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How to decide if you should “take the summer off”


Summer ain’t the off-season, it’s hustle time.

This one goes out to all the hustlers, dream chasers and driven individuals who are working their asses off all the way through summer in the pursuit of creating something greater than themselves. The ones who are using the summer as an opportunity to take a major step towards reaching the next level in their lives. Wake up man, summer isn’t the off-season.

It might be summer now, but winter is coming. It always does. If you decide to take the summer off, be ready for a cold winter.

Summer is a haze, it’s an seemingly endless oasis of joy and unrestrained fun where you dive from one great experience to another. It’s a two-month long weekend during which the sun is always shining. And it is definitely true, there’s a lot of magic to be found and fun to be had during summer time. The only question is whether your current circumstances allow you to jump into that oasis.

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Actually it’s quite simple… if you are not where you want to be in life right now, then don’t do it.

If you’re not making the progress you want to make and know that you will suffer during the fall and winter for the actions that you’re taking (or not taking) now, then here is a friendly reminder to get your ass to work.

While most people take the summer off to relax, travel, get wasted at festivals, recharge their batteries and other similar no-progress-making activities – you as a driven individual can perceive and use the summer as a huge opportunity to get ahead in life.

Summer creates a ‘calm’ business environment. You won’t receive as many calls and e-mails and people won’t be on your ass half as much as they usually are. So you’ll have freedom to operate and obtain a rather ‘peaceful’ state of mind which will allow you to think more creatively.

It’s not only the ideal time to figure out how you will take yourself to that next level, but also how to take serious steps towards it. If you decide to take the summer off, you are not taking advantage of this opportunity.

My grandfather and mentor once told me this story created by Jean De La Fontaine and I never forgot it: 



The Grasshopper and the Ant

The Grasshopper having sung

All the summer long,

Found herself lacking food

When the North Wind began its song.


Not a single little piece

Of fly or grub did she have to eat.

She went complaining of hunger

To the Ant’s home, her neighbour,

Begging there for a loan

Of some grain to keep herself alive

Til the next season did arrive,

“I shall pay you,” she said

“Before next August, on my word as an animal.

I’ll pay both interest and pricipal.”


The Ant was not so inclined:

this not being one of her faults.

“What did you do all summer?

Said she to the grasshopper.

“Night and day I sang,

I hope that does not displease you.”

“You sang? I will not look askance.

But now my neighbour it’s time to dance.”


Basically the grasshopper decided to take the summer off while the ant worked his ass off preparing for winter. When winter arrived, the grasshopper had to ask the ant for a loan, dying of hunger. However, the ant rebukes its idleness and tells it to dance the winter away now.

You can see how the story teaches the virtues of hard work and the perils of improvidence. How “idleness brings want”, that “to work today is to eat tomorrow” and last but not least  to “beware of winter before it comes”.

I hope this inspires you to ignite the fire within yourself to do something during summer that your future self will thank you for. Don’t be the grasshopper.

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No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.

Written by Gil F.

Gil is a Belgian based entrepreneur and author and the owner of themotivational.net