Buying Time


I was reminded this week of an amazing experience I had a few years ago.

Side Note: When seemingly out of the blue we are struck by a memory or something stirs our hearts and heads in an unusual way… take note.  It is important to pay attention because most of the time these are not cosmic random accidents.

I believe that at different points in our life we are ready to move forward in a particular aspect of our growth.  These seemingly random events are God’s tap on the shoulder to let us know that now is the time to take a step in a new direction.


I accompanied a CEO of a significant mid-sized company to an industry forum at a University.  The attendees were leaders of companies in a particular industry, educators and students.

It was your run of the mill meeting until the leaders were asked about how to instill loyalty into employees.

My friend answered this way.

“Loyalty is a value that is reflected.  Employees will only be as loyal to a company, as the company is to them.

‘We pay a commodity (money) for the most priceless thing a person has… their time.  We give a person something in return for this priceless gift… time from their life.”

This begs one of the most important questions of our existence… what is my life worth?  What is the value I place on my life?

We can get pretty lofty and philosophical rather quickly on a topic such as this.  But in reality it’s pretty simple.

We are constantly giving (exchanging) our life for something.

As mentioned earlier, we sell our time.  We get money for the hours we give daily to our employer.  I am not saying this is a bad thing but only to bring to point the fact that we are constantly exchanging our most priceless possession, time, for something.

Tossing around this idea of exchanging our life for something causes me to pause.  It forces me, as it should, to assess the various aspects of my life as to whether I am frittering away this priceless commodity or not.

I personally believe that to have a growing and vibrant life that we must periodically take pause to reflect on our life choices.  Why we need to do it periodically is because what we view as worthwhile or important changes with time and life experiences.

Now, I don’t want this quick peek into our life to get all heavy and burdensome.  It is not meant to be.  It is just one of those spots where we take advantage of some new insights to adjust the use of our time.

My Credo:   Progress not Perfection

The following is an adjustment that I know will take me forward to a happier more productive life.  For me this quick stop has heightened the prickly sensation I have been getting in regards to the amount of TV that I watch… too much.

This is not a new insight but points like this press the issue and forces a decision… ignore it and stay where I am or make some changes and enjoy my life journey more.

It is not a matter of giving up TV because that is not what I feel is required.  But, just like you, I know when I cross the line of relaxation and enjoyment into a complete waste of an hour of my life.

It is times like that where we actually exchange our most precious commodity for something of no value.

It is also important to remember that assessing life choices is a very individualized and personal assessment.   What one sees as a worthwhile endeavor to another is seen a waste of time.

You may not have an issue of watching too much TV.  Maybe it’s reading too much, games, or other mindless time wasters.  Something that makes you feel crappy after jettisoning an hour of your life into infinity.

Now there are some of you who are reading this with that smug look on your face indicating that you are above the trivial time wasters.  You trade your time too.  We who waste time are fully aware that we do so.  You on the other hand are trapped in the delusion that what you do seems “productive”.

For you “productive” types, maybe your time escape is running, working, endless chores, anything to validate your worth.

I believe we spend half of our life trying to figure out how to live our life.  I think for the most part in the early years we throw our lives at all sorts of stuff.  This is a sort of trial and error approach to living from which we get life lessons.

Some may see writing a blog as a waste of time.  Especially the time wasted writing a blog that no one may read or about the nebulous topic… life.

But that’s the beauty of life.  I know this is a good productive thing for me.

The issue is, what are you to do differently that will help you grow?

See you Monday.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment