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Developing ideal habits (7)

By Udeme Archibong


There are two vital things under the sun that man is never satisfied with. These two vital things have a great similarity and also great disparity; they are similar because both are resources which humans cannot live effectively without them and the more you utilize both wisely the more rewarding your life becomes.

However, they also have contrasting qualities in the sense that the intangible one is irreplaceable and unrepeatable which suggest that if lost is gone forever; there is no remedy in getting it back. While the other that is tangible can be replaced if it is lost and can even be multiplied.

These two vital resources are interrelated with each other; you trade one for the other. In fact the better you are at trading on the intangible resource the greater the tangible resource is increased. Show me how you spend money and I’ll show you how you spend your time and I can predict the direction of your life. These two vital things are time which is an intangible resource and money which is a tangible resource. Until you budget your time and money life becomes like a roller coaster; always in motion but never making progress.

Down in history human beings have overvalued money and devalued people. When you overvalue money above people your mindset will be saturated with greed, selfishness and pride; this demeaning qualities will choke the seed of enduring success and render it dead. Remember, enduring success which is living a life that your usefulness outlives you; is having more of what money can buy and all of the things money cannot buy.

While the other kind of “success” which is temporal is having more of what money can buy and none or few of the things that money cannot buy. John Hagee reveals, “Money can buy you a palace of breathtaking splendour, but money cannot buy you a home filled with love and respect from the people who live there. Money can buy the finest physicians in an hour of sickness, but money cannot buy the God-given gift of health. Money can buy you a bed of solid gold, but money cannot buy you one minute of rest or inner peace. Money will attract legions of people to you, but money cannot buy you the treasure of one true friend. Money can buy you books, but money cannot buy you brains. Money will buy you food, but money cannot buy a healthy appetite. Money can buy a crucifix around your neck, but money cannot buy a savior in your heart.”

Poverty consciousness and fear of poverty which is a destructive state of mind gives birth to envy, greed and selfishness. However, the prosperous man is one who has an abundance mentality climbing high on the ladder of the maturity continuum births generosity, benevolence and the nobler and finer virtues.
Humanity is yelling; I want more money! I want more time! But their “wants” are never gratified; they seem to never get enough. All humans have been allocated 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. However, the extent to which you are able to utilize time effectively determines the quantity of money you get and the quality of life you live.

To get started; the foremost responsibility of humans is self discovery. Your learning capacity determines your earning capacity. To learn effectively, you need to explore your talent; discover your purpose and concentrate in the area of your gifting. The more value you put into your work in terms of quantity of time and quality of service the higher will be your earning capacity; the more of yourself you put into your work the greater will be your earning capacity.

Your earning capacity does not determine your financial freedom but rather financial intelligence which has it foundation on self mastery or self control. Irrespective of how much you earn if you throw your money around; spend it impulsively; living beyond your means; utilizing your money to ruin your health and character; your money becomes a snare to you trapping you in bondage of wretchedness. Therefore, you need to think long term; sacrificing today’s pleasure for tomorrow’s happiness and freedom. Never live to impress people or compare yourself with another but rather develop the habit of saving part of your income consistently for investment opportunity; invest your money in the area you understand and believe in; allocate money to improve yourself; in terms of knowledge and skill; allocate money for charity purposes. Personally, I also practice tithing –giving a tenth of every income that I earn to the church that I attend and I also recommend you to do the same if you are of the Christian Faith. Borrowing money leaves you a victim in the debris of poverty; borrowing for investment purposes is acceptable given that you have made a wise choice.

It has been estimated how the average person spends a typical life span of seventy years. For many, reaching the age of seventy they probably will spend twenty-three years sleeping, sixteen years working, eight years watching television, six years eating, six years travelling, four and a half years on leisure activities, four years being sick, and two years getting dressed. The average person spends six months of his or her life on spiritual activities. If you sum up the numbers the result will be seventy years-and then life on earth is over.

Time is synonymous with life; Life is measured with time. Time is your most precious resource; it is your most valuable asset. Time is irreplaceable and unrepeatable. Life is an opportunity of time allocated to us with a purpose to discover and fulfill; Life is a domain assigned to us with a specific time-frame in which to make our contribution in the world and leave it better than we met it. Therefore, we do not have any time to lose but rather we have all the time allocated to us to use. Our desire should be for Life to use us up before we are taken up.

