing is as it appears … or is it?