The Thing That You Should Value Most

Is there anything in the world that’s more valuable than this?

Do you know what the most valuable thing in the world is?

Is it money? Happiness? Love? Positivity?

All of those things are great, but they’re far from the most valuable thing that this world has to offer.

I’ll give you a hint:

You use it everyday, using it well has the power to change your life, and even though it is insanely valuable, most people actually value this thing the least in their lives (I know…crazy, right?)

Yep, you guessed it. The world’s most valuable, and least respected resource can be summed up in one word:

Time.

Money vs. Time

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” -Jim Rohn

I have a question for you.

Let’s say that I gave you the choice to take $1,000,000 in cold, hard, tax-free cash or magically be granted an extra 5 years of life. What would you choose?

Most people when asked this question will say, “Duh…the money, obviously.” 

Let’s be real–everyone I know, including me, values money. If you say that you don’t value money, that probably means one of two things: 1) you have way too much of it, or 2) you’re lying.

Money can buy us wonderful things, it can give us a sense of security, it can allow us to be charitable, and it can ensure that our loved ones have everything that they want and need.

While that’s all true, money doesn’t even come close to equaling the epic value of time.

If given the choice between money and time, it shouldn’t even be a decision worth considering for a minute. 

There are so many amazing things that could happen for you in those 5 years:

You could create incredible memories with your loved ones, reach your lifetime goals, find true love, get a college degree, reclaim your health, repair a broken relationship, find joy, happiness, and inner peace–hell, you could even start your own business and earn $1,000,000 on your own.

On the other hand, there is no amount of money in the world that can buy you one millisecond of time.

Think about that for a minute.

Unlike money, time cannot be multiplied, borrowed, or recovered after you lose it.

Time can only be spent. That’s it.

Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. While it is possible that you could end up with much more money in your bank account next year than you currently have right now, you will never be as young as you are at the moment that you are reading these words.

Scary, isn’t it?

We literally don’t have the time to lose. That’s why time is the most precious resource in the world, and it’s something that should never be taken for granted.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize this lesson until it’s too late.

Killing Time

If you are killing time, it’s not murder. It’s suicide.” -Lou Holtz

I used to be a guy who had no respect for time, and it showed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about taking a break and relaxing–there’s nothing wrong with that at all. I’m talking about purposely wasting time doing nothing useful for hours, days, and weeks on end (if not, longer.)

In my case, I slept in until 11 am (or later) on most mornings, and whenever I had any free time during the day, I would sleep. I slept constantly–I swear, sleep was my best friend for close to eight years of my life.

When I wasn’t sleeping, I spent a large portion of my free time mindlessly surfing the internet, stuffing my face with processed food, watching talk shows, and bouncing in and out of incredibly unhealthy relationships.

Why?

As far as I was concerned, I had all of the time in the world to fix my life. Why put in the work today if I can put off until tomorrow, right?

Wrong.

When the days turned into weeks, the weeks into years, and the years crept towards a decade, I realized something very unfortunate. It was the idea of “taking control of my life later” that kept me broke, out of shape, unhealthy (emotionally, mentally, and physically), and miserable.

That’s why procrastination is such a deadly force. Choosing to procrastinate on the things that you know will improve your life is basically like choosing a slow suicide over living. That’s no exaggeration, either.

I’m more than a little embarrassed to say that it took me most of my adult life to come to this realization, but thankfully, I did.

The bad news for me is that the years that I lost before I came to this realization are gone forever.

The good news for you is that if you haven’t made this realization yet, you can do it today.

If you’re not living a life that’s not anywhere close to the life that you deserve or want, I’m urging you to change your relationship with time. Treat time like the insanely valuable resource that it is, and time will reward you by positively changing your life.

However, if you choose to disrespect time, it will pay you back by robbing you of the most valuable resource that you will ever have.

The truth is that you don’t have all of the time in the world to positively change your life. And believe me, no amount of watching talk shows, messing around on Facebook, sleeping, or doing nothing will make your hopes and dreams a reality.

Take it from a guy who has been there.

You can change your life immeasurably once you realize that time is your most valued resource.

And just like anything, it all starts with a decision.

