Time is Your Most Valuable Asset
There is no commodity at our disposal more important or valuable than our time. Ya, it might not buy you that nice new car or designer pair of jeans, but it is the one thing that cannot be bought or sold, and remains an absolute unknown in each of our lives. Money is tangible, and at any given time you can determine just how much of it you have in your possession.
But time is fragile, and absolutely comes with an expiration date.
Seriously…you can have all the money in the world, but you’ll never enjoy one penny of it if you don’t have time in your corner. I see it every single day.
The CEO of a large company who never makes it home for dinner.
The small business owner incapable of taking even a short vacation with his family.
The professional football player who lost the Super Bowl at the last second.
Or the elderly and sick man taking his last breath on earth.
Each of these individuals, in varying degrees, would do just about anything for more time.
But in our fast-paced get more, need more, have more life, we constantly charge ahead and do all we can to make as much money as possible. I used to be one of those people. For whatever reason, we think more money will get us more happiness…especially in younger entrepreneurs and business owners. But the poorly kept secret is that more time, not more money, is what leads to shitloads more happiness.
Screw the money…you should be working everyday of your life to find more time. Sacrificing your time for your money leads to regret, and a greater level of disconnect from your family and friends. My business partner, Chip George, loves to quote that your happiness peaks after about $75,000 in annual salary, and does not increase as you make more money. Now that’s something to consider.
Now don’t get me wrong…you gotta make some money to pay the bills and support your family. You might even want to take a ridiculous vacation or purchase a beautiful home or flashy car. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. Rather, the issue is the pursuit of wealth at the expense of time. You are exchanging something very valuable (time) for something you just think is very valuable (money). All the money in the world doesn’t cure depression or unhappiness. In some aspects it can make it worse.
Look at it like this. Would you be in a much different place in your life if you made just 15-20% less money next year? Assuming your not living paycheck to paycheck, then the answer is that a small dip in your earnings probably won’t impact your quality of life. But what if you had 15-20% less time in each day? You’d probably be running around, hair on fire, zipper down, just trying to stay ahead of the massive amount of stuff you have to do. Get it? You have money to spare, but not time.
Now, imagine if you exchanged 15-20% of your wealth for 15-20% more time. Just a straight trade off of one commodity for another. In that extra time, you could do whatever you wanted to do and connect with the people you love. How’d you think that would make you feel? Pretty damn good, right?
And maybe most important to you…what would you do with all that extra time?
Take one of your kids to the park or a ball game.
Spend more time at the gym or go for a long hike.
Sleep. Like more than six hours.
Have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper on your porch.
Take some much needed time off and see the world.
Nothing. Abso-freaking-lutely nothing.
There are endless options.
So here is my challenge to you. Over the next month, reduce your time at work or your time earning money by just two hours a week. Not that much, right? In doing so, you get eight hours back. One full workday each week. Right into the piggy bank for later use.
But here is the hard part. Once you steal that precious day back, try and use it to connect, to nourish your body and mind, and to just be lost in the moment. As you do that, you’ll start to come to the realization that you don’t miss the little bit of money or earning potential you left on the sideline. And even more important, you’ll start to find just how amazing a little extra time can be for your body and your mind.
Eight measly hours per month can give you the gift of time, which is more valuable than anything else.