The deadliest question of all

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Grab the beverage of your choice, a quiet place to contemplate, the writing instrument of your choice (paper, pen, iPad, whatever), and ask yourself this very serious question. So serious it’s a deadly serious question, because the wrong answer might literally kill you.

What price will you pay for success?

What are you willing to put on the line to succeed? More important, what boundaries will you not cross, what sacrifices will you not make in the pursuit of success before, as CC Chapman puts it, minute 16 arrives?*

timepiece prime time clock closeup watch

Matthew Ebel said it very succinctly at PodCamp New Hampshire: time is the ultimate non-renewable resource. Everything has a cost, because every minute you’re spending doing one thing, you’re not spending doing something else. Every moment you’re at a conference, you’re not reading a bedtime story to your child. Every moment you’re at the dojo, you’re not working on a new business or strengthening your existing business. Every day you skip the gym because you’re busy is a day you’re taking an investment of time from one area of your life to another.

Are you putting things on the table that shouldn’t be? Are you sacrificing time with the people who love you, resources that can’t be recovered easily, or even your own health? Those long hours and poor nutrition slinging code are unsustainable in the long term, and health is like loansharking in that the final price you pay is usually much, much higher than you think it will be.

If time were currency, ask yourself right now if you’re spending it as you want to be in these areas like an investment portfolio:

  • Physical vitality
  • Mental health
  • Emotional health
  • Spiritual strength
  • Professional growth
  • Financial strength
  • Family and community wellness

How does your portfolio of invested time balance? Are you stealing from some “funds” in one area to pay for questionable ROI in others? Is it time, as investment advisors often counsel, to rebalance your portfolio? If so, write down and make a commitment on your day planner to allocate whatever time you need to rebalance as a daily task, and lock out other areas so that you are properly investing where you need to be. Most of all, commit beyond a shadow of a doubt to holding firm on those investments of time!

* a reference to everyone having 15 minutes of fame.

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3 responses to “The deadliest question of all”

  1.  Avatar

    I think this is why God invented multitasking. Of course, you truly can’t have more than 100% of anything, however, you can split your time evenly and efficiently. It all comes downto time management, which in some ways is more important than money management. I’ve always believed that stewardship goes to more than simply how you manage your finances, and must be expanded into other areas. Not too many people get this. Great post, Chris. Thanks.

  2. Hi Christopher,

    This was extremely timely for me, as I’m in the midst of transition and this kind of evaluation in my life right now. Even taking a look at things that I’ve left on the back burner longer than I probably should have. Your article is succinct and gets to the heart. Thank you!

    ~ Julia

  3. Great Article. I’ve never though about managing time as an investment portfolio. I think it’s time for me to revise what I’m doing and why, and what priorities should go first. Thanks a lot!

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