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Live well

Not so long ago, a close friend of mine started his career with enthusiasm and carism. Knowing him since forever, I was at the same time happy for his focus onto a brilliant start and worried for noticing he was distancing himself from everyone. It's emblematic when you see yourself in others, especially when you too have struggled to find an equilibrium between work and family.

So there was I, following his start and wondering to myself, should I warn him on measuring his enthusiasm? Is that even something someone wants to hear? Should I let him learn his compass alone?

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong about enjoying your work and feeling pushed towards doing a good job. My concern was, essentially, on the wide range of intensity I was noticing. He was all in, although everything seemed perfect.

I waited for a chance to approach him, without questioning too directly his otherwise unbreakable determination. Few months later, on his 20th birthday, I saw an opportunity to send him a small letter: 

Dear friend, 
Now that we are neighbouring your 20 birthday, I thought I should write you a letter as part of the celebration.
I often mention this to you, but your mindset is amazing. Never let people say otherwise, because they probably don’t know you enough to understand all fragments that make you so single. Be careful, though as our mind can place tricks when we are too bushed off.
I see a lot of myself in you now that you are actively building up your future. The small seed you just planted by founding your first company is just a noble start, but never think you cannot make a success out of it. You have an extraordinary talent hidden in plain sight, your passion. Let is nourish your career, but don’t let it control you.
Remember to pace things down! If there is something I am deeply sad about my past, is that things were moving so fast that I didn't really realise where the true values in my life were. Don’t make the same mistake. Don’t let your passion to flabbergast you with an arrogance that ultimately would led you to isolation.
You will live very stressful situations ahead. Don’t neglect your family for work. It might sound as empty words for you now, but that is a wicked important lesson that I learnt very lately.
Never be ashamed of being sorry. You are a human being, not a robot. Learn how to empower your emotions; they are wonderful gifts you cannot outsmart. Be gentle, be polite, be you.
You will have phases. Everybody does. Sometimes you will literally be working yourself to death. Eventually, you will end up finally finding sort of a balance between pace and focus. Remind yourself of this: if everything seems too hard, you are probably thinking too much.
The best part about running your own business is the ability to set the pace yourself. Of course, and that is quite important, there are many responsibilities as well, but setting the pace makes you feel like you've got them under control.
Whatever you do, please, do it with your heart. It’s your mind that drew my attention at first, but it’s your heart that keeps me coming back to check on you. Use it. Let it guide your way. Whenever thinking gets too hard, listen to your heart.
Finally, always remember: you are a soul. You happen to be in a physical body, because the physical world needs you and you need to something whilst still here, but what you see in the mirror it is not you, it’s your body. You will ever be as old as your heart says you are. Be forever 16 if you want to. Keep your inner child alive. It’s what keeps me going on, anyway.
I wish you a Happy Birthday, my sweet friend. I am proud of having you around. Live well! 

I've omitted here some personal information irrelevant to the post. I wanted him to feel comfortable with the idea he wasn't alone in his attempts, he was cared for and loved for who he was. I reckon it reminded him to pace himself and enjoy the path. Sometimes we all need to be reminded to focus on that, too. 


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