The Clock is Ticking…

One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do what you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” -Paulo Coelho

This might sound a little morbid (probably because it is), but each day that we’re alive is also one day closer to our death. Sobering, I know–but that’s the stone cold truth. All of us only have a finite amount of time to go after our dreams before it’s all over.

Whether you are 25 years old or 75 years old, if there is something that you have always wanted to do, a place that you’ve always wanted to see, or a dream that you always wanted to achieve–now is the time to take action.

There will come a day when we’re at the end of our ride here on earth, and what could be more devastating than sadly looking back on our lives with the soul-destroying regret that we said “later” to our dreams far too often, only to realize that there is no more “later” left?

In case you’re wondering, I am VERY passionate about this topic. Why so passionate?

It’s because I didn’t have anyone in my life who was willing to share this message with me when I needed it the most.

I wasted close to an entire decade of my life because I didn’t place any value on time, and I will never be able to fix that. But if I can reach just one person reading these words and convince him/her to start valuing time today, then writing this blog post would be so worth it.

If you still don’t think that time is valuable, soak in the words below in italics and let it serve as a constant reminder (I wish that I could take credit for this, but it was forwarded to me by a friend):

To realize the value of one year, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of a one minute, ask a person who just missed a train.

To realize the value of one second, ask someone who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value one millisecond, ask someone who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

Most importantly, remember this–no matter if we value time or not, the clock will always move forward. And if that’s what the clock will do, then we should also follow its wise example by doing the same in our lives as well.

The days of putting our dreams on the back burner, believing that we have all of the time in the world to improve our lives, choosing to sleepwalk through our days, and living for “someday” must end today.

Or better yet, now.

Trust me, the timing will never be any better.

Your Turn

Do you put off things that you know that you should do today? Do you have a good relationship with time? Either way, jump into the conversation below and make your voice heard!

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
Shola

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Comments

  1. Sue Dobbs says:

    Hi Shola,
    Wonderful advice!!!
    My friends mother-in-law, a very wise woman, once said, “To a child love is spelled t-i-m-e-.”
    Have a wonderful & blessed day!
    Sue

    • Sue, that is so true! That’s why I do everything that I can to spend as much time with my little girls to remind them how much Daddy loves them. Buying stuff for them is cool, but there’s nothing like the lifelong memories that are created by spending time with them. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Christina Mickel says:

    This is so true and I will be sharing this on my page.
    Time is so precious and a having a productive life that values time is so very important. Spending time with those you love is so very important because we are all only here for a so long. Spending the time on goals that may take years to accomplish, is such a valuable way to spend your time. Personally speaking, I have faced several barriers in my life but am able to continue valuing my time to get the goals that I have set for myself accomplished.
    Thank you for such a well-written and positive article. I look forward to reading your blog each week because of the valuable advice in your Blog.

    • Thanks Christina! It’s an honor to hear that my blog is something that you look forward to each week–that really does mean a lot to me. Keep fighting through those barriers and using your time to work toward making your goals a reality. Thanks again for the kind words–I’m rooting for you, as always!

  3. I think about this when I see people posting on Facebook things like, “Only __ more days until….” I was guilty of it too, until I realized I was basically wishing my life away! Now I try to be more aware of how precious time is.

    It is okay to take it easy every once in a while. I would even argue that ‘do nothing days’ are pretty important on occasion.

    Other than that, we need to stop living for the next birthday, season, holiday or weekend. It is time to focus on the minutes that we have do to what we can.

    Thank you for the reminder, Shola!

    ps… someone asked me today how I feel about Mondays. I said that I used to dislike them but now, because of you, I honestly look forward to them!!!!

    • Kathy, I am SO with you! There is nothing better than a much-needed “Do Nothing” day to recharge the physical, mental, and emotional batteries. It’s only when those “Do Nothing” days turn into “Do Nothing” months and years (like what happened for me) that we need to get concerned. I remember reading a quote somewhere that said “Don’t waste this season of your life because you’re too busy waiting for the next season to come.” I think that a lot of people do this and it’s definitely a habit worth breaking. Like I said, it took me most of my adult life before I finally woke up and figured it out!

