Benchmark Business Group

Real Time

January 3, 2011

We are born.  We die.  In between is Time.  And even though Time is what it is, we try to get our arms around it by measuring it…in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years.  But more importantly, we get to decide how to use it…every single one of us.  The Time that has gone by we will never see again (at least not in this lifetime).  We don’t know how much Time we have left.  We can no longer choose how to use the Time of yesterday…we already did that.  We don’t know if we’ll have a choice about the Time of tomorrow…hopefully each of us will.

The only Time we really know we have and can choose to use in a way that brings us joy and satisfaction is the Time happening NOW.  As a matter of fact, when you really think about it, the only Time that really matters is Real Time—the Time happening NOW.

And yet, the great majority of us continue to use our Time in ways that aren’t getting us any closer to our dreams, that aren’t bringing us either joy or satisfaction, that aren’t giving our businesses or families what they need, and so on.  We say to ourselves things like: “This is what I have to do right now…I don’t have any choice…If I don’t do this, it won’t get done…Circumstances prevent me from doing things differently.”  Our days and months and years are filled with activities that prevent us from achieving our true potential in business, personally, socially, spiritually and so on.  After all, there is only so much Time…right?

And all the while we complain of having no Time, of only having Time to do what we’re currently doing, of having no Time to do something else, even though the “something else” is exactly what we should be doing to realize our dreams and achieve our full potential.  We completely ignore the fact that we choose to use our Time doing things that aren’t getting us what we say we want, and claim we have No Time to do the things that will get us exactly what we say we want.  (I think I’ve discovered a new definition of insanity.)  Even more importantly, we ignore the fact that it is our choice

Granted, for some of us, changing how we use our Time will involve unraveling a whole series of choices that have put us in rather untenable and burdensome situations that completely depend on us using our Time a certain way.  The business owner who has created Time Bandits that require him or her to do most everything has a lot of unraveling to do.  Their use of Time has been carefully (even though unconsciously) designed to drain the life out of them.  But it is still a choice.

As I write this, 2010 is on its death bed and 2011 is in the delivery room.  There are millions of people reflecting on what they did not get done in 2010 and looking forward to 2011 with hope and great intention.  Some are even writing their proverbial New Year’s Resolutions:  A statement of fervent intent to do something I should have done before but never did even though it would fulfill one of my fondest dreams and now I’m really going to do it so help me God.  Did you ever wonder how important something is to you if you have to put it on a list of things you’re going to do, instead of just doing it?

This may be hard for some of you incurable workaholics to swallow, but Time is the only thing between birth and death—your birth and death, or the birth and death of a calendar year.  It’s not that you have No Time—Time is really all you have.  You simply get to decide how to use it.  And you can use it by coming up with things you intend to do when you have Time, or you can use it by immediately spending your Time doing those things that will bring you closer and closer to the way you’ve always dreamt you should be spending your Time.

If you view yourself as physically fit, exercise today.  If you want to stay in closer touch with your family, do it today…even if it has to be on the phone or by email.  If you want your business to be less frustrating, select a key frustration today and spend time drilling into the reasons why it happens and discover what you can do to reverse it forever.  And above all, get some help.  Habits are often hard to change, and the way you think about things even harder.  Allowing yourself to be held accountable to an objective third party for changing how you spend your Time has proven over and over again to be the most effective way to achieve it—by a multiple of not less than 20 times the success rate you have when simply leaving it up to your own “discipline”.

If you make every NOW count, your 2011 experience will take care of itself.  May the New Year bring each and every one of you the Joy, Peace, and Prosperity of your fondest dreams, and may Time be among your best friends.

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