You’ve probably noticed I’ve gone A.W.O.L from the blogging world for a few months. Yes, for one reason or another, I lost my way a little and didn’t / couldn’t dedicate enough time to the world of Iron Qualities.
No excuses – if you want to do something badly enough you’ll find the time and energy to do it. I allowed myself to get side-tracked and obviously didn’t want it enough. But that’s all been and gone now. I’m back, full of beans and ready to get this show on the road again.
But in getting back on track, I got to thinking about the seven months where I haven’t been creating, sharing and growing. That’s seven months I’ll never get back. I am now seven months older, seven months closer to dying and I can never go back to who and where I was seven months ago and do things differently. (not unless a flying DeLorean and some plutonium suddenly appear in my life. 1.21 Gigawatts!)
An old saying popped into my head while I was thinking about this: “Time is money.” I did a quick Google search and found out that the phrase is originally credited to Benjamin Franklin, who used it in an essay (Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748). In that essay, he wrote:
“Remember that Time is Money. He that can earn Ten Shillings a Day by his Labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that Day, tho’ he spends but Sixpence during his Diversion or Idleness, ought not to reckon That the only Expence; he has really spent or rather thrown away Five Shillings besides.”
Makes sense. But I was thinking of this phrase a little differently
Look at it this way: We are all born and we all die. That’s a fact. So we have a limited number of days to live. A limited amount of time. How you choose to spend that time is up to you. And looking at time this way, it becomes a commodity that you SPEND.
Think about it – you can SPEND time learning about finance and how to save for your future. You can SPEND time in the gym making yourself healthy, strong and fit. You can SPEND time boozing with your mates and get wasted. Or you can SPEND time lying on your sofa scratching your ass and watching TV every weekend.
Some of those activities are a good way to spend time and you will see a return on your investment. The other activities…not so much
So for the past seven months, I wasn’t investing my time how I should have been. I let my job consume too much of my time and energy. Yes friends, Bo has a day-job. I need a means to pay the bills until The Iron Qualities becomes the global phenomenon we all know it is destined to be.
I’m not the only person in the world who has had this problem
It all started with industrialisation and now, economic and technological progress has led to higher wages and a generally higher standard of living in First World Countries. But we often work long hours and have less free time. Maybe you have a job that pays good overtime rates. So you work longer hours to make more money. But remember – you are working for someone else – producing things for the company’s benefit, not your own. At the same time, you are LOSING TIME to do the things you really want to do or should be doing.
And maybe you find yourself rising through the ranks in your company. As your progress in your career, you get more responsibility. And more stress. And you find yourself thinking about work, even when you’re not there. Your free-time investment and value have degenerated.
And it can be degenerated even further by the sheer amount of information that we have access to these days. Granted – technology has done a lot for us over the years to make life easier and more convenient. You can now control your finances; keep in touch with friends and family; go shopping using a fraction of the time and effort it would have taken before.
Access to information is so abundant these days that there is a danger of spending our time getting drowned in it
How many times have you seen or heard about someone spending hours on Facebook stalking the lives of others; or watching one video clip after another of cute furry animals on Instagram? Or maybe you’ve found yourself getting lost in the rabbit hole of another Youtube marathon…watching a video of a random Japanese guy wearing a horse mask hunting for truffles to the sound of Kraftwerk…when all you wanted to do was find out the best way to slice onions.
It is so easy to get swept along by the all these things and let them run your life. You can easily end up on autopilot and before you know it…yes…seven months have passed and those ambitions you set out to achieve are as far away as ever.
The need to understand the most efficient way to spend your time and focus on your goals to improve yourself is greater than ever before. We have a great opportunity – we live in a time where we truly can do anything we put our mind to. And we can make technology work for us to help us realise these ambitions.
But remember the importance of time in all this
Time is money, yes. But time is also consumption. Time is change. And it’s measured by tracking the progress of change. The world turns and the sun moves across the sky. When the sun returns to the same place, a day has passed. Enough days pass, it becomes a month. Then a year. And so on.
It’s the same with you and me. Look at yourself and assess if and how you have changed over a period. If you’ve changed in a positive way, that’s a good time. If you haven’t changed at all or changed in a negative way…well, that’s bad time.
But don’t dwell on it – the time is spent and it’s gone. We always move forward. You’ve lost that part of your time allocation. Good news is – you’ve still got some time currency left to use as best you can.
Me? The last seven months haven’t been as productive as I would have liked. But I’ve still grown. I’ve still learned new things. And I will take all this forward with me and do my best with it to maximise my time investment.
And so it is with you – in terms of experience and skills (and money), you can be as rich as you want. It all comes down to how you chose to invest your time. The great thing is, you have a choice. Use it.