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article imageOp-Ed: Go slower to go faster

By Aron Solomon     Oct 10, 2014 in Technology
There are three things I’m going to tell you in this piece. They are fundamental to understanding your health, the health of your startup, and why things move so much faster in China.
1. Your personal health is built upon embracing the contraposition.
2. The health of your startup is the same.
3. The pace of business in China is 5 times what it is in North America, yet they remember to sometimes be still.
And now I’ll explain.
Your personal health is built upon embracing the contraposition.
I deeply believe that, absent a need for a reset (more on that in a minute), good health is about finding the midpoint between a series of many pairs of things. It is about seeking out that midpoint by first stretching the distance between two disparate things.
For example, fitness is not simply about running hard or lifting weights, it is about doing the opposite so that you achieve the midpoint. And the opposite of physical exertion is rest (so the opposite of extreme exertion would be true, complete rest). The opposite of tearing apart muscle fibers during a very productive weight training session is about allowing them to fully recover before tearing them apart again. This is critically important and far too often overlooked. It’s also not new information, as little that I’m synthesizing in this piece actually is.
Sometimes when we don’t follow these rules we find ourselves in a place where our bodies (or minds) need a full reset. For a variety of reasons (including poorly managed overtraining) I found myself using a cane a year ago (the cane itself was very stylish, may I add) with ruptured discs and arthritis. One year of body resetting through yoga and entirely new (to me) types of movement has made me today far stronger than I was a year ago and (arguably) at 50, stronger than I was at 25, even though I had been a competitive athlete until 21. 
The health of your startup is the same.
Your startup is not only a legal entity, it’s a living thing, the product of your intellectual, emotional, and often physical labor. Our inclination in the startup world is either to go, go, go, or to wait forever to act until we’re sure we’re right. The health of a startup is based on finding the midpoint between action and inaction, between do and don’t do, between execute and plan. That midpoint is where your startup finds its actual be-ing. And finding this midpoint doesn’t mean that you can't move fast. You should move fast. It just means that you’re not attempting to sprint a marathon. It’s about motion and rest, progress and re-centering, moving the needle forward while still being able to judge where forward truly is. Finding one's north means being able to embrace looking south.
The pace of business in China is 5 times what it is in North America, yet they remember to sometimes be still.
Through my many dozens of trips to the People’s Republic of China, I have always been stunned at the pace of business. Skyscrapers are built in weeks by 24 hours of building every day, each day of the week. At the same time, they overlook hutongs and people embracing customs that haven’t changed in centuries. 
The most successful businesspeople with whom I’ve worked in China (and this includes several billionaires) always remember to sometimes be still. This may be a stillness of body (daily therapeutic massage is a part of the daily routine of many people) or of mind or spirit (tai chi, meditation, calligraphy, and so very much more). Remembering to be still is the restorative foundation of the culture. It is, ironically, the rocket fuel of the business world. It is something that isn’t usually communicated to outsiders but is a talisman, a foundation of the present and an irreplaceable ingredient of the future.
One can't move fast without learning how to stop. You can't build something great without looking at what you're building in a state of repose.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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