How Valuable is Time ?
I often wonder when I see advertisements for courses in time management. How can you manage or manipulate time? Time is one of those things in life that can’t be manufactured. We are all born with a treasure chest full of a lifetime of time. In my opinion this time is a gift from God and more valuable than anything that you will ever buy or sell. For example what would you give for precious time with a loved one you’ve lost. Just a few precious moments of time with them again. Early in my career I would be out listing someone’s house and they would say to me. “We are in no hurry and have lots of time.” I would just agree and go about trying to sell the house understanding they were in no hurry and let pricing and market conditions dictate how long it took to sell their property.
You see when I was younger time meant nothing to me so I did not understand how important it should have been to my customers. I accepted it would take a lot of time, a lot of hard work and a lot of personal sacrifice to accomplish anything in life. I had youth, enthusiasm, energy and a very positive attitude but I lacked wisdom. Time was something I took for granted. Nobody told me how important time was. If they did tell me I either didn’t listen or don’t remember. Now when someone says “I have lots of time.” I pause and look them in the eye and say “Please explain to me your secret.” “How have you managed to manufacture time?” Of course they do not understand my question. So I go on to explain some of my experiences with customers who thought they had lots of time.
I tell them of my customer and friend who invited me to his birthday celebration in April and I attended his funeral in October. Of the business customer who planned to sell his business and travel with his wife. The one who turned down a good offer and lost his wife 6 months later never having taken her on that trip she always wanted. The one who would’ve given his business away for that one precious trip with his wife. At this point they start to get my point but you know money is important they say. Yes of course it is . It must be. We seem to spend a good portion of our life worrying about it but I ask “HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A HEARSE WITH A U-HAUL ?” At this point they usually laugh but they get my point.
We do not manage time. We manage ourselves with-in the frame work of a 24 hour day . If we sleep 8 hours and work 8 hours . Allow a couple of hours for meals, travel to work and misc tasks that leaves about 6 hours a day to persue what we want to do. Throw in some TV or a good book and little time is left for many of times treasures that will slip through your fingers if not enough importance is placed on them. Let’s examine a few.
1. Time with elderly loved ones. Grand parents, parents, aunts, uncles or just old friends. Some one I miss dearly is Claire MacKeil we fished together for years and I would give anything for another day on the lake with Claire.
2. Your girl/boy friend, first kiss, first love, first heart ache, true love, marriage, kids,
2. Time with your children. The first step, first word, first day at school, his first goal , her first play , graduation all happens in a heart beat. Don’t blink.
3. Time at the cottage, trip to Disney World, time at a relatives or grampys farm, time camping, family time, family meals and special times for just the two of you.
4. Time with your brother or sister. Your best friend or friends
5. That old dog , cat, horse or pet . They won’t live forever.
I could go on. Get off of face book and pick up the phone and plan a family get together or invite an old friend over for dinner. My old military buddy from years ago called me and came down and spent the night with me last summer. I was so glad to see him. These are all life’s special times that can’t be replaced. This is your life and this is your time. Is life hard ? Yes it is hard for us all. Does life make sense ? Not much any more. We all seemed to be squeezed between dishonest politicians , over paid bureaucrats and less and less month at the end of the money while the banks and oil companies smother in profits. Not too mention the cell phone and cable companies who rip us every month. Look at my own industry where I was fined $2000 for not having a MLS™ sticker on sign and another $1500 for a mistake in our add. As though the thousands of dollars we pay them every year is not enough. Yes it’s tough for us all but we can’t let this out of wack world prevent us from caring about each other. We could take precious time and fight all these stupid battles just to prove a point. Not this wise old man. I’d rather sit on my deck with my old dog by my side. (who I know loves me) puff on my old pipe and watch God’s glorious sun go down. I’d rather sit and have supper with Merrill Miller in Maitland (Merrill is 86 and still runs his own small business and flies planes.) I’ve been dealing with Merrill selling the Manse in Maitland and have come to admire and respect him. I can’t get in and out of his house with out us having a meal together. I enjoy our conversations and time together greatly. Times together. I guess that statement sums up my article for this month.
Have a great spring and use your time wisely Larry Matthews