Business Coach and Trainer, Steven Haggerty, spoke at our Learning & Development Thought Leaders' Conference in June. In his guest blog below he talks about making the most of the time we have...
Every second of every day, something is happening.
As you are sat in front of your devices and reading this, something is happening.
There’s traffic going on outside, there are people staring into their phones while they are crossing the street, old couples holding hands that may or may not be in love with each other going on a walk.
Things are happening.
Even while you are reading this, things are happening in your conscious and subconscious. You might agree with what I’m saying. Or you might even consider it stupid.
You might even be wondering what I’m going to say next.
Something is always happening.
We cannot control time. But what we can do is control how we are spending our time.
Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters
There’s no point to sit there and remember that time in high school when you did that stupid thing and now you are embarrassed about yourself for something that happened years ago.
Because it doesn’t matter.
You can’t turn back time. So why chose to waste it?
In 2014 I moved to London from the sunny south of France where I’d lived for eight years. I was working for a yacht brokerage firm in London.
Their office was a 40-minute train ride away from my home. And each morning I would take the train to the Victoria Station and walk through the park to the office.
And every single morning at the same time I would see the same frowned faces unwillingly dragging themselves to work. I used to joke that they look like those gorillas dragging their arms across the floor.
And to be honest it was more confusing to me than a Rubik’s Cube.
You see, I never had this feeling of dragging myself to do anything. I’ve always been someone that said “you can achieve anything you want in life and you can be anybody you want to be”
I am thankful for being taught these words by my mother. She always used to say to me “there is no can’t”.
That’s why everything was so confusing to me. “I can’t do that” was never an option for me.
From where I was standing I saw unhappy people going on their way to do more unhappy things.
Why would anybody want to do that? Why would anybody want to waste their time like that?
If you have no time to do what you love, you can always make some time
How many people do you know that actually have complete control of their time? How many people do you know in your life that are really grasping and absolutely owning what they are doing with their time?
These good people from the park believe they are doing the right thing. They are going to work to earn a living so that they can spend their time how they want.
That drove me nuts. It didn’t make any sense to me. So, I went out and bought a camera and started recording YouTube videos talking to the people in the park and at the same time no one in particular. Asking them “Why?”.
Why would you ever decide to spend your time like that?
If something doesn’t make you happy, why continue doing that thing? What are you doing with your life? Why are you cruising through a miserable existence to death?
There is always a choice
If you stopped one of those people from the park and asked them why they aren’t doing something meaningful with their time, I bet they’d look at you as if you just stole the last bite of their sandwich.
“How else would you expect me to pay for a place to stay and the nights out?”
In the sense that doing whatever it is they are doing is the only way to earn a living.
Something meaningful isn’t about margaritas on a beach. Something meaningful is about not being miserable most of the time.
I’m sure you’ve seen the viral video of Jim Carrey and his graduation speech at a university in America. He said something that stuck with me even after all those years.
He said, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well fail at what you love”.
There is always a choice. You can’t stop time. You can’t turn it back. You can’t influence time or what happens in time.
The only thing that you can do is control how you spend your time.
On the tube in London I realized how brief life is. And that I’m not going to wait for a near death experience to trigger me to finally make conscious choice on how I’m going to spend the rest of the time that I have.
Stop spending your time in a way that doesn’t serve you and the people you love.
Take advantage of a moment in time to connect with the people around you and with yourself.
How are you spending your time?