Monday, July 7, 2014
Spending vs. Investing
(This post first appeared on July 2013.)
Are you a spender or an investor? I’m not talking about finances
here – this is something infinitely more precious. I’m talking about
your time. Time is a resource that isn’t renewable once it’s gone.
You can’t barter with a colleague to get more time. You can’t drive
to the mall and buy time, and you can’t hop on the internet and charge
a block of time to your credit card.
Once a moment has passed, it’s gone – it’s irreplaceable. There is
no going back. That’s why it’s so important to be conscious of what
you’re doing with your time while you're doing it.
Are you someone who spends your time living in yesterday or tomorrow,
doing things that lead to nothing for today? If I asked you what
you did last Thursday, could you tell me, or would last Thursday be
the same as all the other days of the week – 24 hour blocks of time
gone forever without much to show for their passing?
Or are you someone who invests your time, paying attention to what
you’re doing with today and consciously investing it in activities
that are meaningful to you? I don’t mean to say that every second
must be spent in pursuit of some charitable cause or doing good
deeds for family and friends. I don’t mean that you must be focused
on the “greater good” every waking hour. What I am saying is that
you are investing your time when you are conscious of what you’re
doing when you’re doing it.
You see, that’s the difference between a spender and an investor.
The spender loses time spent by being oblivious to the present, letting
it slip by with no thought to what they're doing. There’s little
recollection of what happened during the day because too many
moments have been spent in yesterdays (which are gone forever)
or tomorrows (which may never come). It’s like living life on
autopilot -- going through the motions but not being present for them.
The investor, on the other hand, knows where their time has gone.
They invest quality time with their family – showing up fully in
body AND in mind and spirit. They also invest quality time being
introspective...going inside their mind and just being there. It doesn’t have
to be time doing selfless or noble work. Some of my best quality time with
myself has been invested in doing nothing more than centering myself and
recharging my batteries -- but doing it consciously so that I am truly
living in the moment.
For one week, keep a time log. It doesn’t have to be fancy – just
someplace where you can jot down what you’re doing each hour.
While this may seem tedious, it’s meant to make you conscious of the
moments in your life -- after all, this is your life you"re living.
When you can live your life in the moment instead of living in
yesterday or tomorrow, only then will you truly be an investor
in your own life.
IT IS ALL IN YOUR HEAD!