Killing Time (and Goals)

hourglassIt is not enough to be busy… The question is: what are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau

Are you busy? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably, “Of course I am!” These days, it seems everyone is busier than ever. This is truly amazing when you consider how many of our modern inventions were touted as a way to give us more free time. Electric toasters, microwave ovens, dishwashers, laundry machines, and more were all supposed to reduce the amount of time we spend on chores and give us more leisure time.

Funny thing is, as talented as we are at coming up with gadgets to save time, we are equally gifted in coming up with ways to fill that spare time. Television, video games, internet, cell phones, all with the amazing capacity for allowing us to travel through time. By which I mean, of course, we sit down with one of them to kill “a few minutes,” only to look up and realize that an hour (or two, or three) has passed.

Could it be that the reason some folks don’t succeed in realizing their dreams is because they don’t think they have the time to do what it takes? If so, I have to wonder how much of that “busy” time is spent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, computer games, texting, and scores of other things? And, yes, I’m looking at the man in the mirror here also.

If we’re serious about chasing and catching our dreams, then we have to sit down and take a hard look at how we’re spending our time. Are we truly so busy that we have absolutely no free time whatsoever to invest in our dreams? Or are we actually unwilling to give up the time we spend on distractions in order to pursue that which will make us happier in the end, all the while wasting our time and energy bemoaning the fact that we don’t have the time to do it (usually on Facebook or Twitter)?

If you knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you would succeed if you would only take some of the time you spend on distractions and apply it toward fulfilling your dreams, would you? How will you know until you try?

Here’s a challenge for you and me both: Be brutally honest with yourself about how much time you spend on things that are just distractions, and don’t really accomplish anything. Then make a change. You don’t have to quit cyber-socializing cold turkey, but try cutting the time you spend there in half, and use that time to take the first steps toward your dreams. Or, if you really enjoy the social aspect of the internet, use it as a reward. Tell yourself you can’t do your cyber-socializing until you spend x amount of time pursuing your goal. You might be surprised. You might even find that the pursuit of your dreams can be as enjoyable as the time you used to spend on other things. Give it a shot.

You’ll never know until you try.

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