There was a man in his early thirties. He had a wife and three kids. His wife was working a full-time job from nine to five and she had to commute for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening (or sometimes more depending on the weather). The man had to work two jobs so that the family could cover their needs. He had to commute for an hour as well, start work at eight and finish around six. Then he would go to his evening job and work for a few hours and arrive home at around eleven. At that time his kids were already in bed. He didn’t get to see them much but he knew he is working to support them.
There is nothing unique in that story, the world is full of hard-working people. But there was something different about this man. And it all showed at midnight when after a hard day of work and not much time left in the night to sleep he made his choice to follow his passion.
He loved languages so instead of going to bed, when everyone were asleep he would study – words, sentences, books. He would go through his favourite authors and write. In the morning instead of grabbing the train to work he would hitchhike because he knew foreigners would be passing on the main road and he would get a chance to exercise his skills by conversing with them.
That man is my dad and he now speaks 6 languages and planning to learn a 7th.
“Not enough time”
This is what we say, it’s like a shield we put between ourselves and our passions, goals and dreams. A shield you ask? “But don’t you want to reach them?” Of course. But we are afraid. Afraid to fail, afraid to be embarrassed, to make a mistake and for others to see it. So we get on and on through every opportunity that comes our way for us to do what we love and dream of, and we tell that opportunity “sorry, not enough time”. Then as the years pass by it all turns into “I never got the chance”.
“No time” is no excuse
Seriously, “no time” is a myth, simply because you make time. Don’t trust me? Let me give you some average statistics:
Watching TV accounts for half of all leisure time, about 2.8 hours per day.
You spend 2 years watching commercials.
You spend 2.5 years cooking.
You spend 3.66 years eating, about 67 minutes a day.
You drive a car for 4.3 years.
You spend 3 months of your life in traffic, about 38 hours a year.
Women spend nearly 1 year deciding what to wear.
The average man will spend 1 year staring at women.
OK, I know, these might not apply to you. A lot of them don’t apply to me since I don’t cook as much, I don’t drive every day, I don’t watch TV and I don’t commute every day.
Still, the point is that we spend a lot of time doing things we never think about. Our behaviours are automated and we rarely re-consider aspects of them to optimise them.
What if you need to make time to learn to play an instrument? Instead of watching TV or series or movies spend that time playing the instrument. If you spend literally 20 or 30 minutes a day it will quickly add up and in a week or two you will be playing a tune. How amazing is that?
What would you have missed from the movies, series and TV? Not much, more of the same will be produced anyway.
What would you have gained? You will be following your passion or dream and every single day will be a step closer to getting where you want to be.
After a short commitment you will quickly understand if you really want to pursue that passion or if it was all just in your head. It might be just too much for you. A sport too painful, a hobby too boring, an activity too demanding.
However, you haven’t lost much and you can easily go back to how things were, or you could have made one of the most exciting commitments in your life.
“Not enough time” is not about time at all, it is about the priority of the thing you want to do.
Next time an opportunity comes and you start saying “not enoug..” think before you finish that sentence. Have you put the autopilot on? Can you try it and squeeze time for 30 mins a week?
You might not have the time to do it now, but maybe you have next week? The thing is, if you are waiting for the “perfect” time to come so that you can do the thing you wanted to do it will never come.
You’re always too young or too old or busy or broke or something else.