10,000 Joys and 10,000 Sorrows: Thoughts for Tumultuous Times

This past Saturday, for me was filled with immense joy celebrating with my husband and teen daughters at Harvard-Westlake’s Homecoming.

As we connected as a community in Studio City, CA – teens at a festival in Israel were being viciously killed.

Since the eruption of violence, I’ve been contemplating a lot about the concept of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows.

The concept of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows is rooted in the Eastern philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism.

The number 10,000 is symbolic, representing the countless experiences we go through, both joyous and sorrowful. This wisdom provides a grounding perspective, especially important in entrepreneurship, which is filled with breathtaking highs and gut-wrenching lows.

It serves as a beautiful yet humbling guide for all of us, especially as we traverse the unpredictable paths of life and entrepreneurship.

A Concept to Hold Close

Imagine each joy and sorrow as a thread in a much larger tapestry, one that represents the entirety of your lived experience.

We often place so much attention on achieving milestones, as if each success stands alone.

Yet there is an intricate web that ties all our experiences together.

Seeing life through the lens of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows provides a grounding space, one that offers perspective when our worlds feel tilted one way or another.

The ongoing turmoil in Israel continues to offer a vivid example.

Entrepreneurs might be launching successful ventures, but we’re also contending with larger realities that cause pain and sorrow.

No matter how insulated we think our business lives are, the human experience doesn’t function in isolation.

We are all connected.

These global events serve as a visceral reminder that even as we toast to our victories, sorrows are woven into the fabric of our lives, too.

Applying This Wisdom to Your Life

As you celebrate new contracts, clients, or other joys in your business, it’s perfectly natural to also have days of hardship or external sorrows that you can’t control.

Embracing this balanced view can help soften the edges of your challenges and add sweetness to your victories. It’s not about eliminating sorrows, but about living fully within the contours of human experience.

Collective Resilience

Resilience isn’t about bouncing back as if nothing happened. It’s about allowing life’s challenges to shape you but not define you.

When this resilience is practiced as a community, we all become strongholds for one another. In this way, the weight of our sorrows and the height of our joys are shared, balanced, and made meaningful.

How do we move forward?

Moving Forward with Kindness and Wisdom

1. Openly Acknowledge the Balance: Hold space for the complete range of your experiences, the joys and the sorrows.

2. Maintain Tender Awareness and Connection: Allow global and personal events to inform you but not define you. When I feel out of control, I try to get out of my head and do something kind for someone else. Attend a community event, donate, connect, write, and speak. Contribute.

3. Balance Your Information Intake: You don’t need to immerse yourself in news to be well-informed.

4. Courageous Conversations: Feel encouraged to share your thoughts and feelings openly within a safe community.

5. Deep Breathing: Sometimes all we need is a moment to breathe, to be where we are, just as we are.

As you continue your entrepreneurial adventure, may you hold the ancient wisdom of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows.

It won’t necessarily make the path easier, but it will certainly make it richer. And in that richness, there’s a deep, resounding beauty that makes the whole journey worth it.

Sending you love and light as you walk your path.


CEO, Citrus Studios