Enter the Holidays!

Well, we’ve come up on that time of year where people the world over are celebrating this great event:  Christmas. Even people who aren’t particularly faithful will celebrate Christmas.  We give gifts, we buy gifts for others, we receive gifts from others, we spend a lot of time with family.  And we celebrate Christmas because of the importance of the event and what it means to us; even people who don’t follow it very strongly really understand what Christmas is all about.
Most of us, at least, take a break from our daily working and driving to success to get in a little down-time and relax.  Still there are many that can’t (or mostly won’t) even take a break for one day.  The entrepreneurial mantra is that you are working every day, even on holidays.

Questioning Your Motives

But one question to ask yourself is WHY.
  • WHY are you sacrificing relationships for your work?
  • WHY are willing to put everything else aside to achieve your goal?
  • WHY is it important?
  • WHY are you not able to take a brief respite from driving towards success?
And then one big WHAT question to ask:
  • WHAT is the REAL reason you are driven to meet your goal or achieve success?

Is it to serve yourself or to serve others?  Is it out of deep caring and concern or a need for personal achievement?

I have written before about self-fulfillment motives versus being motivated by the service you  provide.  The key to focusing on serving others is to really, sincerely care for others and believe in others and seek to add value to others.

At the core, what we do has to apply a little bit of the REAL meaning of Christmas to the rest of our lives.

See, at the core, what Christmas is really all about is LOVE!  It’s about how we love others!  How we care for them and nurture them and seek to help them achieve their best.
And this is the opportunity that our purpose presents to us:  the opportunity to love others.  To put the focus on other people in our daily activities – not just once a year but throughout the year – so we can care for them and add value to them.
So here’s a few things that I want you to take from this holiday season apply throughout your life and the coming year to share that love.
  1. Do something for someone else who can never pay you back.  Focus on that, look to do that daily; something for someone who can never pay you back.  That’s what love really means; when you don’t expect a reward or a payback, what can you do for others.
  2. Take time out to appreciate the gift of everyone you encounter.  What’s special about the people you spend your time and relationships with?  Tell them.  Tell them what they mean to you and that will make a world of difference to them!
  3. Look around you and appreciate the LOVE that the creator has shown you by surrounding you with blessings!  Even when you don’t necessarily see them.

You have to see value to add value.  That takes time and reflection.  Focus on the value around you and the opportunity to make it every greater.

That’s your success in 2014!

Time Wasting

You are wasting time.

wasted timeWe all do to an extent, but the more successful people minimize wasted time and know how to get the most out of the same 24 hours daily that you and I have.  Yes, many work long hours, that is true.  Yes, many work weekends as well, that also is true.  However, there are lots of people who work long hours including weekends and don’t get near as much done.  It’s a matter of getting more value from your time because you understand the value of your time.

In my postings on social networks today, I shared a quote from M. Scott Peck.  Peck was a psychiatrist and also an author.  His most famous book is The Road Less Traveled.  A lot of what he wrote about over the years was fulfillment and he was a big advocate of leading a disciplined life.  He also believed in understanding your worth.  The quote I shared today was

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time.  Until your value your time, you won’t do anything valuable with it.

Understanding the value of our time begins with understanding the value of those things, including us, that take up that time.  Here are a few considerations to help you understand the value of your time:

  • My friend Kevin McCarthy developed the concept of the On-Purpose Person (you can buy the book on Amazon).  The foundation behind it is that we have to determine what our purpose is and once we understand that we have to plan our actions to make sure they are in alignment with our purpose.  In other words, you must be On-Purpose.  Kevin uses a light switch as an avatar to remind you to evaluate whether what you are doing is on purpose or off purpose.  While sometimes off-purpose can be a good thing, what we look to do is make more of our actions on-purpose.  So, in other words, when you understand your purpose, you attach value to yourself and your time.  Being On-Purpose is making sure that you are doing something valuable with that time.
  • If you lean more towards the pragmatic, you can do the math.  If you calculate out the dollar value of your time, then you understand better how much that time is costing you each time you waste it.  There are lots of internet sites to show you how to calculate it out, but the simplest one I found was on The Simple Dollar.  You figure out your take home pay from last year and subtract out all expenses associated with working, such as child care, transportation costs, etc.  Divide that by the actual number of hours you devote to working each year, including commuting time and all.  That gives you an actual dollar value per hour.  So everytime you look at an activity, evaluate it by how much it is costing you using that figure.  You may find yourself leaving out a lot more less productive uses of you time.
  • Be both sides of the customer/business relationship.  As a customer, how do you feel when service in the restaurant is slow, when the doctor makes you sit 30 minutes in the waiting room, when the repair shop doesn’t have your car ready when promised, when someone promises to deliver something to you by a certain time and then doesn’t come through.  You probably, if you are like most, display anything from displeasure to outright rage.  Someone has not valued your time and you WILL NOT TOLERATE IT.  But you do the same to yourself.  When you choose to put off productive tasks, to pick activities that look busy but actually don’t get you any closer to your goals or tasks, or simply choose to do something entirely unproductive, then you are treating yourself like that restaurant did, like the doctor’s office, like the repair shop, or the dozens of others who may have let you down today.  Insist on quality productive time out of yourself and believe in the value of your time.