Think, wait, fast

Some days ago, I fin­ished Siddharta by Herman Hesse, a very strange and com­pelling book that imme­di­ate­ly jumped into my life chang­ing shelf of my library. One par­tic­u­lar pas­sage in this book hit me with the veloc­i­ty of a full-speed train :

Everyone can per­form mag­ic, every­one can reach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.
Herman Hesse — Siddharta

In this small excerpt of the book, Siddharta explains that every man needs to learn how to fast. Because when you face hunger, when you miss some­thing, being in a state where you wait for it might lead you to make a lot of bad choic­es. This res­onat­ed a lot with me as, being sub­ject to anx­i­ety from time to time, I have made sev­er­al deci­sions in my past based only on fear of the future, the unknown, the loneliness, …

And I’m always sur­prised by how I could react, post­pone things, deci­sions, ideas, based sole­ly on those fears, those pan­ics moments. I’ve bit­ter­ly regret­ted some of those choic­es, while some very rare turned out to be not so bad. Looking back­ward, none of those deci­sions ever led me to some­thing good.

In fact, the only deci­sions I took that I con­sid­er now to be good deci­sions (and even life chang­ing one), were all done in times where I wasn’t feel­ing a par­tic­u­lar need, being it finan­cial, sen­ti­men­tal, social. In this, I rec­og­nize Siddharta’s teach­ing when he says that learn­ing to fast is the most use­ful thing a man can do.

And while it’s real­ly hard not to take hasty deci­sions when I’m going through a pan­ic attack, I now know that, for my own good, it’s bet­ter that I post­pone the deci­sions to the next morn­ing / week. But it’s some­thing real­ly hard nowa­days, when peo­ple are always in a hur­ry. In times like this, when you’re pres­sured to take a deci­sion, it’s just good to remem­ber that you can always take time. If it’s not a life threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion, it can wait.


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Simon Vandereecken

Freelance UX Designer living in Brussels (Belgium), with a deep interest into philosophy, personal growth, self improvement, books, music, ... well in many things ! I use this website to write thoughts going through my head as well as ideas, observations and reading notes. Feel free to get in touch ;)