“We must forgo a hard winter training and not rush into things for which we haven’t prepared.” – Epictetus, Discourses, 1.2.32
Sometimes I read my Daily Stoic and I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. That is the case for this one (for September 3rd). It really took just having it in the back of my mind for the day to get what it meant: You can not just work for a short period of time and expect the same results as from continuous efforts.
The example the book uses is LeBron James. Just because he is “off for the summer” does not mean he is not still training. “He uses it to work on other aspects of the game”. Another example is that the military does not only train during certain times of the day or year. The military trains day and night, in preparation for war. Who knows when the war will be, but the soldiers will be ready for it and will not stop until it is over.
If you actually think about it, that logic applies to anything: working for that summer body? You cannot train until the summer and then stop. By the end of summer, you will be back where you started. You can not only work some of the time to achieve your goals. You have to work all of the time. We won’t be ready for the battle if we only train when it is convenient; when it is sunny and the weather is comfortable.
There is no time off. You cannot spend all week working out and eating right and then sit around watching Netflix all weekend and ordering take out. You cannot do “no-buy” days all week and then come the weekend blow all your money on a trip to the mall with friends. If we work at our goals every day, all day, we will be ready for whatever life throws at us and be able to keep going until a situation is handled.
Anything worth anything requires constant work: relationships, jobs, fitness, finances.