You’re gonna die. You know that, right? Not too long back, that was actually cited as a motivational statement designed to get us off our backsides and getting on with life.
Not everyone found that idea particularly inspiring. And yet, at the very root of that statement is a reminder that time is one asset we can only spend once.
So why do we spend so much time procrastinating, waiting for that rainy day or just convincing ourselves that we don’t have time to do all those things we want to do?
Mostly ‘I don’t have time’ is a big, fat excuse, and we know it.
It might mean we can’t be bothered, we’re not really invested in that objective, or maybe we’ve gotten ourselves so stressed and strung out that we feel guilty if we attempt to do something ‘off message’ – even if that thing would be good for us.
So what makes us actually take action and do it?
Well, parking those scenarios where we’re offered free tickets to our favourite concert and suddenly, magically find a way to materialise the time (it’s true for many of us – maybe even for you!), when we know we NEED to do something – even if we don’t really, really *want* to do it – we find a way.
On some level, we perceive the pain associated with *not* doing it will be greater than just getting the hell on with it.
Let me give you an example of that. If I could show you where you’re using an extra MONTH of your life doing something really mundane, would you want to do something better with it? Something exciting?
You ready? The average person spends 29 days and five hours of their life peeing.
Really. There’s research. Almost a month of your life is spent urinating.
Can you imagine not doing that though? No. Because we learn, from a very young age, that *not* doing that would cause us great pain, be detrimental to our health.
Let’s just look at that for a moment. Detrimental to our health. How many of us have ever been stressed? How many of us are stressed now? How many of us know that stress is intrinsically linked to our mindset and *know* deep in our bones, we could do something about that if we really wanted to?
We might not be able to wave a magic wand and immediately fix our financial challenges, our health concerns, our partnership problems, our mother in law, but we could absolutely find a way to approach that situation differently so that it didn’t stress us out so much. We all have things we love doing, things that make us happy, but we don’t do them enough.
By and large, we’d rather be stressed. We’d rather have the elevated cortisol levels, the inflammation, the digestive problems, the brain fog… the heart attack. It’s what being a proper, grown-up businessperson is about, isn’t it?
If we don’t de-stress, it will cause us pain. So why aren’t we routinely doing something about that? Why aren’t we ridding our systems of stress as regularly as we’re ridding our systems of pee?
It’s a crazy analogy, isn’t it? Totally ridiculous. Yeah. Well so’s wading through life carrying a sackload of stress you don’t need to be carrying. It’s not the situations that cause you stress – it’s YOU! It’s your mindset, your outlook, your cynicism, your martyrdom, your anger and frustration at the world.
You don’t have time to do all that stuff they talk about to alleviate stress – meditation, walks in nature, mindfulness, all that woo woo rubbish, right?
WANT AN EXTRA THREE YEARS?
That month you wanted back earlier? How about THREE YEARS! That’s how much the scientists reckon stress can shave off your life. And that’s just ‘work stress’. God knows how much all the other stuff impacts us.
An extra three years to do the stuff you enjoy. To see your kids grow up. To hold your grandchildren. To play golf? Go fishing? Hang out with friends.
Y’know, someone once told me that love is spelt T.I.M.E.
Let’s go back to that opening ‘motivational’ statement. You’re all going to die. The real questions are, how soon and how do you want to spend the time you have here, and what will you do to make that time count?