The Real #1 Priority: TimeMay 17, 2021
I've been re-evaluating everything in my life. Maybe it is the pandemic. Maybe my age. Maybe it is the fact that I am completely changing my business or the illness that is coming up with family members. Whatever the reason, we all re-evaluate what is important at some point.
I know my big rocks. Personal health and vitalities, my family, my purpose through my business. But to get down to the nitty gritty... I need money to pay the bills, send kids to school, advance my business and for the next steps in life... (no retirement for me). So where does everything fit into a hierarchy? My family is my big rock but I spend way more time working on my purpose through my business than with the kids or my husband... does that mean they are less important? Of course not.
I had to get clear since I looked back at the past decade and it went by in a blink. What will the next decade look like? A decade that all of my blended family of 5 kids leave the house, a different world due to the pandemic and other world changes, going into my 50's while navigating health, performance, marriage and business. Suddenly, I want clarity more than "having it all".
So I started looking at the big 3. The 3 that influence all decisions for most of us. No, not family, or career or goals. I’m talking about the three commodities that affect everything, that affect us every day. In no particular order, they are money, health and time.
I realized that I spent a lot of focus and energy consumed with making sure I have healthy and happy kids, that there was enough money for a decent life for them and that they had what they needed. I didn't really think about the time I had with them.
Now, I want the time with them to be the highest quality. If we are stuck at home together 24/7 it has not necessarily been the highest quality!
Right now, most of us feel like everything’s changed and so much has been taken away. We haven't been able to do what we used to do. Our time is different.
The truth is - time is the same. How we perceive it, use it and value it is different.
When I think about the three things that affect all aspects of life, prioritizing them based on renewability, the order is different than it once was. Now I ask what is renewable? Are they equally renewable? When looking through the lens of renewability, time is our number one commodity. Why? Because of it cannot be renewed. We cannot get back any of your time.
It is a finite resource. Once spent, the time is gone and sometimes a memory remains. Time is unforgiving. You can only look back- unable to edit what is past. Everything that is most important to me is influenced by time.
Number two is semi-renewable. Something that has been so valuable to me personally and I have built my career around it. It’s our health. Some people get very, very sick, and they renew their health. They make changes. They do things that make a huge difference to revitalize and improve their health so that they can get it back from illness or even better than they were.
I’ve rehabbed countless athlete injuries. Damage that was so severe they were not supposed to ever be the same again. Yet, many came back stronger than they ever were before, able to do things that they never did before. We have experienced or witnessed the examples of people overcoming disease or illness and making a long-lasting change that has them “better than new”.
Health has been a top commodity for me for many years. Now, I have clarity and it comes in as a close second. If my health took a turn for the worse... how I use my time will become even more important.
What about the third one? Many people put this as number one. It’s never fulfilling, it’s never deep, it’s never satisfying and connecting if it’s in the number one spot. It’s money.
Money can be so important to get what we want in life. The means to an end goal. Family experiences, life status, security and safety, love, education or freedom. It can be so important for so many things, but it goes to number three on this priority list because it’s renewable. Unlike time, unlike health, we can spend it all and make more.
No matter how uncertain I feel right now about money, it is renewable. It will come back. Who I am and what I do has value, and I can create it again. I’ve done it over and over again. It has taken confidence growth, mentors and coaching to understand this.
Times when I’ve had very little money and worked harder or created something to earn money again when I thought I couldn’t. Of course there are other factors. This is just my view. A view through experience of being paid less than peers of equal experience but different gender, being a single mom, struggling earning very little and earning a lot more. We don't all start in a fair spot in the race to earn money but we can always find ways to create value.
Money is renewable. The stock market will change. The money lost will come back depending on how we think and on how we use time.
Time, the asset that’s not renewable, is number one. It will be what makes the biggest difference in life quality.
Take a look at these top three commodities. Stop to ponder. Even thinking is our time (and an amazing use of it I might add).
When we consciously choose what to going to eat, where to go, who to interact with, our business ideas, how to spend the mornings or evenings we are managing ourselves within the construct of time.
Not right or wrong. Not good or bad. Simply choices that affect our quality of life within the limited time we have.
I have chosen to stop doing a lot of things that don't serve me, my family or my business. We cannot control time. We can however, master ourselves to choose what we value the most to create the quality of life we crave.
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