Quit Reading Books

Books can be expensive. Not just the cover price, but in the time it takes to read it. Let’s pretend you buy a 300-page book for $25, and you earn $15 per hour. That book will take about five hours to read which equates to $75 of potential income. Your investment into that book is $100. When was the last time you spent $100 on a book? Now, consider the last time a book cost you a $100.

Again, let us pretend that you purchased the book and have read half of it. You have come to the realization that this book is not doing what you wanted it too. Maybe it:

  • Has become boring,
  • Is no longer interesting,
  • Failed to educate you, or
  • Is not relevant to where you are at in life.

What are you going to do? Will you keep reading it because of that $25 cover price and investment in time? If this were an underperforming stock would you continue to invest in it? Absolutely not! So, what must you do?

Give yourself permission to

Quit the book!

What is a $25 waste compared to a $100 waste? Quit the book. Put it away and find another one that will give you what you are looking for. But how do you find the right book? That is an excellent question. Come back tomorrow for the eighth installment of One Take from the Week, and we will discuss a book reading process that is changing my life and could change yours. You don’t want to miss it, and you won’t if you subscribe below.

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Feature photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Contemplating Seneca #74: Loss Due to Carelessness

Do I really have the time?

Four weeks of not working flew by way too fast. Every day I was able to accomplish projects that would normally take me weeks. Not being regulated by a schedule that involves 10 hours a day dedicated to working a day job really allowed my personal productivity to skyrocket. Not being regulated by a schedule also meant that I became a little more careless in my other activities.

I am all for a little downtime. It is good to be able to relax, spend more time with family, and work on personal projects. But having too much downtime. I was not prepared for that. I thought I was more disciplined, but I wasn’t. I spent too many late nights reading. I spent more time sleeping, when I was finally able to shut the brain down and go to sleep. I even started playing a few games on my phone, which is something I have not done in a long time.

There wasn’t any whole days that I wasted. But the little snatches here and there? Those got away from me. And in truth, there were way too many. I am reminded of the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, “Space I can recover. Time, never.” The free time I thought I had wasn’t really free. It was costing me dearly. It was something that once passed could not be recovered.

In thinking about squandered time, there is something I need to keep in mind. I can’t go back, but I can do things differently in the future. I can review yesterday and address the tasks of today. I can remember where I dropped the ball and do everything in my power to not repeat the same mistakes.

Make yourself believe the truth of my words—that certain moments are torn from us, that some are gently removed, and that others glide beyond our reach. The most disgraceful kind of loss, however, is that due to carelessness. Furthermore, if you will pay close heed to the problem, you will find that the largest portion of our life passes while we are doing ill, a goodly share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purposeLay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by. –Seneca (On Saving Time)

You Alive?

One of the tragedies of war is the extinguishing of young lives. After reading Cornwell’s Waterloo, I was appalled at how careless some of the leaders were with the lives of those underneath their command. Even when they knew their tactics were doomed to fail, they proceeded anyway at the expense of thousands of young boys still in their teenage years.

A child is a blank slate with so much potential. To die at a young age never experiencing the joys and trials of life could be one of the most calamitous mishaps in this world. Sad are those robbed of life without ever knowing what it was like to live.

When it is time to die, let us not discover that we never lived. –Henry David Thoreau

Possibly even more tragic is to go through life having never really lived. Time runs whether or not we are paying attention to it. We only get so much. And when it is gone, it is gone forever. To waste it is to throw away a gift more precious than any wealth one could imagine.

At the end of the day, can you say you used the time you were given to the best of your abilities? Did you muster up the courage to tackle the day, or did you choose to spend it on activities that were designed to pass the time? We must learn to pass our days intenton living, not existing. Don’t be the person lying on your deathbed, regretting that you wasted the one thing that you could never get back. Time.

15 Years of Marriage

Today marks my fifteenth wedding anniversary. It seems like it has been an age. We may not even be the same people that we were back then. There has been so much sacrifice. Sounds bad doesn’t it? I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I often joke that these have been the longest years of my life. This joke may be perceived as a bad thing, but I don’t mean it in a bad way. I want the years to be long. I want to embrace all the moments, both the good and the bad, and I want none of it to speed by. I think how time flew by in my youth, and how I now try to slow it all down. There is nothing wrong with wanting it to be slow. And in regards to my family, I want to savor each moment and wish none of it away.

We’ve changed. We are not the same people that got married in 2004. We have been through a lot, and we have grown through the years. Our experiences together have changed us for the better. The tough times, and there has been some tough times, have made us more resilient. It would be foolish to think there will never be any hard times again. But if they come, we are more prepared than ever to overcome them.

Sacrifice. There are so many ways to describe marriage, but for me the best description I can think of is sacrifice. If I act on my own, with my own selfish desires, our marriage suffers. But when we act together, we seem to get stronger. I have to sacrifice many of the things I want, because they are not in OUR best interest. That’s fine. Sacrifice is not bad. Getting everything I want, all the time, is bad. Without sacrifice, I would be the poster boy for the seven deadly sins. Sacrifice is good. It is how we become healthy, wealthy, and wise (Thoreau).

These last fifteen years of my life have been the longest I have ever had. I have completely changed over the years with somebody that has changed as well. We’ve sacrificed for each other. These years have been the best of my life, and for that I am truly grateful.

11 Tips for Banking Your Time

Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it is to be spent. -Carl Sandberg

You only have so much in the bank. The sad truth is that there is no making deposits into this account to garner more time. Maybe with diet and exercise you can maximize your allotment, but even that is no guarantee.

Photo by Dmitry Moraine (@wildbook) on Unsplash

You will never know when the Banker closes your account permanently, but until then you can:

 Spend it wisely: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” –Charles Darwin
 Keep it in perspective: “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
 Balance as you go: “Lost! Somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.” –Horace Mann
 No credit solution: “Of all losses, time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.” –King Henry VIII
 Find the value: “Believe me when I tell you that thrift of time will repay you in after life with usury of profit beyond your most sanguine dreams, and that waste of it will make you dwindle alike in intellectual and moral stature beyond your darkest reckoning.” –William Gladstone
 Get a return on your investment: “I say, let no one rob me of a single day who isn’t going to make a full return on the loss.” Seneca
 Work on the micro: “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” –Muhammad Ali
 Remember you are the authorized user: “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot.” –Michael Althsuler
 Settle up every night: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
 Everybody else is at the bank too, so don’t be a turd: “Start every day off with a smile and get over it.” –W.C. Fields
 Savor every bit of it: “Do not spoil the wonder with haste.” –J.R.R. Tolkien

The sand is running. Cherish each grain.