Your money is not what you are spending
Me and music go a long way back. I started in band my first year of middle school. The tryouts where interesting. All these stations where setup and you had to go try out an instrument to see if you liked it. I had already made up my mind about choosing the drums, well before I had entered the band room. I honed in on the drum set and began to make my way over there. My pudgy frame propelling itself with determination.
I was stopped by a high schooler and asked to blow into a tiny silver bowl. I blew like someone being asked to take a breathalyzer test never taking my eyes off of the drums while I blew. My lips were buzzing in the mouth piece of what I soon came to know, was the mouth piece of a trombone. What I did not know is by that one single act I had sealed my fate. I would never play drums and instead I would be the care taker of one of the few instruments capable of playing a perfect note.
I tried to learn how to play the trombone with minimal effort. I spent the entirety of my band carrier competing with a guy named Matt for last and next to last chair. I did not have a competitive bone in my body and I really did not want to play the trombone. I was terrible at music not because I lacked some kind of understanding of it or talent but because I never practiced. That’s not true, I spent the minimal amount of time and effort on the task of becoming better.
Now that I am older and a husband, father, children’s ministry coordinator, writer, developer and project manager. I have been thinking back on a regular basis on the things that I have learned that now seem like should be common sense. The one that I recite to people often is
These are the great equalizer. Everyone wakes up in the morning with the same amount of time. You have not control over how much time you will spend.It is up to you on how much effort you intend to apply to your time. Applying effort to the time you have only increases its value.
Time by itself is spent whether or not you would like to. I am sure all of us have lamented in the same way Jim Croce does in “Time In a Bottle”. Only if we could save the time. If you place effort into your time then you redeem it into things, relationships and knowledge that are a little more substantial.
Effort by itself is not enough either. Generally, minimal time with a large amount of effort usually looks like talent. Its true talent does help and it can get you to a particular spot quickly, maybe even an advantageous spot. It rarely sustains though. It does not provide the kind of character building needed to sustain places of success, that a steady process with equal amounts time and effort does.
For myself, the hardest part of this lesson was realizing how much time I had wasted, being ignorant to this. It hurts so much to know that I sit on the brink of thirty and this fact has not been in the forefront of my mind till now. So everyday I seek to spend my time with purpose and direction. I apply effort to those things that matter and forsake those that are only bleeding me dry. Some days I fail, but more and more consistently, I get to the end of the day and do not regret how I spent it.
I do not claim to be some kind of scholar or a man who would be worth listening to, this is what I have learned. Once you realize that time and effort are your currency and whatever you apply them to will grow then you need only learn one more thing. Prioritize. I am a bit biased about what you should prioritize. I would say apply more time and effort to the relationships you have or want, than you do to anything else. That is a train of thought for another time.
Republished Here: Medium