I remember how I felt at my high school graduation. I was excited to be there. It took me a year longer than my classmates…than most people. It was a victory. To me it was another party with my pals. It was just another event in a long succession of school activities.
Then, the Principal started calling out names. He was presenting awards to the people around me. There was scholastic achievement, participation, athletics…citizenship. What there wasn’t, was the sound my name being mentioned. I had been content to show up. I did enough to graduate. That’s all.
I remember the realization that my high school experience was behind me. My chance to make more of it was over. My chance to earn an award, impress my classmates or do anything special on a high school stage had passed. I would never have that opportunity again.
I hated the way that felt. I grew up a great deal in that one sobering moment. I promised myself that I would do all I could to avoid ever wasting another moment…another opportunity. Kipling’s verse regarding “the unforgiving minute” was instantly larger than the graduation hall.
Time is easy to waste! We tell ourselves we are productive when we gaze into our computers but are we? How many of the minutes we spend in “research” are ever turned into action? How many hours do we waste each week in cyber self deception? Those minutes and hours are gone forever.
I’m convinced it’s a large number. I’m convinced we were more productive when we simply picked up the phone. We have to do that, eventually, if we want to do business. We can’t have secure client relationships if we don’t talk to one another.
The research we do has to turn into more than lists. It has to turn into action. It has to turn into sales reps making calls…going to see people…getting to know people and solving problems. Endless lists of names and businesses that we’re going to get to one day are lies we tell ourselves. They lead to wasted time, like my high school career.
I see the time wasters everyday. This time of year you can find them in the office supply warehouse stores buying pens, pads, new computers and file folders. They’re “fixin to get busy.” This is going to be the year they change their path by getting serious about business.
If they are really serious, they’ll pick up the phone and call someone. If you’re really serious you’ll click off of social media and invent the life you’re pretending to be living. You’ll set aside any concern you have for what people perceive you’re doing and get focused on the activities that can change you life.
I wasted my six…that’s right six years of high school but I didn’t waste my college experience. I’ve wasted precious little time since that sobering graduation night. I’ve made mistakes but they taught me stuff. I’ve offended people along the way but never on purpose. I’ve been laser beam focused on my life, family and career. I won’t waste time moving forward.
I invite and challenge everyone to make 2016 a year that is not wasted. Click off the box and make the call. You’ll be amazed what you can learn in 30 seconds of live conversation. You’ll be excited to discover how many people want to hear from you.