I frequently encounter this odd, paradoxical statement in my work. My clients specifically hired me to teach them how to run their businesses in a way that will give them more time and freedom, yet when I try to schedule sessions with them, they often tell me they’re “too busy.” They’re so busy trying to do that they “don’t have time” to learn how to do those things better, faster, and with less effort.
When I finally get these clients to a quiet place, I share a story Marc Chernoff tells in his blog post, “40 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have in 40 Years”
This morning, like he has every morning for the last decade, my 86-year-old grandfather picked a fresh wildflower on his morning walk and took it to my grandmother. This morning I decided to go with him to see her. And as he placed the flower on her gravestone, he looked at me and said, “I just wish I had picked her a fresh flower every morning when she was alive. She would have loved that.”
For some reason, I’ve always been acutely aware of the passing of time and the fragility of life.
Perhaps it’s because I lost my father to heart disease when I was 14. But despite the lessons I learned from losing my dad at such a young age, I was once too busy to see people in my own business… too busy working to “get to a place where I can breathe”…too busy trying to get caught up enough to achieve happiness. Then Tony Robbins helped me see that it was not at all about achieving to be happy; it was more important to happily achieve.
My desire to happily achieve has led me to keep journals recording my life’s important events. My favorite journal is “Letters to Morgan,” written for my daughter who is 18 and will be off to college in a few short weeks. I wrote her a letter the day we found out we were pregnant, and I’ve added another to her journal a few times every year. It now has more than 240 pages and 150,000 words.
When I set out to write these as a gift to my daughter, I did not realize what a gift these would be to me. As I read these letters now, I can recall, in vivid detail, the events and emotions that prompted me to write each one.
My point is this:
Life is simply too short to miss it because you’re busy. It’s better to make your business serve your life than to let your life serve your business.
And that’s why I do what I do for entrepreneurs. I see all the time the negative consequences of rushing through life. It saddens me to see how many people persist in trying to drive on square wheels when it’s so simple to switch to round ones. You just have to stop long enough to switch them out.