Business of Life

The Beginning of All Wisdom


Mr. Orlov, formerly CMO of Volkswagen Group China and CEO of the RAPP global agency network, reflects on the concept of “giving time to time.” 


I recently read that people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are ultra-successful because they have cultivated the habit of reading a lot – up to 3+ hrs a day. They have made reading a way of life – constantly seeking, constantly searching, constantly feeding their minds and souls. They are giving time to time – taking the time to choose what they like to do away form the swirl of their business life and consequently they come out the other side the richer. As it turns out many people in the world have benefitted from those moments when they have been in a reflective state.

And that makes me think…

In ancient Rome, many Patrician dwellings adorned the arches to the front door with the two heads of Janus. It served to remind family and visitors, alike, of the wisdom of reflection and the promise it held over the future.

What I have learned is that the polarities of work, rest and play are actually inextricably linked and are crucial in mastering the business of life — and the life of business. Indeed, they feed off one another. The glue between them is knowing how to slow down, to gather pace. Time for oneself, or Doodle Time, is akin to a host of islands dotted all across the oceans of one’s life. How one gets to them, and what they do once there, can only be measured by what matters — and the resulting outcome.

It all seems obvious, right? Common sense, really. But, then again, I have found there is indeed nothing common about good sense. We are all often too keen to show we are very busy — when, really, being thoughtful is far more valuable as the start point.

Quality time is shapeless, and without prescription or borders. Some need utter quiet. Others, the milling crowds. But, at the center is “me” — your me time, away from technologies and the shout of life. Time to reflect, restore, refocus and balance.

Giving time to time is not a new thought. But, in the clutter and clatter of commercial whirl and busy life, it is an art. And those who have mastered Doodle Time achieve much. Careful strategies. Beautiful music. A poem that stops you. Moments captured by balance and care, as if they did not even happen.

Much will move, if you allow the stillness in.

Create your space, so that you may grow inwardly and outwardly. Pick up a pencil. Go for a walk.

Take time to know yourself — it is the beginning of all wisdom.

You will be better for it. And so, too, those whom you love — and the things that really matter.

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