Make the Switch — Maximizing the Time You Have to Get the Life You Want
Ask yourself something before reading the rest of this: What am I doing right now to get where I want to be in life?
Most of us aren’t doing much outside of coasting; living our lives in the next 5 hours instead of the next 5 years and doing what it takes to get by. WHY?
We live in an instant gratification world, but what if we got instant gratification in a productive way? I think we can. Here’s why:
I spent this summer working with High School students at a leadership conference in DC. In the first few days of each week most conversations were small talk. I would sit at lunch tables and just listen and what I heard often left me thinking “WHAT? These kids are 16 or 17 years old all they are talking about is Netflix?! Or Pokemon Go?!” That’s the world we live in, but it doesn’t have to be the world you live in.
If you’ve ever been on a date or in a job interview or, hell, with your family and been asked something along the lines of “Where do see yourself in 5 years?” and instantly got nervous or responded with some bullshit answer that would satisfy whoever was listening then I think this could be helpful.
Look, I get it. Some times you don’t want to work and just need to check out and relax and that’s fine, but if every time you get home from school or work you instantly sit down, put on Netflix and waste away the rest of the day then I hope you are satisfied with the life you are living right now, because those actions won’t change it.
If you are not satisfied and want more out of life, then think about this. YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHANGE MUCH TO CHANGE A LOT. Uh…What? You read that right. If we start with small actions, a tiny adjustment here and there to maximize our “free time” that can lay the foundation to lead to big time action that will get us where we want to be. Here is what I mean:
Lets walk through it. How about we pretend your dream is to be a Kindergarten Teacher. Awesome! Imagine your way of “doing nothing” is watching Netflix, how about instead of turning on OITNB you turn on a TED Talk about child development and education. (Here are 11 of them)
Or what if you want to be a Personal Trainer and your way of “getting away” is going for a run? Great! How about instead of listening to music on your run, you download a podcast about the business of Personal Training (Here is one that features some of my favorite Entrepreneurs including Gary Vaynerchuk)
Maybe you have a dream of building your own business, like me. Instead of scrolling aimlessly through your Social Media feeds full of what your friends are doing when they are drunk and the 10th person this week from your graduating class to get married or pregnant, start following people who have been there and done it so your feed becomes informative and valuable. (Some of my favorite are @GaryVee, @mcuban and @businessinsider)
I think you see where this is going. But will watching videos, listening to podcasts or changing your Twitter feed get you where you want to be?
But you know what it will do? Change the way you think. which is the first step toward changing the way you act and eventually changing the result of your life.
The point is we only have 24 hours a day and one life, watching people wasting those drives me crazy. It doesn’t take much.
If you are cool with where you are and where you are headed, I’m happy for you and please ignore everything I am saying. But if you want more out of life or have a dream that has yet to be accomplished, then PLEASE do the little things every day to make that happen.
I made this realization about 6 weeks ago and can already feel myself thinking, behaving and feeling differently about the trajectory of my life. I want the same for you. I don’t care what you want to be or do. Just be and do it in the most badass way possible. Be the best Kindergarten Teacher, Personal Trainer or Entrepreneur you can by maximizing the time you have on this planet. Learn, Try, Evaluate, Repeat.
Just try it, and next time you are in a group maybe the conversation will go from “Did you see that episode of House of Cards?” to “Did you see the video about growing your business I tagged you in?”. Maybe instead of talking about the Pokemon you caught, you can talk about the new customer you gained. Hopefully at your next family gathering when your dad asks what you are doing with your life you can explain to him in detail what your plan is and blow him away with how much you know about what you’re going to do. How cool would it be if those actually happened? They can.
One small switch at a time. That’s all it takes.
Until Next Time, My Friends.