We all know time is one thing we cannot get back.
I used to live by the motto, "time is money." Back then, I looked at it as the more time I put into work, the more money I will be able to get. So, I worked. Worked and worked and worked. Working was like an addiction of mine because I never wanted to be without money. I started working in elementary school; around the age of 12-13. In the mornings, I sat in the park and braided as many heads as I possibly could before the school bell rang. If I didn't finish, the appointment was moved to lunch or after school.
Soon after, I was getting a working permit at the age of 15 to assume my first job as an Inclusion Aide for a summer camp. If you don't know, an Inclusion Aide is a person who works to include all of the children in a group that wouldn't normally be able to keep up with the larger population of the children their age. These were the children with mental or physical disabilities or who have behavior disorders. That was tough but very rewarding. It humbled me at a very young age and opened my heart up to love others who were made differently from me.
The drive to work was embedded in me.
After being an Inclusion Aide, I went on to work as an Intern at the Treasurers Office, Bartender, Forklift Driver, Banquet Server, Event Server, Front Desk Agent, Receptionist, Administrative Assistant and finally an Audit Analyst all while still doing hair on the side (one of my natural gifts). I always had at least two jobs and working a too much was always an issue in my relationship (Intimate and personal).
Why was I working so damn hard?
We learn in three ways: consciously (what we see), subconsciously (actions we are surrounded by) and feelings (how what we see and the actions around us make us feel). Through this spectrum, it all made sense. I worked as hard as I did because consciously, I saw my mother working day in and day out to make ends meet. She was a single parent because she decided to leave her husband in Jamaica to have a shot at a better life for her and me. Never wanting to end up in a life of poverty, she worked. Being around that energy subconsciously programmed the action in me to stay busy and to always work. It stayed with me because it was attached to a fear. The fear of being broke. When we can make certain we won't be broke by working extremely hard, working brought on the sense of security. Now, I have grown to connect working with safety. The idea of not working triggered so many thoughts in defense to protect me.
Anything rooted in fear has the ability to control and destroy you.
Whenever I feel controlled, I start to get very uncomfortable. I felt like I sold my soul to become a worker for something I did not enjoy. What seemed to be the common trend in America. All my time and energy went to working and if I wasn't working I was thinking about work or stressed about work. All of my time was now focused on my job. What was this rule that I developed for myself really costing me? I did some research on some of the costs.
80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. (Source: Deloitte’s Shift Index survey)
90,000 hours spent at work over a lifetime. (Source: Happiness at Work, Psychology Today)
Couples in which at least one partner spends at least 10+ hours at work divorce at twice the average rate. (Source: Forbes)
25% of employees say work is their main source of stress and 40% say their job is "very or extremely stressful" (Sources: Quality of Working Life' report from Chartered Management Institute and Workplace Health Connect)
Over 13 million working days are lost every year because of stress-related illnesses. (Sources: UK HSE Stress Statistics)
The average American spends over 100 hours commuting (Source: US Census Bureau)
25% of people check into work hourly while on vacation and 59% check in during traditional holidays. (Source: USA Today, Xobni survey via CNN Money)
There were so many people who also seemed to trade their time in for stress, their health and a heavily taxed income. The exchange of time for money is nothing new. This old rule which many choose to live by no longer resonated with me. When I started to put my health and wellbeing first, working my corporate job started to become more and more difficult.
If we can create the life we want, how can we create a life where our time was spent doing the things we loved, with the people we love, and still being able to generate income?
Throughout our lives, we have developed rules to live by. Sometimes these rules add value to our lives and sometimes they become painful. If we can truly create the life we want, then we should be able to create a life where we can spend time with the people we love, doing the things we love all while creating a source of income to sustain our desired lifestyle. The rule I had, "time is money" was grounded in fear and limited my life. It was time to create a new rule grounded in courage that would free me up.
New Rule: Time is my greatest asset and with it, I will create a life of abundance.
Realizing you can always lose money and you can always make money. One thing you cannot get back is time. Time is truly a precious gift and it is sad we don't realize it until we look back and see that it is all gone.