I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it,
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it,
But it’s up to me to use it,
Give account if I abuse it,
Answer for it if I lose it,
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it!
Wow, powerful isn’t it? The poem was recited to me by Bob Proctor, you know one of the guys portrayed in and popularized by the infamous film, The Secret. He recited it in a little video in which he was talking about the value of a minute. In the video Bob Proctor was sitting at a desk with a little hour glass (one of those with a sand in) and he was talking about a few interesting concepts. The concepts were great and it sparked off further thoughts in me that I would like to share.
Consider the sand in the bottom of the hour glass. This sand represents the time past. Now, there is nothing you can do about the time past, nor the past in general. It is already gone, so don’t even concern your self by wasting time on this. All too often we remain focused on past events, on perhaps events from our childhood growing up, on episodes in which we feel we were wronged or not met. And all too often we let these events and this focus stand in our way for our own personal development and in our way for realizing our potentials and what we could become and accomplish.
You cannot change the past, but you can change the way you feel about your past and often that may in fact be a good idea for you to do in order for you to free up your energy for moving forward. The best way for doing so includes forgiveness. Forgive whoever treated you wrong or whom you feel treated you wrong. At first this may seem difficult if not downright impossible for you to do. But know this; forgiving is actually a perfectly egoistical action and although forgiving might be really great for the person you are forgiving, it is probably even more great for yourself!
All blame, rancor and animosity against the wrongdoers serve primarily to keep us inwardly enslaved to bitterness and remember that “Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head” (Esther Lederer). In the long run we inevitably hurt ourselves more than others do. Someone in the past did something that we found hurtful. They did or said something, or failed to do or say something, and we experienced physical or emotional hurt. It’s bound to happen. Each instance of hurt only happened one time in our past, and yet we have the faculty of memory that allows us to recall that incident over and over, and thus hurt ourselves over and over again. That’s how in the long term we can end up hurting ourselves more than the other person did. In fact keeping this grudge is often something we do with the intent to punish whoever wronged you, but it actually corresponds to you drinking poison in the hope that the other person will hurt.
What’s more is that when we keep going over the hurt in over minds, which I would venture most of us tend to do, then we actually relive the hurt over and over again, making us suffer even more. You might also want to consider that the person who wronged you may in fact not even have a clue that they hurt you and more than often certainly never had the intend of hurting you. Learn to forgive – it will serve you massively. If you feel it is difficult to let it go quite just yet, then forgive just a little and with time and a little more effort you will soon forgive all the way and thus free yourself up to really go forth.
Another great way of going forward and in addition to forgiving is really just being grateful. Be grateful for what you have – I’m certain you have many things to be grateful for, you may just not at present realize it. But consider this great quote by Denis Waitley and see if this does not change a little of your focus and realization: “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet”. Helps put things in perspective, doesn’t it?
Anyway, moving on.
The sand in the top of the hour glass represent the future. Now looking at the hour glass you can see how much sand is left in the op of the glass and thus have an idea of how much longer the sand will be running through until there is no more, but in life you really don’t know how much sand is left in the top of the hour glass. Hmmm, worth thinking about! We may take for granted (possibly somewhat depending on our age and current health) that we still have much sand left in the top of our hourglass. But the fact is that we really do not know. Life could be snapped away from us in an instance.
We need to learn to appreciate every moment we have and we need to learn to value the moment that we have right now and make every moment count.
All too often we are living if not in the past as described in the beginning of this article, then in the future. We start even as children and say, “when I grow up, then…” or later when we are older “when I have made enough money, then..” or something to similar effect. My friend Frank D. Deese says in his just released book From Inmate To Mayor: “The past has already happened, so there’s no changing it, and the future never comes, because the moment it arrives, it becomes the present. Although you cannot control your future, you can determine its direction by controlling your present. Control your present, determine your future. Prepare today, own tomorrow”.
I know what I’m talking about, for I have been a slow learner of parts of this myself. In fact I may admit, not very proudly, that it has been only about 6 months since I finally stopped what I call the Blame Game. The Blame Game is when you blame someone or everybody else for something, and especially for why you are not happy or why things did not quite work out for you or whatever you are unhappy about. The problem is that when you play the Blame Game, not only do you not really feel very good, but you actually also relinquish all your power. You take away any responsibility for your situation, your life or your happiness. Whereas if you stop playing the Blame Game then you take full responsibility of things in your life and your situation. When you do so you also empower yourself to do something about areas in your life where you are not satisfied. You start asking yourself better questions and invariably seek better solutions and routes bot consciously and unconsciously and you put yourself on a much better path, a path with much higher probability of an outcome to your liking.
As Franklin says, What we should concern ourselves with is the NOW. So how are you spending your now? A great mentor of mine, Mr. Brendon Burchard, explains that the inbox is a convenient organizing system for other people’s agenda. Do you get sucked into your inbox and other people’s agenda? Do you start your mornings checking your emails and your phone for messages? Or do you concentrate on things that will make a real change and have real value for your life and your livelihood and lifestyle tomorrow?
“Life is too short to waste. Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action.”
David J. Schwartz
Trainer and Author
As John Maxwell also writes about in his book “Today Matters”, what we do now bears all importance for our future and for what we will become and for how we can contribute to the world. Your decisions now are impactful for your future.
We form habits and our habits form our future.
What choices are you making now and what will be the effect of those choices for and in your future?
I include here Bob Proctor’s video that I am referencing. Bob Proctor has partly a focus in this video on the actual value of a minute when you consider your income, e.g. how much does a minute actually correspond to when you are making US$ 100,000 a year, US$ 250,000 a year or how about if you were making much, much more than that. While that is an interesting question and an interesting concept to explore, the video took me off to other thoughts as will be apparent to you when you watch the video after having read the above article.
To consider the value of a minute, allow me also to recite the following:
Value Every Minute (Author Unknown)
To realize the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of one minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have. You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.
So what action, will you do today? What action must you no longer put off for the future? What will you do more of? And What will you start doing less of? What will you start to do? And what will you stop doing?
Thanks to Bob Proctor for sharing his great video and message and thanks to Brendon Burchard for his ever generosity and being such a great mentor. Thanks to Franklin D. Deese for a great and inspirational book and thanks to John Maxwell for the mentorship he brings.