I’m a very philosophical sort of guy, always thinking and pondering and questioning. One topic that I cogitate on frequently is time, what it is, what it means to us, and its value.
This may come as a shock to some people, but I don’t own a watch, and I never use an alarm clock to wake up. I wake up when I wake up.
But it wasn’t always so.
Once upon a time I wore a watch constantly, and used an alarm every morning. And then something changed.
One morning I realized that one of the worst parts of my day was being woken up by my alarm clock. It was jarring, and always resulted in that pit-of-the-stomach “crap, back to work” feeling. What a crappy way to start a day.
At the same time, I realized that my day went SO much slower when I wore a watch. It was all mental, but still, those days that just seem to drag on are the worst, and wearing a watch only made it worse because I’d keep glancing down, checking the time, figuring out how much was left…yeah.
So I stopped. I turned off the alarm, and tossed my watch in a drawer…and I’ll never go back.
I wake up when I wake up, rested and refreshed. I’ve found that I don’t need a watch at all. I don’t even use my cellphone to check the time. If I have a meeting or appointment, I just set a calendar reminder for the correct time (on vibrate, no damn alarms), and I’m good to go.
Since I’ve started this, my days are SO much better, and they go way faster. And that has gotten me thinking about time again…
Our time is limited. It is a non-renewable resource. We don’t know how much we have, but we know we will eventually run out. That could be tomorrow, or 50 years from now, but it WILL eventually run out.
As with almost all things in our world, the greater the scarcity of a commodity, the greater the value of that commodity. Gold, diamonds, rhinoceros horns, works of art…you name it. If it is rare and desirable, it has great value.
So why, why, why isn’t our time valued the same way?
The wealthiest people I’ve met understand this concept very well, and value their time quite highly. They’re wealthy in large part because they’ve learned to leverage the time of those who don’t value their time as highly.
As I’ve thought about that, I’ve discovered something fascinating. The secret to success is surprisingly simple: attach a higher value to your time.
Of course, to do that you would also need to make your time desirable, but that is actually the easy part. The hard part is overcoming the societal indoctrination that tells you your time isn’t valuable. The hard part is getting past that mental block, and believing in your worth.
One of my favorite books is The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss. I love this book for a number of reasons, but primarily because it teaches you to properly value your time. One of my favorite parts is where he explains a fascinating truth: that is is easier to earn $1,000,000 a year than it is to earn $100,000 a year.
It sounds counterintuitive, but it comes back to supply and demand. There are far more people aiming for $100,000 a year than $1,000,000 a year, therefore $100k is the more difficult to achieve. It makes perfect sense, and I’ve seen this in action.
So seriously, aim higher. Set a goal that will make you seriously reach, and go for it.
Stop wasting your most precious resource!