Whoops … there went a fraction of your life.
Whoa … there went another. A tiny fraction to be sure, but … gone forever.
Let me just say thank you for spending these moments with me. I mean, I know you have a lot of necessary and important things to do.
Well, let’s focus for a second on the necessary. You have to sleep. You have to eat, which means you have to shop, and prepare the food, and clean up afterward. You have to shower, brush your teeth, beautify, get dressed and all that. You have to read your email, return phone calls, pay the bills, drive places. Most of us have to work … and still clean up once we get home. And exercise.
The necessities take up a huge part of our time. And if you have to take care of anybody besides yourself, is there any time left for you?
Any time for meditation? Prayer? Fun? Enjoyment? God forbid you have to take care of kids and parents at the same time. Then, it’s maybe 99% necessary, 1% discretionary.
I saw Mel Gibson interviewed once. He was the sixth of eleven children in the family, and he told the story of how he and his father were sitting at the kitchen table as they watched his mother haul a huge load of laundry out to the clotheslines. But instead of hanging it up, she doused it in lighter fluid and set it on fire.
Can you relate?
I’m sure she felt in many ways like a prisoner, that her most precious gift … time … was being wasted, was slipping away from her. I’m sure she had things that were important to her that she wanted to do and simply wasn’t able to given all she had to do.
Do you have the freedom to spend your time on the things that are important to you? If you don’t think so, because your days get eaten up, I sympathize.
All I’ll say about that is we all have the same amount of time in a day and there is a way to focus your time and energy on what counts. Denise’s grandson outlined it here in a speech to his graduating class a few years back.
So, what? Is the message to use your time wisely?
Not exactly, because that puts the cart before the horse. Sure, Pareto’s law applies here. We spend 80% of our time on activities that yield 20% of our results and 20% of our time on things that get us 80%.
But no, the question is deeper.
Why are you here?
Spend your time wisely on what? What are you here to do? If your purpose is strong enough, it will drive the bus. Every decision on how to spend your time will be filtered through the prism of how it will help you accomplish your mission in life.
When your purpose is strong, your decision making revolves not around what you should do and have to do, but what you feel called to do and can’t wait to do. The important stuff will automatically take precedence. You’ll be feeding the elephants and starving the ants by default.
And the anxiety so many of us feel around wasting time or losing time will simply fade away.
Instead, we’re using the time we have to live into our purpose, and there’s nothing more satisfying or glorious than that.
So, the message is simple. Your time is severely limited. That makes it precious. You want to spend it well … in alignment with your purpose.
You do that by clarifying your purpose … your vision … and intensifying your desire.
When you do that, what’s important in your mind becomes important in your daily life. You make each tick of the clock count for something, and that’s what living a full and satisfying life is all about.