“That was a waste of time.”
“It wasn’t worth the effort.”
We’ve all said it. Maybe you said it about a movie you saw that was really not that entertaining. Or maybe you said it after working hard on a project that ended with little or no results.
It bothers us to waste our time, or to waste our energy, or effort. Why? Because we hate to waste our assets. And our time and our energy are our two most valuable assets. If you think about it, it is from those two assets, your time and energy that probably the rest of your assets come. For example, you spend time and energy working at your job or occupation. From that job, you receive, or received, funds that can become assets.
So, what am I going to do with my most important assets, my time and energy? Every day we consciously, or, most of the time, subconsciously, make that decision. Often, we think that the decision has already been made for us. I have to go to work. I have to take care of the kids. And so on. But the truth is, you really don’t. But you decide to do so because it is the best way to use your time and energy. Maybe for the benefit of others and, ultimately, for yourself.
In the business world, they call it “doing a cost-benefit analysis.” Is the cost, or the amount of time, labor, materials, etc. invested worth the benefit, or potential profit? We hear on the news the possibility of Amazon or Apple building new headquarters in the Raleigh area with the potential of thousands of new jobs. I’m sure that there are extensive cost-benefit analysis projects being done by both corporations before the final decisions are made.
In our personal lives, we make a cost-benefit analysis often, 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 recently made a comment about his game that made me think. He said, “I’m either going to have to play more, practice and get better. Or play less, and enjoy it more.” (He gets frustrated with his game, too.)
So it’s time for me to do my own cost-benefit analysis. Is possibly getting better at golf going to be worth the extra time and effort? The better question is, will it even make any difference in my golf game? Or should I just enjoy playing, enjoy the fellowship on the course, and be glad when I hit that good shot every once and awhile? I think I know the answer.
You see, how you use your two most valuable assets, your time and effort, will determine your lasting impact on the world around you. We should enjoy life and work hard. But your lasting impact should be more than what is written on a golf scorecard or what’s in your bank account. It’s your impact on people and the world.
This past Sunday, we were in our Sunday School class having a discussion. Our class is a mixture of older folks, like me, and younger adults. (To me, anything under forty is younger.) As a young man spoke about his faith, I smiled. He is now married and a father. You see, I remember him being in the teen Sunday School class I taught way back in the mid-nineties. After the class was over, I reminded him of those days. He remembered, and said that the class was important to him, since he was going through some difficult times during those teenage years.
No, the time and effort in teaching that class was not a waste. But I should know that by now. The Apostle Paul knew that when he wrote his letter to the church at Corinth. In the Message paraphrase of the Bible, he writes, “And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (1 Cor. 15:58)
How are you using your two most valuable assets? Maybe it’s time for a cost-benefit analysis of your own.
Mac McPhail, raised in Sampson County, lives in Clinton and can be reached at [email protected]