I won't bore you with overstated comments like "seize the moment", "do it now" or "don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today." Instead, I will fast-forward past the cliches, and cut straight to the chase:TIME IS NOT CHEAP. It has a very high price tag. It's so valuable that you can't argue that each moment is unique and irreplaceable. It's value, if not captured and invested, is lost forever. Not one minute can ever be brought back to it's original existence.
So, what does that mean in the scope of things? What does it mean in the scope of life, and life plans, and our very existences? Well, probably nothing that you haven't heard before, except that since time has such a high price tag, wouldn't it make sense to stop trying to get it at a bargain, and start thinking of it as the most precious thing we own? I wrote a poem that may explain just what I mean:
"The Man Who Tried To Buy Some Time"
There was a man who went to buy some time,
He had wasted much, you see.
He wanted to bargain for more of it, to see if that could be.
But Father Time said, "Sorry, my son, your days have passed,
So valuable they were then."
The old man said, "Yes, sir, now I know, but I'd like to try again."
Begging, he said, "Let me buy some time, just a little more, sir, please!"
Old Father Time responded, "When time is spent, it is rendered gone.
You spent too much at ease.
No price you'd pay can buy you more,
So now, with little left, do what you can."
The man just sat and waited, holding that little time in his hands,
And let even that slip away, and died a regretful man.
The moral is: When time is abundant, spend it wisely. It is sure to tell,
While others may theirs linger and lose, your time has paid you well!
Time is one of the most valuable of all our assets, and the most perishable. We use it, or lose it.
Here are a few FOXOLOGY tips to help you see it's value:
1. The more time you devote to something, work, relationships, success or whatever, the more productivity, effectiveness and satisfaction that will come to you as a return on your time investment. YOU WILL REAP WHAT YOU SOW. It's true. I didn't make that one up.
2. When you pay for your time with procrastination, waiting, slothfulness, lack of ambition and idleness, remember you just paid for it with your life. Can you afford that? Try maximizing by first of all, PAYING attention. Pay attention to ALL the things that are really most important, especially to and for yourself. When you invest time in yourself, you will wake up one morning and discover that you are a pretty incredible commodity
3. STOP THE THIEVES! Is something or someone stealing your time? Is your life full of little time embezzlers? I am talking about the people, circumstances and situations that are taking, without the right or permission, your valuable time resources? Are they stealing the valuable inner resources that help you to stay well-balanced, on-task and sane? Stop NOW, and give yourself and the people who really matter PRIORITY STATUS! Everyone else has to wait a minute, or an hour, or a day, OR forever, or find someone else to steal from!
4. PAY A HIGHER TIME PRICE to reach your goals. Why not take a risk? When big dreams come to fruition, they usually pay us BIGGER dividends for the time we have invested.
5. Here is a concept worth considering: there are three types of time commodities we can learn from, the "goods", the "bads" and the "uglies." The "goods" are the things you have going for yourself, the time you spent making yourself more valuable, i.e., education, skills, training, experience, talent, creativity, etc. These are the "gains", obvious signs of wise time investments. BUT DON'T STOP THERE. Spend and invest even more time making yourself even better at whatever it is you do!
6. Then there are the "bads." These are the things you invest your time in that give you a poor return on your time investment. Started a project and just never finished it? Buying all that diet stuff and never really changing your eating habits? Never reading those books you bought? The list is long. These unnecessary time expenditures can be costly. GET SERIOUS with yourself, and when you do, you will get a serious return on your investment!
7. Now, the "uglies." These are the things that simply failed. You spent plenty of time on them, but the time investment did not give you the expected returns. Your business went under after years of hard work. Your marriage didn't survive. You lost your wonderful job. You lost the competition that you had prepared so long and hard to win. Now, you are asking yourself, was any of it worth the time? Yes, these were ugly, painful losses of time, for sure. On the other hand, someone once said "Pain makes you think. Thought makes you wise. Wisdom makes life endurable." That says to me that no ugly time frame in your should be considered a total loss. Wisdom, once it surfaces, is like treasure in your time bank. Wisdom always pays great rewards on your time going forward.
8. MAKE TIME DEPOSITS. These are some great reminders for all of us: take that class you have been wanting to take; read that book; go on that trip;buy that new car; go back to school; get a different job; change your environment; learn a sport, etc.
9. HANDLE, DIRECT, CONDUCT, CONTROL your time to the best of your ability. Be flexible, but organized. It helps to think of your time in portions, segments, durations and periods. You then can more rationally allocate people, tasks and purposes into the time frames. Try it. It really works.
10. Lastly, HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE! I've been around long enough to know that you really have to make up your mind that you are going to really enjoy the time that you are here on this earth. I once heard a very wise person say "death is the one moment that we must all come to in life. Living is the millions of minutes until we get there." There are so many great things to do. Wonderful things to accomplish. Pleasures to be enjoyed. Happinesses to be had. Make up your mind to make every minute count for something!
By now, you get the point. Don't waste time. It's pricey. Don't bury it, bank it: in yourself, your goals, your happiness, your dreams, the people you love and care about.
Everything we will do in life will have some kind of time price tag on it. Whatever you spend your time doing, you will pay for it with minutes, hours, days and years. Don't linger and lose it. Use it well. Relish it. Appreciate it. Enjoy it. Maximize it. Just about anything can be yours! Isn't it about time?