Pause for thought

It has long intrigued me why people seem to be able to invest huge amounts of time in all manner of activities but they don’t give time to thinking about why they are investing time in all manner of activities. We live in a world where people are obsessed with doing things and telling others about what they have done, but rarely does anyone take time to consider why and how they are using expending their most precious asset – their time, their lives.

People spend hours at the gym trying to look beautiful and cheat death. They immerse themselves for endless hours in all kinds of work and meeting family ‘obligations’, but seldom do they pause to contemplate whether any of that time might be better used.

The other day one of my sons joked about the time I spent with him as a child. “I can never get that back” he said. Nothing could be more true – once expended, that piece of your limited time is gone forever. So it just seems plain common sense to me that more people should spend some of that precious time in considering how to spend their precious time.

So why do people spend less time designing their lives than they do learning how to use their new mobile or plasma TVs? One of the reasons is that there are few people around to lead by example (I’m the only one in step!). Another is that, in our day to day, lives we are not likely to meet any advocates of life planning, even if we are incurable readers of self help or self improvement books. And, as you know, despite the vaunted drive to provide our kids with life skills, Life Design is not part of the national curriculum, it is also not a popular topic in the Sunday colour magazines and is rarely the subject of discussion in the pub or at home. So don’t blame yourself.

It may be that the idea of designing your life has never entered your head. I can’t blame you for that. How many of your mates have a Life Plan? None? That makes having a Life Plan abnormal behaviour, surely? But abnormal can sometimes be right and (you may have noticed) success in life is not normal.

I think you should pause for thought. I think you should invest some time in designing your life. I think you should invest in Design for Life™ … but then you would expect that wouldn’t you?

John Cornbill