Our choices we seldom come to realize hold the key and power to shift us into something we would love about ourselves or to do for ourselves. Specifically, I think we find the worst in ourselves when we fail to use the free time we get everyday better. Time is our most valuable resource, yet we squander it and mismanage it all the time. Even though we know it’s a non-renewable resource. Once that “time” you spent is gone, you cannot get it back. Unless you are the proud owner of a time machine. In which case if you are, I’d love to be your test subject.
I strive to be the hero of my own story every day. To do this, I choose experiences as my first priority of the day and build the calendar for those experiences to have the space they deserve. I don’t hope that they will fit into a space, I put them into a space. Studies have shown that the average American has four hours and fourteen of free time per day. We don’t plan well with the time we’re given. So that free time gets eaten up by wasteful uses or swallowed up by someone that wants to broker for that time from you.
What really brings happiness into my life and makes it richer is experiences. What I eat. What I do at the gym. What news article I decide to read. What book I pick up to digest. I choose them because the experience they’re going to give. I also prioritize these experiences by making sure they are scheduled so no one else can take those experiences for me. They’re my choice to invest in at that point or not.
The next kind of fulfillment that I literally will schedule are things in my life that will provide me personal change and transformation. I love a good old evolution open myself. I know scheduling those things that create change in me or transformation are super fulfilling. It’s not untypical in the big three things that I schedule first on the task list, one to two of those big three are those types. Personal development like researching articles for IBtP is an example of that type. We let to many other non-priority and unfulfilling types get lead time in our schedule when they don’t even belong in the same ballpark.
Then there’s the part we need to play every once in a while of being offline and outside. I’m really bad at this. I use technology just about every hour. If I was any less disciplined in my use of it, it would engulf my entire day. Our best experiences I think we would all agree are not found in our timelines on social media, they’re found in what real life delivers to us outside of the Matrix. Our tech supplies us with constant intermittent variable rewards that condition us like Pavlov’s dog to want more. We see it face down on the table and want to pick up. We even get anxious when we don’t. Today for example I picked up my phone 148 times with the first time being 5:55AM to turn off the alarm on it. We CHOOSE to let our tech own us. We need to go offline more often.
The best time spent and experiences I have also found fulfilling have usually been around others. Family or friends, when I am in a social setting with a group investing in relationships. I love to find ways to connect with other people. Sometimes its as a coach. Sometimes it as a vessel that others can pour themselves into. I almost always have a experience in these groups where something interesting has come up that I wanted to learn more about. Just today I found out about this Inside Out Mindset philosophy that I want to lear more about. This usually doesn’t happen as quickly or come to my in a solitary experience by myself.
Lastly, I look for activities to put in my task list or calendar that boosts my status. A better status at work for example is earned through the currency of demanding difference in my work or that of others. I earn my status through the education and learning on the fly when going after that difference I want. I think one of the best things that we can do is continue our education in order to become more a subject matter expert in our fields of specialities.
Keep yourself away from those empty activities by filling your day’s task lists and calendars with deeper experiences. I’m always reminded of an old quote I have heard (which I am completely paraphrasing right now) which states if we don’t schedule our own significance, someone else will schedule it and take it for theirs. Focus to plan and choose to prioritize more quality experiences before someone else fills that time with something that isn’t.