Stop Wasting Your Time — Or Time Will Waste You
Three months in. So, how’s your year going?
Where are you on the scale of living out your dream? Are you watching time go by? Waiting for your “big shot?” Have you made your move? In other words, have you started on your quest of doing what you want? What you love. Or are you still wondering whether a life of doing what you love, while supporting yourself and your family, is possible?
I can tell you with the utmost confidence, from my personal experience, that living your passion, while still being wise enough to pay the bills and answer all of the “real world’s” demands is possible. Like anything worth working toward, this requires effort, which first begins with a believing mindset backed by a strong desire.
If you don’t have these things, honestly, just stop reading right now.
By all means, please read my other stories! Or find something that might make you more comfortable. Otherwise, everything else I have to offer in this piece is a waste of your time. I started this article with a title that offers you an alternative to wasting your time. Which I think is in your best interest.
The Meaning of Living Out Your Passion
As I’ve written about previously, the Internet is littered with blog posts and articles on why not pursuing your passion is a wise course of action. Go ahead, do a Google search. I’ll be here waiting for you. Or — just look here:
Some suggest pursuing what you love is a bunch of malarkey — that you’re just wasting your time. “Do what you’re good at,” they say. “Stop living in a fantasy world and do the things you’re skillful and qualified to do,” they groan!
Certainly not the worst advice. But not the best. Probably somewhere lukewarm and in the middle. And honestly, lukewarm completely sucks. You’re not moving forward. And perhaps worse than lukewarm, at least in the long-term, you’re not moving backwards.
When we dive deeper, we find that “don’t pursue your passion” is advice that would never be followed by the very same people who dispense it. They’d never truly want that for their children. Because when you really think about it — who the hell wants to do something that they don’t enjoy, just because they’re “good at it”?
Unless that something you’re good at is ALSO coupled with activities and hobbies that you do love, then that is a mundane life just begging to be besieged with problems and worries. It’s like the version of your own, personal zero sum game. You may “win” in one area, but you lose in another. You lose by depriving yourself of furthering the all-important desire of doing what you love.
How do I know this? I’m no sage. I’m no Confucius, Aristotle or Laozi. What I am is a person who has lived in the world and learned the hard way that living without enthusiasm is a recipe for unhappiness and mediocrity. One of my core beliefs is that we find purposeful, meaningful activities that we focus our time and effort on, in order to bring value to the lives of others and ourselves.
Whether that comes from the daily job that permits you to put the proverbial “bread on the table” for your family or whether it’s an outlet that you seek to enliven and enrich your life — your inner chi — is entirely dependent on the plan for your life. Only you will (someday) know what this is, in due time. It will be revealed to you as you continue your journey in life.
In Search of Your “Zone”
This is a belief I feel all of us can share. Maybe your passion is skiing, knitting, coaching, volunteering or journalism. Maybe it’s skydiving — which in that case, you probably need to have a serious bankroll! Regardless, I encourage you to focus your thoughts on things that are more within your control and that stimulate positive emotional thoughts.
Your favorite thing to do could be something as simple — and as rich — as spending time with your loved ones. That is mine. Also, if you’re like me, it could be writing and coaching. These are things that I love which bring real value to other people — because I care and it is my intended mission.
Athletes practice their craft, improve their athleticism and become physically and mentally stronger each day. Sometimes they study film or eat well, as part of a regimen that is designed to make them better qualified to do their job — which most often, is something they love to do. For the hyper-competitive, it’s a plan of attack. For those who are successful and happy, it’s imperative, in order to stay on top of their game.
The greatest combination in life is the use of your natural, God-given talent mixed with a burning desire and effort to be great. I’ve surrounded myself with friends who are excellent musicians, people who play their instrument several hours each day. I know fellow writers who are always writing, always seeking to get their message out. This inspires me!
They savor the self-satisfaction that comes from being in the mental “zone.”I’ve played basketball with and against players who went on to play at the highest levels of college, and then professionally. I can tell you, when everyone else was having a bowl of ice cream at night, playing video games or texting with their friends, these men and women were working on gaining an advantage on their competition. Maybe a mere quarter-step of quickness.
A quarter-step that made all the difference.
I know professionals who are always seeking ways to make themselves more marketable and more efficient. They read self-help literature, learn new software programs and improve their public speaking skills through practice. They seek professional coaching, business writing courses and certifications in a given field.
They don’t settle for mediocrity and they’re often their own toughest critics. Maybe you know exactly what I mean.
It’s About Time
What I’ve learned and believe with all my heart is that God — and this world — is demanding that you reach your potential and become the person you are destined to be. It took me a while to come around to the belief that this world needs you.
But I’ve found that when all of us are operating with our God-given talents, with the utmost energy and exertion of our mental and physical faculties, the world is a more harmonious place, filled with greater vigor and vitality.
All of us are great at wasting time. Many of us hold doctorates and advanced degrees in procrastination. And it’s nothing to be proud of. Next time you can, catch yourself while you’re wasting time and ask yourself this question:
“At what cost am I wasting time?”
In other words — who is really paying the price for your wasted time? Believe me — there IS a price to pay for wasting time. You lose out on future gains. So do your loved ones and the people that form your inner-circle, because those people benefit when you are improving and growing.
Someone else; your competition, your contemporaries, are getting better at your expense. Even if you don’t know them and they don’t know you. Even if you don’t view them as your competition. Someone else is taking the idea you are meant to give to the world and using it for great value. At the very least, you’re not the one doing it.
And both you and the world are poorer because of it.
Procrastination and wasting time is a gradual effect that can lead us down a terrible path. It certainly seems hard to believe that this is true, in a single moment, but the cumulative effect is damaging. Am I striking a chord, yet?
When you waste time, you lose time. As Napoleon Hill famously wrote,
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
I can confirm he was right. The world needs you. The excuses you speak over your life today are guaranteed to delay your future prospects for success. So, what is at risk and what exactly is the cost? A life of freedom. The surrender and relinquishment of your dreams.
I’ll close with one of Mr. Hill’s most powerful quotes. These are some of the most motivational, gripping words I’ve ever read. This is a call:
“In conclusion, may I remind you that life is a Checkers board, and the player opposite you is TIME. If you hesitate before moving, or neglect to move promptly, your checkers will be wiped off the board by time. You are playing against a partner who will not tolerate indecision!”
My intent is not to intimidate or scare you, but rather to inspire you. Each time I read it, I get the chills and I feel its gravity in all that I do, and all that I hope to become. I take it as a competitive challenge, one only meant in the spirit of making me — and you — realize that it’s our time to make a move for good reason.
Think about it the next time you find yourself struggling for direction during moments of doubt. Think about it as you take inventory and look back on this year, and on to the future. Where are you going? What’s your next move?
Maybe you have a plan to launch your entrepreneurial career while taking significant steps forward to establish the life you desire for yourself. You have to be consistent. You must do what you say you will do… EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. You have to believe.
Everything begins with a thought, which is then backed by faith and desire.This foundation is imperative. In order to get to the hard work and all the “doing,” this structure is absolutely required! Then, you can put together your plan. Then, you can set your goals and objectives, mix in persistence, consistency, smart work and dedication to your craft.
You can become an expert on time management by drowning out all the noise and focusing on what matters. These are the steps that will take you from mediocrity to productivity. Follow this and don’t delay incorporating it into your life. It will make all the difference.
You Can Do This
I’m helping thousands of people each day build their life on values and put together their personal game plan. Join me! Check out The Value of You, my Amazon bestseller. The e-book is available for a limited time for just $2.99! Order the e-book HERE!
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