I am starting to develop a little tick anytime someone tells me they are too busy to invest in their own personal growth by reading. You're talking about being too busy to a guy with 5 kids who runs a multi-million dollar business, serves on a board of directors, leads 3 church groups, coaches a Toastmasters club, is active in another Toastmasters club, plays soccer, runs a blog with thousands of followers, spends time with his kids and family, who still manages to read regularly. Bull shit you don't have time!
We All Have 24 Hours in a Day
I'm not angry because people are saying that they don't want to be a part of our program, I completely respect that decision. I don't even mind if people don't value personal growth like I do. What makes me sad and even angry is that some people believe that this should be a top priority in their lives, yet also truly believe they do not have time for it. We all have 24 hours or 1,440 minutes every day. The key is what you choose to do with that time.
Get that distinction through your head, and you'll do well in life. If you are saying that you are too busy, then what you are really saying is either this is not my priority, or I don't know how to manage my time yet. It is perfectly fine to say no or even be a little more polite by saying something like I don't have time if it is not your priority, but do not lie to yourself.
In fact, I believe you should say no more often if you are finding that you do not have time for those things you believe are most important. That is exactly how you make time for the important things, by saying no to the unimportant. You do not want others setting your priorities in life.
MAKE Time For What's Important
The key is to not lie to yourself and tell yourself that you don't have time. You don't HAVE time for important things, you MAKE time for them. That usually means giving up less important things and making some hard choices.
If you want to be healthy, you MAKE time for exercise and eating right. If you want to grow, you MAKE time to invest in yourself by reading, spending time with people who challenge and encourage you, and self-reflection. If you want to develop or maintain a relationship, you MAKE time to do that. If you want to do anything, you MAKE time to do it. If you don't really want to do something, you will come up with excuses as to why you can't. If you are coming up with excuses as to why you can't do something, I invite you to examine how badly you really want it. If you really want it badly, you need to ask yourself what are you willing to give up to make it happen?
I'll get off my soap box now, thanks for letting me rant. I do realize that time is finite and there are priorities in life which come before personal growth, I get it.
Write Down Your Priorities
My challenge to you is to take some time to become clear about your priorities in your own life. Write them down. Refer to them often. That way, you'll be able to schedule in those things which are most important to you, say no to those which are not, and not let all of the noise in life keep you from your dreams.
I'll leave you with some questions to ponder. What do you need to MAKE time for in your life? What important things do you need to add to your schedule? What do you need to remove from your schedule to make the important things happen?