The One Secret No One Tells You About Time


“ALL that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.”  – James Allen

I wish I had Iron Chef knife skills. I took a class on knife skills and I learned how to properly chop an onion. Sadly, there is a long way between that class and my dreams of an Iron Chef diced vegetable.

I bought a small gadget from Bed Bath and Beyond that promised a perfectly chopped onion, but the squares were still far from that unmistakable quality I desired.  No matter how many meals I cooked, the commitment needed to achieve the perfect chopped veggie didn’t match my desire to chat with friends and drink a glass of wine while I cook, leaving inadequate time for my poor vegetable squares.

I wish I always had the right shoes with each pair of jeans and the coat to match. No matter how much I try, I don’t like shopping enough, nor do I like the cost of ensuring my bluish-gray top matches my bluish-gray leather bag and bluish-gray socks.

I always wish I worked out more. I wish my closets were organized like a Prada store. I wish I learned how to garden, play more tennis, and run a marathon.

What Stands in the Way is Not Time — It’s Our Choices.

The biggest misconception is that time keeps us from achieving more. We believe we do not have the time to be a better chef, parent, fashionista, or athlete, that our time is limited which forces us to make choices. Our time is not limited, but our choices are. We have time and we chose how we spend it.

The question is not if you have time – the question is how you chose to fill your days.

Our lives are comprised of the thousands of small and large choices that design our life, city dweller or suburbs, exercise routines or not, friendships, food choices, romantic interests, careers, parents style, spiritual beliefs, even how many hours we chose to sleep.

Immediately people say, “I cannot sleep, take time for a healthy lunch, exercise, change jobs because I don’t have the time.” When we look at our completely filled days we feel as if our life is no longer one of our choosing and we don’t have the time to change it.

Clean Slate

What if you wiped everything away and started over? How would you fill a month if there was nothing on your calendar? Typically people desire to rest, read a book, exercise more, spiritual time, or spend more time with friends.

Why don’t you fill your time with the things that matter to you?

Our thoughts, logic, the analysis of facts lead us to make one choice over another one. The question is, “where do those thoughts come from.” Do they come from you or friends, culture, or family? Our thoughts impede our ability to achieve what we desire when they come from outside of our self.

We believe we do not have the time to be a better chef, parent, fashionista, or athlete, but it is the origin of our thoughts that cause us to design an undesirable life.

But be careful, your desires may not be your own. We deceive ourselves to believe that our desires matter and we race towards filling our lives with activities that we believe we care about, only to find out we are left completely unfulfilled at the end of each day, week, or even year.

I got very serious about questioning where my thoughts originate from and if they felt good, uplifting, and exciting, I would move forward. If not, I took no action until I investigated further.

Our life is a reflection of our desires, even if they are impostors desires or true desires. If you do not like your circumstances, change your mind. Review why you do what you do and if it reflects your true voice.

I no longer sit in regret of what I do not have, I only consider what I am willing to replace. Currently my desire for Netflix is replacing my desire for knife skills. I chose time with my son over a perfectly organized closet.

Stop blaming time when your life does not mirror your desires. Take an inventory of your days and see where you time is going. If you want something else, ask what you are willing to give up for what you truly love. Can you replace one hour at work for one hour at the gym? Can you replace one hour of home improvements for an hour with your child?  We cannot change the external circumstances of time, but we can change how we use the time we have.

“Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.”  – James Allen

As always, please leave a comment. Love to hear your thoughts.

This post originally appeared at Emotional Obesity.