However, in order to make the preceding statement a reality we need to invest our time rather than spend it. The end product of an invested time is a fulfilled and a rewarding life; the end product of time spent is a life of regret that cannot be remedied. The value you attach to time will be the corresponding value that you will command in life. The Universal Law of value states: “Do not waste your time on thoughts, people, or actions which are not worthy. Do not waste your thoughts on ideas that are not worthy. Do not waste your energies on activities which are not worthy. Do not waste your money on that which is not worthy”. Every aspect of the Law of value revolves around time; thoughts, actions and substance. The use of your money will determine the use of your time.

Jesus reveals, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” It is wise to ask yourself, “What is the best use of my money right now, in terms of my goals, vision, and purpose”. Maximizing time is more about life management rather than time management. Life management is removing the clutter from your life and focusing only on things that really matter to the fulfillment of your destiny and thereby scheduling your time pursue and accomplish goals that moves you closer to the fulfillment of your destiny. Therefore, before time can be managed effectively life management must be in place. *In the light of this time management is not getting more things done rather time management is getting those things done that matter to the fulfillment of the purpose for your life.

What is important to you now and what will be important to you in the long term? What are talents; gifts and abilities and how can you use all these to serve the world? What are you passionate about to contribute to the elevation of humanity? What legacy do you want to leave behind? Remember the legacy that will stand the test of time is what you leave in people rather than for people motivated by unconditional love for humanity. When you answer these questions with utmost sincerity and pure motive then you can effectively budget and maximize your time. You must not only plan your time you must also work your plan which demands self-discipline. Give your goals or schedules daily and hourly timeframe and follow through as planned. Remember, procrastination is a failure virus that subtly invades life wrecking it with the pain of regret. The right time to do anything is NOW! Never let other people run your life by letting them determine how you will spend your time. Run with your own agenda according to your life’s calling rather than fitting your life into someone else’s agenda for you.

Without vision or purpose for your life, time has no meaning. A successful life is built on a plan or blueprint every other thing revolves around it. At every given moment ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time right now, taking into consideration my goals, vision, and purpose?” At most, eight hours should be allotted to sleep for a sound health and effective body. About eight to ten hours is utilized for work. Then we have about eight hours left which could be called “free time”. Here’s the catch, the use to which you put the free time into spells the difference between success and failure in life. In fact, free time could be termed either an “opportunity time” or “misfortune time”. Many people are desperate for their circumstance to change, however, during their free time they engage in aimless socializing, prolonged viewing of television, idling gossiping, plain laziness, associating with people going nowhere who feed each other’s destructive habits like drinking, smoking etc. Free time is an opportunity to invest in you and others; acquiring additional education or knowledge, rendering of service and creating goodwill. Work should be fun and fun should be work. Truly successful people love their work; they engage in a work that taps into their passion.

However, if you are engaged in a job that you do not like; that does not tap into your passion then take a clue from Henry Ford.
Henry Ford began as a Detroit powerhouse worker at a salary of $11 a week working 10 hours a day. But he had a vision of manufacturing cars, so he utilized his free time each evening for three years to create the first Ford car. Wow! His free time was indeed an opportunity time.
Therefore, guard your time for out of it determines the quality of your life.

David Foster counsels, “Wasting time worrying about things you can’t control is like flushing money down a toilet. Wasting time fretting over the past diminishes what your life could be right now or at the very least what it may yet become. Wasting time regretting the sins you’ve already confessed shows you’re not serious about being forgiven or you’re not confident that God is faithful enough to forgive when asked. Wasting time worrying about the people you think are thinking about you is feeling a false sense of self-importance. Wasting time trying to get even is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick. Wasting time thinking about giving somebody a piece of your mind is a childish misuse of your brainpower.

Wasting your time is wasting your life. It is sin to waste your life worrying and fretting over stuff you can’t control or may never happen. It is childish to waste another day being mad, getting angry, getting even, engaging in gossip, placing the blame or shaming yourself. You don’t have enough time to engage in trying to please everyone or throwing it away by living from one crisis to the next.

Contrary to what you’ve been told, you can’t save time or make time. You can invest it in something noble and needed, thereby multiplying its value. Wasting time is wasting life, and we have gotten too good at both”.

Let every time you spend add value to your life and the life of another person.

When you budget your time and money what you have will be enough.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.