On the dresser in my bedroom sits one of those cheesy little wooden black word boxes that usually shout an unrelated phrase on the wall at your mother’s house like “Cats are my children” or “I love Chocolate!” I have one of these signs that my mother bought for me when I was moving into my first college apartment. It reads:
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for”
Now I think about this “box quote” quite a bit more than I probably should. And while a quote from Epicurus may be more complex than “I love you more than jelly beans” it has always stuck with me and evolved as I grew. When I was younger, I would think about “things” as material items, and thought of it as a quote to remind us to appreciate what we already have. But now that I’m older, I’m not quite sure if that’s correct.
Now as I work so hard to achieve entrepreneurial goals, time has become my most precious resource. When you are stuck chasing dreams, and all your focus goes toward future planning, it’s easy forget to appreciate the fruits of past dreams achieved. Relationships fade, people get left behind, and then all you have is all the things you worked for. The best things in life aren’t things; take the time to appreciate them.
Do you remember what you hoped for? We work hard to buy expensive high tech cell phones to aimlessly scroll though news and ads we don’t care about, when that same phone can be used to re connect with an old friend. We have nice cars, but mine mostly takes me to the same few buildings every day to toil away for hours on end. Buy all the little black box signs for your house that say “laugh more” but if you don’t want to spoil all the things you worked so hard for, you need to actually take the time out of your busy schedule to do it.
I’m chasing for more, but I already have everything I ever wanted. Now I only need to afford myself the ability to enjoy it.