What are you doing with your most precious resource?

My grandma passed away at 93 last weekend. There’s so much that could and should be said, but for this time and place, I am thoughtful of the saying on the back of the funeral bulletin - 

Time is never long enough.

 

When I was in business school, one of my favorite professors would often say

“You can always get more money, you can never get more time.”

Time is our most valuable resource. Nothing is more precious. Even at 93 years, my grandma’s time was finite, limited. She only had so long to do what she wanted to do in this world. The same is true of you and me. We really don’t know how long we have to make a difference here.

There are two components of the difference every person makes in the world  - the intrinsic component and the added component. The intrinsic component is what you were born with - the fact that your presence will inherently make a difference in the world. The fact that you were born, conceived even, has impacted someone, perhaps everyone, in some way. The added component is more what you’ve chosen to do with your time here. How you’ve decided to spend it - whether it be chasing money or selflessly loving others.

When we die, we really can’t take wealth with us. No matter the attachment. No matter if that was your dream. Yes, it can be buried with you, but there it will remain. A life spent chasing wealth is one that leaves those around you feeling like money could hold your attention when they couldn’t. You may seek wealth for noble reasons - provision for your family, in order to be generous to others, to leave an inheritance. But hear me - time is your most valuable resource.

Be thoughtful about what you want to be remembered for - for making a difference in individual’s lives because of the way you cared for them or by amassing a fortune on the backs of others. Yes, you can amass a fortune by working hard and caring for others, but is amassing wealth your goal? Or is loving and serving others? If amassing wealth is your goal, you will serve yourself with it, you can't let go of it, it has become your security and you have become its slave. If you are amassing wealth and using it to be generous and love and serve others, it is likely that your life is not about wealth, but rather about caring for others.

Original photo by Chris Gilbert.

Original photo by Chris Gilbert.

Your time is so short. Be it 93 years or 30, it is your most precious resource. Invest it accordingly.