      I’m so happy to know that I’ve helped to make you look forward to Mondays–seriously, how cool is that?? That is high praise, and I honestly don’t take it lightly. I’ll continue to bring the positive fire on Mondays for as long as you’ll have me 🙂

  4. I’m unfortunately out of work at present, but to my grandson it means I have more time to spend with him. He’s not bothered that I can’t buy him all the things I used to, but he loves that I have the time to take him to the park or draw pictures with him etc to his 6 year old heart’s content. These are hours that can never be replaced by any mount of money 🙂

    • Amen Lorna! That’s the definition of turning a potential negative into a very real positive. As Sue said in her comment above, to a child, love is spelled “t-i-m-e.” There’s no amount of money that can touch the incredible value of time. Trust me, your grandson will always remember the moments when you spent time drawing pictures with him. Keep it up, my friend!

  5. Heather-Lee says:

    When I got my first job (Burger King in Hadley, WHAT!) my stepfather told me something I will never forget. I got my first $28 paycheck and bought a pair of pants. He asked me how much the pants cost, I said $10. He said, “You just turned two hours of your life into a pair of pants.” It was a staggering concept, especially for a 14-year-old…the idea that by working, I was trading time (irretrievable) for objects (not always crucial). Since then I have tried to weigh the value of things I want against the actual cost, in time, that it takes to earn the money for them and sometimes it really helps me distinguish between a want and a need. When that new sweater is an hour and a half of my life, it’s easier to be very, very objective about whether I “need” it.

    • WHAT! Hadley Burger King?? You know that’s my old stomping grounds, Heather! That lesson that your stepfather taught you was also taught to me by one of my mentors. Years ago when I told him that I was going to camp outside on the sidewalk next to Best Buy for 2 days in order to score a Black Friday deal on a TV, he told me something that I’ll never forget. He said, “are you telling me that 48 hours of your life, and missing out on Thanksgiving with your family, is worth saving $150 on a TV set?” Once he put it that way I was absolutely horrified that I even considered doing it. I now fully understand the value of time, and like you, I tend to give a lot of deep thought on what I’m choosing to trade my valuable time for. Well said, as always Heather!

  6. I’ve read a lot of advice in my day, but this is by far the best I have received. Thank you SO much for posting this. I am so glad I found you and get your emails. You have made a tremendous difference in my life. God Bless You dear Shola!

    • Maggie, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for saying that because it is an honor to play a role in making your life a little brighter. Thanks so much for being here and being a part of the solution!

  7. Awesome post, Shola! Couldn’t have said it better. Time is the most taken for granted resource of all time.

    It can take years to understand the value of time, but there’s a very important difference between understanding, and obsessing.

    In other words, time is valuable, but not to the point where every second needs to be analyzed.

    I’ve quickly learned how much time it takes building a website, consuming hours everyday of my biggest resource. The problem, however, isn’t the amount of time it takes up during the day, but how I spend the rest of my day when I’m not working.

    It’s easy to judge you’re own time wasting, thinking you ALWAYS should be doing something productive. The truth is we need times of being completely unproductive in order to maximize our productivity.

    If all of your free and relaxation time is spent worrying about work, or prior commitments or down right stressing, you’ll be both losing time and shutting down happiness.

    The value of time is sacred, but the time you enjoy wasting, is not time wasted.

    Sometimes there’s no better way to spend your time than kicking back and watching the time tick by, doing absolutely nothing.

  8. Hi Shola,

    Firstly great post! i found the italic statements resonated deeply with me. I do have a problem with applying what i read and learn from self help blogs & books. What advice would you give to a twenty something who is stuck in a rut, by that i mean i have an ok job and i save money to secure a better future so that i can do all the things ,like travelling and looking after my current family and the future one i hope to have. I am torn between living for the moment now and being broke/depressed in the future and not living life to its fullest. Sorry for such a long message but the title “Speak Your Mind” made me do just that! Thanks Dom

  9. Hi, Shola. Thank you for the insights. This is wonderful. For the past few years, I feel like I’m not living the life I deserve all because I’m not doing anything to improve my situation. I can totally relate to this article. Thank you!

  10. Samuel Seyi says:

    It is a nice post my brother. keep it up, God bless you.

  11. Travis moore says:

    Amazing. Really great peice of work. If you wrote a book, I’d buy it. Thanks a lot.

  12. I was that “one person” that you touched and impacted. Thank you for this. I must value time.

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