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  • Writer's pictureBrian Reaves

So Much Wasted Time

Pocket watch

I recently read an article about a famous actor/singer from the 70's whose career was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. The thing that hit me hardest was toward the end of the article. His grown children were by his bedside when he passed, and his last words were: "So much wasted time...".

 

Here was this guy who, in his prime, was on magazine covers, TV, and the radio. Even after his time in the spotlight had set, millions of people knew him and would forever identify him with the character he played on television. He had cars, houses, money, fame, and popularity...but in his final moments, he reflected on the lost moments more than anything.

 

In our constant push to succeed, we must be careful not to sacrifice important moments with important people in our lives. People push so hard in jobs that replace them five minutes after they're gone, giving up family time and intimate conversations with their spouses that can never be recaptured.

 

It is my plan to live to be 120 years old and die fighting dragons, so I am not yet middle-aged in that regard, but I am old enough to begin to realize the value of moments more than money.

 

As I write this, I just finished speaking to a group yesterday and have a few days off until our next presentation. In moments like these, I often sit at home wishing I could be on the road somewhere, speaking to an organization. I have to fight the feeling that I am not reaching my true potential. Then I will look over at my wife asleep on the couch next to me and realize this moment with her is more important than anything I could say to anyone else.

 

Value every moment you have today, no matter how insignificant it may seem. I could almost guarantee that the life-altering conversations you had in your life were probably not even remembered by the person you were talking to. They never realized how important they were to you at that moment in what they said, but their input was invaluable.

 

My grandfather passed away several years ago, but I still remember one of the most powerful conversations we ever had when I was younger. He worked with his hands all his life and never even learned to read, but he had more wisdom than many scholars. Our life-altering conversation was deep, and he was trying his best to help me understand a bad decision I was about to make. Unfortunately, I ignored his advice and threw my life off the rails for several years.

 

But he took the time to talk to me. All these years later, his words of advice were the same I gave to my sons as they grew up. Those moments he gave me were not wasted.

 

Today, reach out to the people in your life that matter and let them know how much they mean to you. Yes, try to be your best at your job, but never gauge your success by your job title. Be the person you are incredibly proud of being and the person your family will cherish spending time with.


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