Steve Miller said it best, “Time keeps on ticking ticking ticking into the future.”
Time doesn’t stop because we aren’t ready for it to go forward. Time is one of the few commodities that we can never get back and we never know when it is going to run out for us. We might be young and vibrant and healthy thinking we have decades ahead of us, only to have life cut short by illness or an accident. When our time runs out is not up to us, We have no control over the time we have, our only say is what we do with our time.
A customer came into the shop today. He is the kind of crusty old-timer that seems grumpy but really it is just part of his charm. When I asked him how life is treating him his response was “Not worth a fuck, I got cancer and these dumb ass doctors want me to take chemo, and that ain’t gonna happen. I only have a few short months on this earth and I ain’t gonna spend it sick and miserable.” He knows that his time is up and it is only a matter of months before his body is returned to the earth beneath his feet. He invested his time in his children to have close relationships with them and will be surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren and his last breaths leave his body and his soul is freed from this prison.
What are you building with your time? Are you building connections with your wife, children, friends, co-workers? Are you building an empire for the future of your children? Are you building memories with your spouse that you can both reminisce upon once you are both too old to travel? Or are you grinding away at a job you don’t like with far too little time and money left to do anything substantiative with?
Often times when we think about doing things with our wives and children we focus on the big things. We focus on the perfect vacation, the perfect romantic dinner, the perfect day with the kids. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be spectacular, it doesn’t have to be extraordinary. The most intimate moments with my wife are spent on our living room couch dreaming about tomorrow, looking back at what we have accomplished well, and just spending those intimate moments together. Often times I have spent an afternoon playing with the kids and they will come up to me and give me a big hug proclaiming “This is the best day ever!”. In reality, all I am doing is showing up. That is what they want from us, the most precious commodity, our time.
I challenge you to start carving out 15 minutes a day to intentionally connect with your spouse, children, a friend you have lost contact with, or a guy you know in the industry you want to move into. Take your time and invest it, the dividends are incredible. Put the phone in another room to charge, turn off the TV, put away the laptop, set down your book, just stop everything around you and focus intently on the person in front of you.
If you show me where a man spends his time I can tell you his priorities. This is not an easy lesson to learn. If we are busy at work constantly with family being an after-thought that signals to our family that our career is more important to them. Often times we worry that if we spend too much time focused on our family then our boss won’t give us the next raise or promotion, the same boss that will cut you loose without a second thought and replace you with a younger cheaper employee. When at work look at what your boss is paying attention to and that will tell you what he values in the workplace. If he is focused on his employees and helping them to build a better team you can bet he is interested in his subordinates. If he is constantly looking at the product with little concern for the hands that are building that product, he likely cares little about the individual and more about his bottom line at the end of the year. The guy who turns down over time or even a promotion to maintain a work-life balance obviously values his family over a career. There is no right answer, each season requires sacrifices. Sometimes we have to work long hours and sacrifice time with our family but the long game should be with our family.
How are you investing your time? Do you feel like you need to recalibrate but are unsure of how? If this message resonates with you or brings up more questions than answers please reach out on our contact page to set up a time to discuss how you can find a better balance.
Stay in the fight men. Stay in the fight for your wife, your children, your sovereignty. Standing Shoulder to Shoulder through the trials and triumphs of life. See you next time men.