So, I was on vacation last week. Family vacation. We went to California and I re-discovered San Diego and we spent several days enjoying the sun in LA. We had some really fun times but the best day was when I rented a road bike and spent the afternoon riding up the Pacific coast. I love to bike. I love the sun. I love the ocean. I love a long afternoon to myself. I couldn’t have asked for a better day!
Another thing I did on vacation was pick up a book called The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. My initial thought about this book was: “Who thinks that they can get all their work done in four hours a week? Who really thinks that they would still have a job if they tried to pull that off?” Those thoughts changed when I started reading.
I was drawn into the book because it spoke truth right from the beginning about how most people that I know are experiencing their lives. A couple of quotes:
So it has me thinking. I know—dangerous right!
There are so many people that we encounter every day simply surviving this life. Trying to get somewhere as though life will be different once they get to that NEXT thing.
What thing are you waiting for so your life can start to be how you want it:
- Are you waiting for the weekend?
- The end of the school year?
- When you get that next job?
- When you get a promotion?
- When you go on vacation?
- When you have kids?
- When your kids are out of the house?
- When you retire?
Stop waiting and start entering into the life you want right now. The life you have in this moment is the only one you can affect anyway.
What Tim Ferriss and I are suggesting isn’t that you quit the life you are in and live like a hippie. No. The basic idea is that there are two currencies in your life. The currency of money and the currency of time. Recognize that you not only have a role to play in how you will spend your money—but more importantly—identify the role you play in how you spend your time. Does your time investment reflect the experiences that you want your life to be about?
A few suggestions:
- What would it look like to leave the blackberry and laptop at work every night. Lock it up. Does that scare you? Try it. When your time at home can’t be interrupted with work emails—think about how much more of an engaged spouse and parent you will be.
- What does breakfast with a friend once a week look like? There is nothing in your life more important than relationships—so starting living like it. I’ve done this for over a decade and I would not traded one minute of it for more time at the office to work on whatever project was “mission critical” that week.
- What would it look like to work four days a week instead of five and spend that fifth day doing what you love. That’s my new plan on a go forward basis. My work-week just shrank from 5 to 4 days and I’m going to spend Fridays doing something that I absolutely love—whether that’s a day on the bike, a day with my kids, or my friends. My guess is that I’ll still get just as much work done and even if I don’t—it’s worth the money hit to get the life experience that will come from it.
So my challenge to you is the same as my challenge to myself. Find a way to move towards how you want to spend your time. Take one of the suggestions above. Do something different so you get something different.