Saturday, July 03, 2021

Not all time in life is equal. Life serves up some moments that count much more than other moments.

I'm re-listening to "Great by Choice" by Jim Collins & Morten Hansen, and there's a quote I love:

"Not all time in life is equal. Life serves up some moments that count much more than other moments."


What a powerful thought!

We all have the same amount of time, and one key to getting something done is prioritizing it. So, if you say, "I don't have time for that," what you're actually saying is that it's not high enough of a priority. It may seem harsh, but recognizing that fact empowers you to change your priorities instead of believing that the issue is external and you have no control. This is also a key finding in "Grit" by Angela Duckworth: people who persevere believe they can control outcomes, so they try harder and keep going.

So yes, we all have the same number of seconds each day, and how we prioritize that time matters, but not all moments in life are equal. There are obvious extremes:

  • The birth of a child vs. brushing your teeth.
  • Deciding to accept Christ's grace vs. deciding what to eat for dinner.

It's the moments where you're making a decision with long-term consequences that count the most:

  • Who to date or marry!
  • Choosing a college and picking a major.
  • Accepting a job offer.

To make the most of those moments, you need first to recognize that it's a big moment, and second ask yourself: "how long do I have before I need to make a decision?" Then, spend the remaining time gathering information. Typically, we believe it's people who quick decisions that win, but a better predictor is how they use their time running up to the moment.

I tend to decide quickly. And one lesson for me is first to ask how much time I have to decide. Then use that time to validate my naturally quick response. If I can do this, it should lead to better decisions and make those meaningful moments turn out the best they can in the long term.

It's a simple statement but an important one to internalize.

Photo of Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission by NASA on Unsplash

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