Today I want to talk about something that affects each and every one of us every single day…I’m talking about time, more specifically; making time. Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day because it seems like you can’t get everything done that you need to do?
Or have you ever failed to accomplish something that you needed to do…and blamed the lack of time for it? If you have, your’e not alone. Time, and the management of that time is something that every human struggles with. Some people have learned to be very good at it, while others are horrible…they have allowed themselves to become victims of time itself.
I think the excuse of “there wasn’t enough time” might be the single most used excuse in humanity…we blame everything on a lack of time. But remember…here at Being A Better Man excuses do not exist.
The fact is, that there are 24 hours in a day. Every man, woman and child on earth has access to those same 24 hours each day. So why then, do some people seem to be able to make good use of that time while other people never, ever seem to have enough?
The difference as I see it is that some people just let time happen to them, while other people have learned how to make time work for them.
I used to be one of those people that felt like there just wasn’t enough time. I was working 16 hours a day for awhile and by the time I got home I only had enough time to eat, shower and go to bed so I could get up and do it all over again. I didn’t think I had time for my relationships, or anything else and it was really frustrating. I only saw my kids on the weekends. I felt like a victim and in truth what I had become is a slave. A slave to time.
After awhile I started to notice the effects of this lifestyle on my family. I was losing my connection with people and actually I was also losing connection with myself. I began to realize that it was all my own creation…and my priorities were really fouled up and I was not making time for things that mattered most.
I thought that by working as much as I could and earning as much money as I could that I was doing the best thing for my family. I made earning money my biggest priority…and by doing so, all of my relationships suffered. It turns out my kids didn’t need a guy that could buy them whatever they wanted…what they really needed more than anything was a dad. A dad who spent time with them, who talked and laughed with them, a dad who taught them things. A dad who got to know them as people and who was around long enough to be an example, and to make them feel valuable because I was interested in their life.
So I changed things around, I made my family the first priority, and just like magic…my relationships improved. It turns out that there was enough time to do that all along, I just hadn’t recognized it.
I’m telling you all this to remind you that you are in charge of your time, regardless of your situation. You can still be ambitious and successful AND also make time for the things in your life that are truly important. What good is it to work your tail off for years, finally get that big promotion and the fat bank account only to find that the rest of your life is empty…what’s the point of that?
It might not seem like a big deal when you are younger. You might not have a family or kids yet, you might be working full time and going to school full time and doing everything you can to accomplish your goals…that’s great, I applaud your efforts. But, what if you made the time in the middle of all that to pick up the phone and call your folks, just to let them know how you feel about them? What would that take? 5 minutes, 10 minutes? Thats a small price to pay to stay connected to people you love.
Maybe you have a really tough, demanding job. When you come home you just want to sit down and unwind, you don’t want to be bothered. You grab a beer and turn on the TV and the next thing you know 20 years have gone by and you don’t understand why your kids never call or come around. What if you had turned off the TV and spent more time talking to the people in your house? Maybe those relationships would be different?
I’ve heard so many people who are grieving the death of someone complain about the fact that they never had enough time with the dearly departed…when the truth is, that they simply just never made the time, and now they’re living in regret.
What this all has to do with being a better man is this; Whatever your priorities are, whatever grand things you want to accomplish and whatever kind of man you want to become…you will have to gain some mastery over your own time in order to pull it off. You are granted the same 24 hours as everybody else and what you do with those 24 hours matters.
One of the first steps in gaining control over your time and what you do with it, is to realize that it’s all up to you. A lack of time is not a valid excuse. Once you realize that, then you start figuring out how to make time work for you…as long as that excuse is there, you feel powerless against it and you won’t figure out how to over come it.
But when you can no longer use that as an excuse that’s when you can get creative and figure out ways to pursue the things that are really important, by making time. That’s why it’s so important to have your priorities in the right place…because the things we focus on expand, no matter how much time you have.
I’m not saying it’s easy, because it’s not. It’s something I’m still trying to get better at myself. It’s worth it though…I can tell you that.