Running with Both Legs

I have a lot of respect for the wisdom that Rumi has shared with the world, but believe he is only about half-right on his piece “The Real Work” included in this post.

Focusing on the “one thing you must do” will lead to a life that is out of balance, and that is likely to lead to heartache.

Many great men achieve amazing things doing what they love but find they are still unhappy due to neglecting who they love (or could love) had they invested more time in that area.

Having one without the other is like trying to run with only one leg.

I believe that a man is much more likely to find lasting happiness and inner peace when he maintains a balance between doing what he was born to do and creating and maintaining strong loving relationships.

With Love,


The Real Work

There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about; but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.

It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It’s a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.

You say, “But look, I’m using the dagger. It’s not lying idle.” Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny, an iron nail could be bought to serve the purpose. You say, “But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and all the rest.”

But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself.

Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give your life to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don’t, you will be exactly like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You’ll be wasting valuable keenness and foolishly ignoring your dignity and your purpose.

About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in Action, Authentic Living, Believe, Choices, Family, Friendship, Joy & Happiness, LIfe Lessons, My Beliefs, Observations, Success, Talent, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Running with Both Legs

  1. Mrs. P says:

    I agree with you that one needs balance in life. I have always worked for purpose and meaning. In doing so, I neglected family and friends. It took a long time and a real change in lifestyle to achieve a balance of purpose and everything else. The result is that I am far happier than I was when I was solely purpose driven.

  2. To be honest Russ I re-read what ‘The Real Work’ and while I understood a bit I think I have missed exactly what he was saying… Usually I can pick up …but not quite this.. Diane

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Diane. I believe he was saying or trying to say that it is important for everyone to find our own best purpose or best use in life. To find what we are uniquely suited to do or very well suited to do. To not use rather than waste one’s talent. To do the work each of us is born to do based on our innate abilities. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

  3. linda says:

    I agree with you Russ, a church minister once preached…. Yesterday’s failure was part of yesterday. The beauty of the Christian life is that by the grace of God he will lead us into triumph in Christ, if we allow Him. Learn from the past , but invest in the future.
    Perhaps your talents have been dormant for many years. They were God ‘s deposits in your personal account. My challenge to you is to lose your loser’s limp, God has a new day waiting for you……….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s