Stop Killing Time. Start Doing More.
I have always hated wasting my time. In fact, I actually have a really difficult time just relaxing. Even when I go on vacation, my mind is still thinking about work. Staying busy is arguably my best and worst trait. It has hurt my relationship with loved ones. It made me miss important events in peoples' lives. But it has also made me excel at learning and producing results in my professional life. This ability has helped me be able to contribute to amazing results on my projects and businesses.
I was 14 years old when I realized that I had a curious and obsessive nature. This was when I started playing online multiplayer games. My mind would run through different scenarios to be able to dominate the games I played at. I would stay up late just to improve my characters and defeat my enemies. This obsessive nature would carry over when I started developing websites. I would obsess over every part of the technologies -- tinkering until I figure out how to build the "perfect" website. This obsession led to a great work ethic. I was able to outperform people through sheer effort.
The only thing you have to show for a wasted or spent time is that you just realize that you are getting older.
- Sunday Adelaja
In college, I used to hang out with a great group of friends. I often would spend a lot of time with one friend in particular. Let's call him Steve. Steve is a great guy. Extremely smart and a fun person to hang out with. However, Steve did not enjoy hard work. He would always talk confidently about how well he was doing. Unfortunately, his reality fell far short of his talk. The truth is: he just wanted to have a good time without doing the work.
He would sleep past noon. He would hand in assignments at the very last second. He would barely pass his tests. He would do the minimum just to avoid getting kicked out of group projects. Obviously, this did not work out well for his grades. As a result of his academic failures, he would seek his release through alcohol and drugs. In fact, some mornings I would find him asleep sitting on the toilet after a hard night of partying. I would then help him back to his bed to sleep off the hangover.
We all know Steve. In fact, we have a bit of Steve in all of us. You probably work with someone like Steve. We all know the people that lack accountability for their work. They just want an easy ride into a dream life. They put in the bare minimum at work, and then just cruise home and watch Netflix until they pass out. This pattern persists until they find themselves disappointed in where their life didn't go. The lack of growth has allowed nearly all their peers to surpass them. The real tragedy here is the deviance between Steve's potential life and his actual life.
Do More Now
People often ask me when is the best time for them to take action. My answer is always the same: today. Most people keep delaying their dream until tomorrow. The excuse is usually something along these lines:
- I don't have the skills to do it right now
- I don't even know how to start
- I don't have the resources to start
I'm going to start next week
Even worse, some people will claim they are working on it while putting no real action towards it. Because we live in a culture of Instagram and facades, the impression that we are someone important is more important than actually doing something impactful. We care more about what people think than what we actually do. What I've learned is that people lie to themselves so often that they actually believe the lies they tell others. The problem here is: no matter how much you lie to yourselves, it still doesn't change your circumstances.
It's easier to live life as a consumer than a producer. It's really easy to consume the work of other people. It's really difficult to do the work yourself. At some point in our lives, we need to decide whether we will become a producer or a consumer. A consumer wants to cruise on the hard work of others. A producer wants to provide value to the community around them. If we start taking a collectivist view of the world, we realize that we need to help the people around us. True purpose comes through providing value to the people in our world.
It doesn't matter what your craft is. But it matters what your intent is. The people who set out with the intent of making the world better tend to be the ones that actually do it. Stop wasting the time you have today. Don't be a Steve. Start using your time to create real lasting value for the people around you. Put in the hard work to create a life that you can be proud of. The day the reality of your life grows closer to your unlimited potential is the day you've created a worthwhile life.
It's so easy to waste time. It's hard to produce value. Doing more requires putting your nose to the grindstone. It means devoting more hours to your craft rather than devoting your time to Netflix. Start living like you have unlimited potential. Serve others. Learn to be more of a producer than a consumer. Be a person that others are proud to be affiliated with. Stop being mediocre. Start being great. Your life is worth living with a great purpose.