For the purposes of this blog, I’d like you to imagine someone standing next to a refuse truck with a box in their hands. The box is made of pure gold and inside the box is $1,000,000 in cash. Now, imagine that same person dumping the box and its contents straight into the truck and walking away empty handed, “just because”. Most people would consider them crazy, right? Most people couldn’t even comprehend throwing away such a valuable item for no good reason. Yet if you are totally honest with yourself, every day you throw away something that exceeds the value of that box and its contents – your life-time! You are trading your time for people and things every moment. So, why give so much of it away so easily to people and things that chew it up? People value money, possessions and fame, yet life-time truly is the most valuable asset.
Time is so valuable and important because we only have X amount of it. The challenge is most people think there is always enough time. This is not a rehearsal! How you spend your moments of existence make up the purpose and function of your life. Therefore, isn’t it about time (no pun intended) that you start to value it as it should be valued, and get the most out of each of your life moments?
Stop thinking of how “next year” will be better and start living now. Of course, you can and should work towards achieving your meaningful goals, but in between now and then each moment should be valued as much as the next. Make your actions productive and your decisions clear, and surround yourself with people who actually value you. Learn from the life moments that you have already lived but don’t waste your present time by looking at your life in reverse. Your life moments up to this point have been lived and cannot be retrieved, only learned from. It’s time to focus on now and the moments to come.
I understand that in a fast-paced society it’s easy to devalue our time, but do you want to get to the end of your life and regret your life moments totally? I don’t think so. Let me explain why this is so important. In 2009 Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse, wrote an article, Regrets of the Dying, about the conversations she had with her dying patients. The article outlines the top five regrets her patients spoke of as their lives neared the end.
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
I wish hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. “Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. “Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”
I wish that I had let myself be happier. “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
So, what are you waiting for? Your time is ticking. How are you going to place importance on it? Here are 5 tips that I found useful when I decided to value my time. And I do!
Set Intentions, decide what and who matter, and write it down! When it’s in front of you in black and white your brain will latch onto it.
Do you take calls from people who you really don’t want to talk to? Do you give out your number to everyone who asks for it? Do you arrange appointments or meetings and easily excuse people when they arrive late? Stop it. Be selective and have healthy boundaries. If people have a problem with boundaries, they will need to value your time more. Remember this, for every moment you give to another person, you are trading it for time with people you love.
Organise and Free Up Time
There are some fantastic resources to help you become more organized, whether that is in life or business. Take advantage of the information age that we now live in and look at what will help you free up time. For example, if you have a business much of your time may be taken up with admin, emails, social media etc. Consider delegating to others or hiring a virtual assistant who can manage it all for you and report back to you when needed. Another example might be finding important couple time for you and your partner or finding time for friends. This can be difficult if you have children, but it is important. If you can’t get a “date night” due to not having a sitter, for example, have a “day date” when your children are at school. Also, ensure you dedicate quality time to your children. Make sure to have alone time with them and time as a family. Ask people to help you, if you need it. If you don’t ask, you won’t get, and everyone needs help at times.
Prioritise People Who Matter
It’s essential to let those close to you know that they are valued. For example, instead of prioritising your phone or computer, turn it off for a time every day or at least put it down when people who matter are present. Those messages and calls that seem vital – well, the world does not stop functioning if you have your eyes off your screen for an hour. Don’t put your phone on the dinner or coffee table as it visually takes time away from the people you love. I understand this can be difficult and I have to consciously remind myself not to do it at times, but it is important to give quality attention to people who matter. Intentionally put it in another room for an hour. If there is an emergency and someone can’t reach you, they will know you well enough to be able to call someone close to you.
Get out in nature with those who matter. There are no distractions other than those you can enjoy together. There are lots of ways to spend time together, just make sure you consciously slot in time for it every day. It will make you happier.
Live Your Values
What is truly important to you at the core? Do you even know? Have a look at this template and pick the top two values that you feel matter most to you. You will probably value all of them but write down the two that are most important to you. These are the values that you need aligned in your life and business if you are to be happy. Look at how you can adjust your life and business so your values are lived and valued.
RESPECT FOR LIFE
Fill your mind with good information.
What you put into your mind you will get out. Every day we are soaking up information from the environment, whether you realise it or not, and that information is affecting everything we do. What’s more is that a lot of the information is absolutely useless and counterproductive to our growth in life and business. Therefore, you need to consciously decide what and who you allow to occupy your time. It is your lifetime after all. Fill your mind with good information, positive programs, good conversations and good people. Don’t be afraid to say No to people and things who devalue your time. You can be respectful and say No at the same time. You cannot be all things to everyone all of the time.
This is YOUR life. Value it!
And to help you further, here is a gift from me to you, a FREE ebook: https://www.donnakennedy.com/#ebook There are some things in it that will help move you forward.
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