Buying Your Time Back
Every day, while sitting in my cubicle, my aspirations, dreams, “million dollar ideas and regrets flow through my mind. Some I write down, while others I forget almost instantly. But, all give me a haunting feeling that maybe I should be using this precious time on earth to do something epic. Like most American working stiffs, my bills and responsibilities, all of which I’ve created, bring me back from the heavenly clouds possibility to the dark doldrums of “reality.”
In this reality, we are born with something of scarce value, our time, and throughout our lives, we exchanged our obligated time for something that we value even more, our limited experiences. According to the hierarchy of needs, we cannot do without some of these experiences e.g. avoiding hunger and environmental hardships. While others, like experiencing fine linens and fast cars, are completely unnecessary but create an enhanced experience.
Some of us are born with our primary experiences pre-paid. Those lucky individuals have two options. They can keep their time unobligated and just enjoy their unearned experiences or they can convert their time and money to that of premium value by experiencing sought after knowledge and skills e.g. college. They can then sell their enriched time for the enhanced experiences mentioned above. We call these people the middle class.
So how about the rich? The rich create experiences for the rest of us to enjoy. The more enjoyable experiences they create, the more money they make. Here’s a challenge. Go to the 100 Richest People in the World article and try to identify what experiences they or their companies create. So how do the rich stay rich? They experience less than they have already created while continuing to create more. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
How do we buy our time back?
We buy our time back by:
- Not obligating our future time in the form of unnecessary loans and credit cards.
- Identifying and killing our addiction to unworthy experiences and focusing our limited time on creating worthy experiences for ourselves and sellable experiences for others.
- Enriching our experiences with knowledge and skills with the end goal of creating “experience output machines” that run without using more time than we wish to obligate.
Easier said than done? Probably. But, are you doing something better with your time?