Looking over my life, I have spent a lot of time. Quite often, good things seemed to come to me. Just in the nick of time, I was able to take advantage of them. When I was about to finish college, the job market was bad so I applied to one graduate school program and I was accepted. As graduate school came to an end, I didn’t have a job. The business school at my alma mater had an opening for a finance instructor. A friend recommended me, so I applied for the job and was quickly hired.
People around me seemed quite impressed with my life. By the age of 24, I had two degrees and I was a college professor. I didn’t think much of my accomplishments but I knew they were generally good. Having a life that others deemed good was good enough for me, until I realized what I wanted to do with my life: teach.
At first, I thought it was teaching finance. But, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was not passionate about money.
During my first semester of teaching, I met someone special. Things didn’t work out the first go around, but a couple of years later I found myself contemplating a future with him. After months of deliberation, I finally decided to give us a second chance.
I didn’t get to tell him because he died the very next day.
He was young, healthy and full of life. Those qualities kept me thinking, “We were supposed to have more time.” In his absence, thoughts of “we” and “us” became thoughts of “me” and “I.” I had to go on with life. In doing so, I found a subject that I was passionate about: time, more specifically, making the most of it.
Instead of spending time, I wanted to invest it.
Investors sacrifice daily with the rationale that sacrificing money now is justified by the prospect of future gains. With time, creating a better tomorrow requires an investment today.
Making the best investments of time begins with knowing what you want out of life. We all want generally good things like “being happy” or “being rich.” Both are common desires, but they are also vague and relative states. If you do not know what each means to you—and only you—then how will you get there?
What do you value? What do you want for your future? By knowing your values and goals, you can make more informed decisions regarding the use of your time. Reaching each goal with your values intact will depend upon how well you invest your resources, especially your time.
Even if the outcome is not as you planned, certainly you will have gained something from the experience. Perhaps, a lesson learned or a new contact made possible only by your investment. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Your time is valuable. Why not treat it as such? Stop spending time and start investing it.