“It was a waste of time.”
“It wasn’t worth it.”
We’ve all said it. Maybe you said it about a movie you saw that really wasn’t that entertaining. Or maybe you said it after working hard on a project that ended with little to no results.
It bothers us to waste our time, or waste our energy, or our effort. Why? Because we hate wasting our assets. And our time and energy are our two most valuable assets. If you think about it, it is from these two assets, your time and your energy, that the rest of your assets probably come. For example, you devote time and energy to your work or profession. From this work, you receive, or have received, funds that can become assets.
So what am I going to do with my most important assets, my time and my energy? Every day, consciously or, most of the time, unconsciously, we make this decision. Often we think the decision has already been made for us. I have to go to work. I have to take care of the children. Etc. But the truth is, you really don’t. But you decide to do it because it’s the best way to use your time and energy. Perhaps for the benefit of others and, ultimately, for yourself.
In the business world, they call it “doing a cost-benefit analysis.” The cost, or amount of time, labor, materials, etc. invested is it worth the profit or the potential profit? This week alone, CNBC ranked North Carolina as having the best business environment of any US state. With the growth of North Carolina’s economy, I often hear about some large companies moving to this state. I am certain that these companies carry out extensive cost-benefit analysis projects before final decisions are made.
In our personal lives, we often do a cost-benefit analysis, we just don’t realize it. I think it’s time for me to do a cost-benefit analysis of my golf game. Sometimes, well, most of the time, golf can be frustrating for me. A friend made a comment about his game that got me thinking. He said: “I’m either going to have to play more, train and get better. Or play less and enjoy more. (He is also frustrated with his game.)
So it’s time for me to do my own cost-benefit analysis. Could getting better at golf be worth the extra time and effort? The better question is, will it even make a difference to my golf game? Or should I just enjoy the game, enjoy the camaraderie on the course, and be happy when I hit that one good shot once in a while? I think I know the answer.
You see, how you use your two most valuable assets, your time and your effort, will determine your lasting impact on the world around you. We should enjoy life and work hard. But your lasting impact should be greater than what’s written on a golf scorecard or what’s in your bank account. It’s your impact on people and the world.
Are you having a positive and lasting impact on the world around you? I’ve heard that the world around you is called your sphere of influence, and that sphere is probably bigger than you think. This can include your family, work, friends, community, etc. This can include long-term relationships or brief but important contacts. Either way, the time and effort you put in can change someone else’s for good, maybe forever.
The apostle Paul knew this when he wrote his letter to the church in Corinth. In the paraphrase of the Message from the Bible, he writes: “And do not hold back. Throw yourself into the Master’s work, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort. (1 Cor. 15:58)
How do you use your two most valuable assets? It may be time to do your own cost-benefit analysis.
Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton. McPhail’s new book, “Wandering Thoughts from a Wondering Mind,” a collection of his favorite chronicles, is available for purchase at the Sampson Independent office, online at Amazon, or by contacting McPhail at [email protected]