I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!
It truly is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – growing up as a kid I always cherished this time of the year the most. It really is just a special feeling like no other time in the year.
I hope all of you take this time to recharge and refresh your energy and focus.
Reflect on 2017
In the midst of resting and relaxing, I encourage you to take the chance to review and reflect upon your 2017.
Were you happy with your progress and achievements in 2017?
Was it overall a satisfactory year in all the key areas in your life?
Is there anything you are upset about or feel you failed at? In which case the follow up question is: is there anything you learnt from it and anything you would do differently going forward?
Remember that time is a very finite resource – so how are you spending your “time tokens?”
This is how I think of it. Sure the world may be unfair in many ways. Capitalism is increasingly becoming a genetic lottery. Wealth and income inequality continues to worsen everywhere in the world. Access to justice and education isn’t distributed evenly. All this just to name a few which are the merely the tip of the iceberg.
The world may be unfair. But not time.
Time is the great equalizer.
Time doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are the President of the United States, the Queen of England, a billionaire, a movie star or a professional athlete. Everyone only has 24 hours a day to live.
The average human lifespan is anywhere from 75 – 90 years old. So think of it this way: each year you only have 365 time tokens to spend, one for each day of the year. Furthermore you are only allowed to spend 1 time token per day and that’s it. Once it’s spent, it will never come back. Plus unlike money, time tokens cannot be earned. Everyone has a fixed allocation.
Personally once I started thinking of it this way I began to cherish life much more knowing how scarce and limited it’s fuel was (the fuel of life is time). But it also made me afraid. Afraid of squandering my time, since I could never get it back.
So each day I tell myself:
I better damn well make sure I get a good return on my time today.
I encourage you to ask yourself that too, daily as well as yearly.
So let me ask you: wow well did you spend your 365 time tokens this year in 2017?
The Japanese have this concept of Kaizen and the general idea (when applied in a personal as opposed to corporate context) is that not a day should go by without some form of improvement being made somewhere in your life.
Or to put it another way, everyone should look back on their past year’s self and feel embarrassed because in comparison they are now a vastly upgraded version of their previous self.
In the exact same way as how we look back at the original iPhone 3 today and laugh at it when we compare it to the iPhone X. Or how we look back at those old button phones today and laugh at their “inferiority and primitiveness.”
Looking forward to 2018
If upon reflection you are happy with how you deployed your 365 time tokens in 2017, well done! Keep up the good work in 2018.
If however you feel you could do better, congratulations! That self-awareness will put you in good stead going forward. Having said that, self-awareness must be followed by action or else it’s worthless.
So if you think you didn’t spend your 2017 that well, don’t panic. It’s not too late to start afresh in 2018.
2018 is just around the corner and I encourage you to start thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2018. What are your goals, targets and objectives? This is where you want to get to.
And more importantly, what is your Why? That is, what is the purpose behind your goals, targets and objectives? This is why you want to get to where you want to get to (if that makes sense).
It is only when you have a clear why / purpose can you achieve your full potential and overcome all the obstacles that come your way. Otherwise you run the risk of burning out, losing focus and worse still, giving up (failing by default).
If you don’t have a clear why / purpose that you can articulate right now, I highly recommend you read Start With Why by Simon Sinek. He explains this powerful idea far better than I could.
It’s not a particularly dense read and you could easily finish it in a week if you read it off and on. If you really set aside some time to read you could finish it in 1-2 days. It will good way to spend a couple of your time tokens to kick-start your 2018.
Write it down and constantly come back to it throughout the year
Once you’ve decided on your goals and purpose for 2018, write it down so you can review it next year and measure how well you performed.
You should also constantly revisit it during the course of the new year to see how you are tracking.
That’s it from me today, would love to hear what big things you have planned for 2018? Will 2018 be the year you escape the 9-5 and reclaim your time and your life? Leave a message in the comments.
Remember to stay safe while travelling and be careful to keep an eye on all your belongings!
Tony Lee Jacobs.