If I gave you a dollar, you could spend it, save it, invest it, or give it away.
What would you do?
You may think, “Well, it’s just a dollar. I can put it toward coffee or buy a bottle of water with it.”
Hell, you may forget I even gave you a dollar, and it disappears into the quasar black hole between your car seat and console.
But would you treat a million dollars the same way?
After all, a million dollars is a million pieces of paper with Washington’s face on them. The average American will earn nearly double that amount in their lifetime.
You will likely hold a million bucks, just not all at the same time.
It’s easier to treat a dollar like it isn’t much than to admit we wasted a dollar a million times.
We play the same trick with time.
After all, a lifetime is made up of hours, 691,000 of them if we’re lucky.
It’s too hard to say no to our dreams, so we push them off until after the summer, until we have a stable career, the kids graduate, or we retire.
It’s easier to spend time than to accept the power of our hours was and always is ours, to accept that we can do what we choose with our hours. We can spend them, invest them, or give them away rather than simply pass them or, at worst, “kill time.”
I’ve heard that our first thirty years are for learning. We discover how to survive, understand ourselves, and what we want from life. We spend our time and money during this time.
The second thirty years are for earning—mostly money, but also fulfillment. We may grow a family, a career, a community, a nest egg, or a real estate portfolio. We invest our time and money in meaningful things at this time.
I think that if you’ve done the second thirty years right, you’ll get to spend the last thirty years giving it all away.
Personally, I’d rather spend my first two rounds of thirty, earning the shot at giving it all away instead of wondering if it will show up in my last thirty.
What is “it?”
The health, the confidence, the willingness to be smart, thoughtful and generous. The milestones and achievements that make me proud first, and maybe someone else. The energy and the. GREAT. FUGGIN. SLEEP. The pride I can take in my mind and my body. And the peace of knowing that nothing outside of me will ever make me ok on the inside but that an average understanding of what’s inside of us will.
Our belief that somehow having more money, time, a better metabolism, or genetics will make us feel ok doesn’t hold up well when you consider what you can grow with an average amount of any of those things if you choose to be resourceful.
Lifetime= hours. How many? We don’t know.
So, If I gave you an hour, would you treat it like the dollar? And also, how will you treat your dollars now?