Here are some interesting facts about time: We all get the same amount per day, how we use our time is a choice, and once time passes we can’t get it back.
If we each get exactly the same amount of time per day, why can some people do more with it than others? Why are some wildly successful in their careers, family life, and passions while others seem struggle to just get basic things done? I believe the answers can be found in the second fact – how we use the time we are given is a choice.
I sometimes hear people say, “Everything comes easy for him” or “I’d be successful, too, if I’d been given the chance.” I even said, “He got his college paid for and his career handed to him” about one of my friends. And I’ve had people tell me, “Of course you lost the weight. If I had The Biggest Loser, I’d lose the weight, too!” Unfortunately this is all too common. We tend to make excuses of why we don’t have what we really want when it’s really more about how we use the time we are given.
Every person I have talked to who is successful in a business, their family, or their skill tells me the same thing – they’ve put the time in. They were handed a choice of what to do with their time – whether to watch TV or spend some time with their kids. Maybe to play golf on Saturday or to work on that client’s file they’ve wanted to land. Each choice is not right or wrong – but they do have a price & benefit. The price might be your golf game might suffer, but the benefit might be that you land those clients that make your business successful. Or the price might be that don’t get to find out who was voted off the island but the benefit is a closer relationship with your children.
Remember, the choices aren’t right or wrong, they are just different. What we can’t afford to do is walk around blaming where we are on outside circumstances instead of our choices. When we do this, we fall into a victim mentality – a mentality that we do not control our own destiny, but the things that happen to us do. We need to practice a responsible mentality – that we are where we are because of the choices that we have made. When we practice a responsible mentality, we can do the most important thing: change our choices to change our results! But when we blame our failures on outside circumstance and practice a victim mentality, we give away the very power we have to change our life – our right to choose.
I urge you to stop making up stories about why others are successful in an area and you are not. Ask them how they built their business, built their family dynamic, or became an awesome guitar player – I’ll bet they’ll tell you they chose to work their tails off and put in the effort to get what they really want.
Remember that friend of mine I thought got his college paid for and his business handed to him? Actually, his father made him pay for his own schooling, and he worked long, hard hours for the first 5 years of his business to build it to where it is now – a multi-million dollar company. So when I see him playing golf on Saturday, I know the truth about his success. He earned it – by choosing to spend his time getting what he really wants. And I lost the weight on The Biggest Loser by choosing to work hard. No one handed me that. I earned it!