What is your treasure?

 “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”

Stephen R. Covey

How much of life do we spend in the pursuit of some thing without regard for the time that is exchanged in the chase? Do we view how we spend our time with the same alacrity as we do the pursuit of wealth?

Time is a much tougher investment to manage than money. There is never enough, and for many, the realization of the importance, or lack thereof, of one over the other comes too late in life to rectify.

As I think about the importance of intentionally managing time this verse from the book of Proverbs comes to mind. “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5 Specifically, what comes to mind here is the definition of “profit.” How do you define “profit” as it comes to the investment of your time? Is this profit a conversion into wealth, or is it something else? Something more?

Take a moment to play with the slider on the picture below. Move the slider left or right to show highlight which picture is more important to you. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Then take some time to reflect on your answer, the one that is truly important to you. How are you going to invest your time to make your dreams come true? What is it that you treasure? Where is your heart?

silver and gold coinspeople s feet near mugs

Was it worth it?

“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”

The Dalai Lama

At every stage in life we make choices to do, and to give up, certain things. When you look back over your life what are the choices you regret? Did you make those choices in the pursuit of some success that was important to you at the time but in retrospect the success wasn’t worth the cost? Given what you now know would you make different choices today?

How can you apply these lessons in your future? How can you ensure your next success pursuit is worth the cost? Perhaps even more importantly how should you define success to ensure the investment you are making is aligned with what you want to achieve and who you want to become?

I would strongly argue that if you choose to put more emphasis on the “Whats” of life, (i.e., what you get, what you have, what you do) than on the “Who” and the “How” you are building a life that will be filled with disappointment and regret at some point in the future. A life spent in pursuit of success measured in a “what” is one where you have a chosen something that won’t last. So, was it worth it?

What’s your score?

“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.”

Andrew Carnegie

Where do you fall on this scale of energy and ability investment into your work? Are you “average?” Of course no one wants to be average so I assume that everyone would score themselves higher than 25%. But are you able to honestly say that you regularly put in more than 50% of your capacity?

If the answer is “no,” then why not? Not every day is going to be a 100% effort, or even a 50% effort kind of day. But the days where you invest over 50% should outnumber those that don’t. If that isn’t happening then perhaps there is something else going on.

If you are doing work that just doesn’t inspire and motivate you then let’s be honest, sometimes giving 25% can feel like 100%. It can feel like trying to fill a bucket that has tons of holes in it. No matter how much water you pour in, it simply won’t fill up.

There are two key components that are critical for you to score high on the work investment scale. One is the work itself, do you find it motivating and rewarding? The second is deeply understanding your “why.” Do you have a burning “why” that pushes you forward regardless of the work you are doing at the time?

Either the work will have to motivate you, or the “why” should. When you find both, that is when the magic happens. That’s how you score 100%.

Giving more is an investment…

 “My father taught me to always do more than you get paid for as an investment in your future.”

Jim Rohn

My Dad had a very similar life lesson that he preached to my brother and myself. His lesson was “do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter what, and then do a little more.” That has been a principle I have followed my entire life. No matter what it takes, get the job done, and do a little bit more.

I really like how this quote frames out very specifically that you should always do more than you are paid, because you are making an investment. Investments have returns and if you keep making them those returns will continue to grow. It isn’t just a money thing either, this wisdom could apply to life and how you treat others, how you serve others and how you spend your time. Always give more than expected…

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