Recently I was playing a game on my phone when my friend looked at me and shook his head.
“Hey, this is harder than it looks!” I defended myself, thinking he was challenging my video game skill.
But that wasn’t his issue.
“Whose wealth are you building right now?” he asked with a smirk.
We both laughed, but his words hit like a ton of bricks. As harmless and entertaining playing that game was, I wasn’t doing myself any favors in the long run. It certainly wasn’t moving me closer towards any of the goals I want to achieve. This cheap entertainment was more costly that I realized.
People who oppose this line of thinking are quick to spout philosophies of why it’s important to relax and take a break.
“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself,” they’ll rationalize.
But we need to be careful with that mindset. Taking a break and enjoying yourself should be an organic process — something that happens after enduring the physical and emotional labor of making forward progress. Imagine being a marathon runner; after extending yourself for miles, you deserve a well-earned rest. The problem most people have today is feeling entitled to relax before they’ve even entered the race.
Of course, not everyone wants to run the race. Some people have no desire to create anything extraordinary — they just wish to live their lives as comfortably as they can. If that’s you, you can keep enjoying yourself, there’s nothing at stake.
But if you want to achieve your goals as badly as you need to breathe, think twice about immersing yourself in a sea of entertainment. Sometimes you deserve a break, but most of the time, you’ve still got work to do.