I recently finished reading the inspirational book: ‘Life Profitability – the new measure for entrepreneurial success’ – by Adii Pienaar.
It is written in a language that resonates with much of what I believe, invest and share in both my business and personal life – two worlds which cannot truly be separated.
Early on in the book Adii quotes the philosopher Henry Thoreau as follows:
“… the cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
The essential message is that, while we may fool ourselves that there will be ‘more time’ in the future to attend to that which we put off in the urgency of today, we don’t.
We never get time back.
This particular moment is unique. It can only happen now. It is a part of life that cannot be relived.
One is unable to rediscover the freedom of youth; the buzz of university life; the thrill of experiencing the world that comes in our twenties, when one is forty.
It is not possible to relive the growing up years of our children, once they are adults.
There is no more life time to be enjoyed with friends, colleagues or aging parents after they have left this realm.
In my view, we have been seduced into becoming somewhat careless with the use of time.
The always on society in which we live (more so during Covid) and the constant push to ‘do more’ or ‘do better’ – in business particularly – has reinforced the illusion that at some point, ‘when we have arrived’ or have ‘got the job done’, we will have time to bask in the sunshine and enjoy the fruits of our labour.
We further seem to believe that we can do this in a way that makes up for the debits created via today’s (mis)use of time.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It is simply not possible to re-invent today. All we have is now.
In spite of the need to plan ahead and work towards a particular set of goals, how we spend our days ought never to be in the lieu of or at the cost of those we love; our values; purpose; enjoyment and sense of thriving in our lives.
When making the choice to trade working today in order to invest in a better tomorrow, one is required to be mindful of not doing so in a manner that drains and depletes that wonderful sense of feeling fully alive.
It is entirely possible to work and play alongside each other, whilst profiting from both, simultaneously.
One of the greatest myths in recent decades has been the perpetuation of that idea that there is an algorithmic type of formula for the work-life balance we seek. There is no such formula. It is a matter of personal choice.
Living fully; engaging in, embracing and successfully blending all aspects of our lives is rooted in the awareness, recognition and identification of what we – personally – want, value and believe is possible. This is followed by mindfully putting things into place so that every now becomes more and more fulfilling.
When you understand and appreciate life profitability and life cost in this way, you begin to craft a now that is always focused on having the time of your life.
Written in dedication to my long-time and once in a life-time friend and colleague Adv. Christopher David Shone, with whom I so wish I had more time.