Updated: Sep 11, 2018
I find it so interesting how certain topics aren't even on your radar and then suddenly you hear the same things over and over again. This recently happened to me with the topic of the value we place on time.
As a coach, I often find myself helping people discover the best way for them to keep track of the time they have to spend on specific projects or maybe even to find more time to do the things they love. Some people love paper calendars, some prefer electronic calendars and others prefer not to keep track at all!
Some of the amazing women I am fortunate to work with spend their time helping others. Others spend their time working out what retirement will look like. I even have some who spend their time devoted to raising children and grandchildren while running a full-time business or two. Each of them is unique and special and generous with their time and I want so badly to help them stretch each day to give them more time to take care of themselves and their business without feeling as if they are taking something from the people in their life.
With this in mind, you will understand how the dream I had altered my perspective and has since allowed me to coach so many women to greater success. My dream was not the kind of dream that you wake up with the vivid memory of a place or people or something you were doing. It was more like an ah-ha moment that came to me in my sleep. I woke up very early with one thought on my mind. The words 'time is not renewable' kept playing in my mind as if it were on repeat. It was soon followed by the question, 'If we can earn more money why are we not generously giving more? And if our time is not renewable, why are giving it so easily to others?' This was the moment my perspective changed.
I know so many people that are generous with time and money. I don't want anyone to feel that I am saying that you are greedy if you aren't freely giving money away or selfish if you aren't giving all your time to others. I want you to think about how often we question those who ask us for money but don't blink an eye when someone asks us for our time.
An example in my life would be seen in the way I raised my children. I have always asked a million questions what they need money for and where it would be spent, etc. I worked hard to teach the value of money and how important it is to save and be frugal and wise. I had purpose in my lessons about the great dollar! I remember those lessons being handed down to me from my Grandparents and Parents. How you handled your money was very important and often a reflection of your values. I don't recall ever having a conversation with my children on the value of time. I know I used the typical references of things happen in 'the blink of an eye' or 'before you know it' and even, 'time goes faster the older you get'. But, I don't recall every sitting down with them and truly explaining to them the true value of their time and that, unlike money, time is not renewable.
If I could turn back time (Ha!), I would teach this to my children from the very beginning. Not just the fact that 'time is short' and we never know how long we have part. I would teach them that we each have the same 24/7 and it's our choice as to how we spend it. If we understood how valuable time really is from a very young age, maybe we would actually value our time and value the time of others.
I can start today, teaching them this. I can start today sharing this message with each of the wonderful women I am blessed to coach. I can do my best to help each and every person that crosses my path understand the value of our most precious resource.
How many books have been written about managing our time and how many calendars and planners have been created? It's painfully obvious that we are aware of the importance of time but I fear that this awareness is more about jamming as much as we possibly can into each moment than it is about slowing down and using this resource in the most purposeful way possible...or the purpose of prayer, love, joy, reflection, learning and success.
You have time. How are you choosing to spend it? Are you protecting this resource? Are you wasting it on behaviors that aren't in align with your purpose and goals? Are you cherishing it? Are you spending it with the people you love? Take the time to think it over and if necessary, shift your perspective, and treat your time as a precious resource. Life is short, time is limited, use it wisely.