3 things you will never get back

Most people are on equal footing, especially during this coronavirus quarantine. Celebrities, sports stars and music artists aren’t working, just like you. Even in good times, though, time is the great equalizer.

Sure, stars may have a bigger bank account, probably a bigger house (or two) and they may have access to things like COVID19 testing, technology and stuff you don’t have at your fingertips. But, the truth of the matter is that most of them have been hanging out at home just like you. Impatient, anxious and probably a little irritable.

But you actually have an edge right now because you’re on equal footing with those guys in three key areas. The three key areas you can never get back: Time, words and opportunity.

Are you making the most of it? What are you doing with your time? Are you sending out empty words on Facebook and Twitter? Has opportunity been standing on your front doorstep, but you haven’t noticed?

In normal times, those stars and celebrities may have the advantage because money does speak at times. That said, the money doesn’t come first. Unless they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, they invested their time and words and took advantage of an opportunity that has carried them to success and, ultimately, the money.

Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. ~Thomas Edison.

They say that time is of the essence, but it’s a more relevant currency than money. Money you can replace, time you cannot. Money comes and goes, time just goes. Money is an unlimited resource, time is limited to 86,400 seconds each day.

You can never go bankrupt with time because you can’t overspend it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and you must wait for tomorrow to get a new allocation.

Often, people will say they don’t have time for this or that, but the fact is that we all are given the same amount, so it’s a question of how you spend it. It’s evenly divided and distributed. You may not have the same amount of money, you may not have the same intellectual mind, and you may not be in the ideal geographic location. But you have 24 hours a day. That’s 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds.

Tick, tick, tick. What are you doing with all those seconds? When you take away 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for work (generally), an hour or two for eating each day, not much left. But it’s how you use the time that is important.

A Harvard study of 27 CEOs tracked their use of time and found that “time is the scarcest resource”. It’s a good read and provides some insight into their success. Now, you don’t have to work the hours of a CEO and, I’ll grant that there are different responsibilities and different expectations, but it’s a matter of using the rest of the time wisely.

Are you maximizing the time you do have to improve your life? If you were to track your time, would you look back at the end of the day and be shocked?

Evaluate how you can make the seconds count and where you can spend your allotted minutes to your advantage. Start tracking with just 60 minutes today. Be intentional. Be thoughtful. Read, write, call, text, bless.

“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt” ~Mark Twain.

The power of the tongue is real. With it, you can maim, disappoint, and damage or calm, inspire, and encourage. Words are one of the three things that you can never get back.

Ever said something that as soon as it rolled out of your mouth, you wish you could reach out and bring it back? Yes, of course, we all have. But it’s more than just that.

Being careful with your words is as much about listening as it is about speaking, though. The more you listen — and hear — the less you need to talk and the more valuable the words you ultimately speak, which is probably good advice for us all!

You see, many people today are more interested in telling you what or how to do something, even before they know what you need or want. It’s the Social Media age we live in. Facebook Syndrome leads the way, and many just love to spout their opinion — often veiled as an “expert” — or complain as a victim.

You can learn to manage your time, you can map it and track it. But your words are more of a discipline that you can master by just keeping your mouth shut. It’s been said that the human tongue is a beast. The words of that beast can last for a lifetime, so choose them wisely.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ~Proverbs 18:21.

Take an inventory. And just like your grandma used to say, watch what you say! Choose life: Tame the beast, bite your tongue.

If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade. ~Tom Peters

Opportunity — both big and small — is standing right in front of you. Most of the time, it’s a matter of how badly you want it. But most opportunities don’t last long, and someone else steps up and takes your prize.

You may believe that other people have more opportunities than you. Often, though, other people recognize a small chance and turn it into a huge blessing or prize. Whether or not you recognize the opportunity is all about perspective.

Are you expecting someone to hand you a check, or are you looking for the opportunity that will lead to wealth or reward? Are you looking for a chance to help someone, or are you waiting for someone to help you? Are you standing by on the shore for the ship to come in, or are you willing to swim out to get it? (hat tip: Jonathan Winters).

Don’t miss the little opportunity waiting for the big one. You may be waiting for a long time. The Bible teaches us to be faithful in the small things first. Don’t worry, you won’t miss the big one if you’re diligent with the small one.

You have countless opportunities every day. Sure, not all will make you a millionaire or result in any income at all. But as you start to hone your skills and recognize those opportunities, you’ll begin to see more and more opportunities that are right around you every day.

Whatever you do today, be intentional with your time, your words and your opportunities. You will never get them back!

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