November 30th… thirty days have September, April, June and November; all the rest have thirty one except for February, which has twenty eight…
Today is the final day of November, the eleventh month of the year. Which means we’re only another thirty days or so from kicking off 2023.
Time is an interesting thing. And we humans have such an interesting relationship to it. Nothing else on Earth thinks of it the way we do. I’m not saying there’s no other consciousness whatsoever within the planet or even the universe. But plants and animals don’t think about time like we do. They are simply here and then at some point in the future they die and so are then no longer. Trees may have rings and so *we* can count their years. But unless we discover something vastly different than we already know, they’re not gathering to celebrate their birthdays, and they don’t make comments about how they’re, “getting up there,” or complain that they’re growing old.
Only we feel like time is on our side or against us. Only we measure it with such fervor as to have it impact our day, our events, our entire lives.
Dogs don’t care if you leave for five days or five minute; when you return they are super excited.
We humans have one relationship on the front end of a section of time, and a different one on the back end; whether it’s a week long vacation, a calendar year, or our entire lifetime, in the beginning we feel abundance. As we move through the middle we have some kind of “crises,” and at the end it always feels so fast.
Show me a parent — whether their kids are fully grown, just turned nine, or even just a month or two; and they will all say it went fast. It’s always fast when we turn around and look back. It’s slow when we look forward into the future.
So how’s it going for you? Is your experience that time is, “on your side?” Or are you, “up against it?” “Battling it?” Working with scraps trying to fit life and everything inside its limited container?
Time governs us because it’s essentially an agreement we all make so we can coordinate with each other. Business, and life in general, involves other people so we need a measurable way to come together.
But we tend to make it way more complicated than it has to be.
So this morning I want to give you something to help lighten time’s burden, to knock its power down a few pegs. Because in my experience, entrepreneurs, business owners and high performing team leads on the ascent up to the next level, tend to have a less than fully empowered relationship to this occasionally monstrous entity that though we cannot see, smell or touch, connects us all and impacts everything.
In a word: PURPOSE.
You can also look at Meaning, Direction, Value. But I just finished re-watching all three Matrix movies, this time with my soon to be nine year old son, and Morpheus, Neo, the Oracle, and even Neo’s arch nemesis Agent Smith talked about purpose.
It is the through line that will allow you to cut beyond the weights and significance of all mighty time.
I don’t care what the purpose is. Hopefully it’s positive and well intended. But whether it’s to support your family, make a difference in the world, to make a bunch of money, or just enjoy your life, to feel joy or peace or create connection. It doesn’t matter. Who you are and what you do certainly matters in terms of how you feel, how you’re perceived, and what you are or are not able to create. But here, in the context of simply unyoking the burden of time, it just matters that you are connected to what your purpose is.
Whether it’s your purpose in your life as a whole, your day, or just the meeting or singular conversation you happen to be in.
Speaking of time, we’ve got a meeting to get to so I’m not going to take up much more right now. But two final things must be said…
When it comes to your business, the relationship you have to time has a major impact. Because whether you believe you are empowered by it or restricted by it, you will be right either way. And not only will that impact you, it will affect everyone with whom you come into contact.
People tell us all the time who they are and how they are. If you believe in the mirroring technique, then you can listen for your prospective customers’ or clients’ relationship to time and match it. They’re super busy and have no time? Misery loves company. So maybe you share how you have no time. Or you can present the opposite if that might be appealing to them. The ways you’ve learned to maximize it, for example.
But remember, people are listening even unconsciously. So make no mistake, it will make a difference in your meetings, in your relationships, and in your bottom line.
Get clear about your purpose. Keep it close. And leverage it to the best of your ability.
Our experience of time is flexible — a fun night out with your close friends moves a lot quicker than a root canal. No offense Josh Perlman — you are a gifted dentist.
But we need to stop trying to manage and control it. Like waves heading to crash onto shore, it will not stop. But knowing your purpose will be like surfing across the tops.
Oh well, looks like my time’s up. As I like to say… to be continued.