"I wish I had more time..."
All we have in this world is time. Consider this the main resource of your life. You have a certain number of years, days, hours which are yours to own. Then you run out of time. While time can be fleeting, I believe it is possible to create more for yourself.
On the flip side, you can waste time. Throw it away. Completely misuse and lose it all together. The most frightening thing to me, aside from heights and spiders, is that you can’t get that time back that you’ve wasted.
Once the moment passes, it’s gone.
It’s all too common for me to hear people say, “I need to wait… to get my life together, for this job to settle down, for my kids to stop requiring my time… I need to find the time for that.”
I see people with a deliberate intent on starting something yet are impeding by the fear of a time commitment. They wait for the perfect opportunity, the perfect moment, a personal invitation...
There’s no such thing as perfect timing. Stop hoping your “ducks will align perfectly” because it won’t happen. You can use this as an excuse, but you’re just wasting time.
Practically speaking, I have 3 years of good weightlifting left in me. Most Olympic Weightlifting careers are typically ended right at the age of 30.
That gives me 3 years. At 5 sessions per week, 2 hours per session gives me roughly 1,560 hours of training left to achieve my weightlifting goal, more on that later.
How do I make the most of the time I have left?
Be more time efficient
Make each session count as much as possible. Don’t waste time. Practice with deliberate intent and laser focus. Avoid going through the motions just to check off a to-do list. Everything you do should have a reason, purpose which helps drive you a step closer to succeeding.
Next time you’re about to do something. Think – what do I need to improve upon the most? Where are my faults? Once you know what you need to improve, figure out how to improve, then commit to making the improvement.
Spend more time doing it (if longevity is the limiting factor)
For my particular goals, I currently spend 2 hours per day weightlifting. I could add in another hour in the morning or evening for accessory strength training, but that gets pretty demanding on the physiological system. As I build a tolerance to volume, I will certainly add in 3-5 hours of accessory training per week. At the minimum, that would add roughly 150 hours of extra work per year.
Do more of what you love, do more of what makes you happy.
Extend the lifespan
As always, adding a year or 2 to the lifespan of the project, career or goal timeline could be critical for success.
Maybe if I eat properly, don’t smoke or abuse alcohol, stretch more, see a chiropractor regularly, practice yoga and mindful meditation - maybe I can add another year or two of competition to my life. Maybe I won’t have to end at 30.
This goes for every single person. If you enjoy playing with your kid, you can do that until your kid gives you grandkids. And you can play with them too! So long as you commit to putting in the work now to add years of active movement to your life later.
I've heard this before,
“when the day comes and I have to make a change, I will be able to”
but that isn’t reality. If you let this thought that If I really needed to, I could become a crutch to keep you from moving forward, not only do you waste time now, but years in the future will start to creep back. What you could have done until you were 60+, now you can’t even do at the age of 45. That’s 15 years of future joy that is being wasted right at this very moment.
The only way to avoid losing years of your future life is to start now. Start now, start small, start slow, start as a beginner. But don’t be afraid to start because your ego. It’s ok to be a beginner. It’s ok to ask for help. I struggle with this sometimes too.
Speaking of asking for help. Don’t go after things on your own. Use the little time you have to be the best you can be. Ask others, professionals / coaches / teachers for help / advice / mentorship.
You can spend the next 10 years of your life trying to paint without a teacher and you might do well. But I’m telling you that if you get help, if you seek others who are better, if you surround yourself with those who share your beliefs and goals and you will progress much more quickly that you ever could have alone. Plus you'll make friends.
It’s not technically wasting time to do something without guidance because you’re still doing what you love, you’re learning and progressing. But you could be progressing faster. To be great, you’ll need some sort of help. Do yourself a favor and get help sooner rather than later.
Action taken today is far better than a plan for tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be complete or perfect - in fact, more often than not, it will never be complete or perfect. If you can relinquish the notion of perfection and be ok with progression, you’ll be much happier. As Bruce Lee says, and I paraphrase, the moment you understand you cease to grow. At the point in which you become perfect, you stop growing as a person. You no longer need to become better because you believe you’re perfect. This in itself is a flaw in the human condition.
Nothing and no one is perfect and that is the beauty of humanity. We are all different. Don’t put something off because of fear it won’t be perfect. Do something because you might do it differently. It won’t be perfect but it will be. And that’s what’s most important. It is because you did it.
Learn from time spent
In the beginning, I talked about wasting time. Once that time is gone and passed, it’s over, gone forever. That is still certainly the case, but everything you do or don’t do is still an opportunity to learn and progress. Wasting time all morning doing the wrong assignment might seem like a waste, but you can still learn from this. Learning opportunities will often create valuable knowledge and insights for future tasks.
Think back and ask yourself, “what did I not know & do wrong that put me in this situation?” For me, it’s usually because I rushed - I’m a very impatient person and that causes me to pull the trigger on tasks without thinking about all the circumstances of situation.
I challenge myself to be more patient. Learn from my mistakes. This helps me maintain confidence in decision making in the future and not get too bogged down by fears of mistake and failure. Whether or not I get it right isn’t the issue, it’s whether or not I can take action, learn and keep moving forward.
People are often petrified that they will waste time or do something wrong so they never commit. They procrastinate. They wait. Then the moment passes. Years pass. Time is gone.
Think about these steps next time you want to make something happen for yourself. As always, if you would like to talk about your goals, please let me know! I'd love to offer any helpful advice on getting started and progressing from failure to success.
Lastly, remember -- "Whether you can or can't, you're right"