1… 24… 168… 8,760
You might be wondering what the above numbers have in common? Or perhaps what they even have to do with you? Of course, you may have also already figured them out.
The truth is, the above numbers apply to all of us equally. Over the next 60 minutes, 1 hour will tick away. This time tomorrow, 24 hours will have passed. One week from now, 168 hours will have come and gone. And this time next year, 8,760 hours will be in the books.
So big deal, right? The same has held true since the beginning of Time.
Some might say time is neutral. That it is neither good or bad. Neither friend or foe.
I say differently.
Time is either your best friend or worst enemy.
And you get to decide which it is. If a friend, you are using it. If an enemy, it is using you.
Let me illustrate.
Have you ever slept in, and when you finally got up the gumption to get up, you just kind of rolled out of bed, spent your morning meandering around the house, and never really got around to doing much? You were just kind of lazy but you justified it by saying you deserved it. Before you knew it, it was mid-afternoon and you really hadn’t accomplished much of anything. By then though, you felt you needed a nap, because you were just tired from not doing much. So you snoozed a little more, and it was soon supper time. The day was nearly spent, and if you even bothered to think back, you’d have to admit you did absolutely nothing. Nada! Zip!
Now that may be an extreme example, and if you’re like me, you cannot think back to a time when you had a day that went like that. But you, like I, might be willing to admit instances in your life where an hour here or an hour there was “spent” on meaningless or non-productive activities. Sure, they may not have been “lazy” things, but they accomplished nothing of substance nonetheless. Can someone say Facebook? Or the 2nd or 3rd football game in a day? Or the fourth episode of your favorite sitcom? Watching Dancing with Stars? Or surfing eBay on the web? Or…
Of course, in and of themselves, none of the activities described above, or similar ones that might come to your mind, are evil, bad or hurtful. Well, maybe not… But here’s the point. Each time I’m engaged in one of them, an hour or two will pass. And the question is: Did I use time, or did it use me? Were you in control of that four letter word?
That is the key. Are you controlling time or is it just happening to you? When you find yourself in a scenario where stuff happens, things just seem to occur with no proactive control or input into what is happening, especially as it relates to your schedule, then time is controlling you. But when you and I are deliberate, scheduled, and focused on a definitive timetable for our day and week, then we are in control of time. And rather than time being our worst enemy, it becomes our best friend, our ally.
Time is what enables us to complete tasks, goals and projects. Time enables you to build your dream home, deploy a detailed business plan, raise a loving family, deepen relationships with loved ones, redevelop a failed inner city, restore a failing nation to its once admired status and more. It matters not the size of the task. Time can and will be your friend and ally if you harness it to bend to your plans versus allowing it to choke us as we remain mired in mediocrity, laziness or simply poor planning and stewardship.
Time is neutral. So you will decide how it plays out in your life. Friend or Foe? Asset or Liability?
You decide. Don’t delay. 1, 24, 168 or 8,760 hours from now, will tell the story.