Your Most Precious Asset

by Dennis Perry on January 26, 2012

As I write this on January 26, 2012 I am on the eve of my 59th birthday.  With all due respect to my elders, no matter how you look at things, it is hard not to consider the age of 60 as being “old” by most any definition.  I am closing in on this landmark birthday rather quickly.

I know, you can make the argument that you are only as old as you feel and that is true.  I like to think that, especially in the last few years, I have worked to keep myself healthy.  I also like to think that I have many years left to leave my footprint on the sands of life but we never really know.

The average life expectancy for a person living in the United States is 78.3 years according to wiki.answers.com.  That is 28,598 days when you account for leap years.  I am on day 21,548.  In percentage terms, I am at about the ¾ point of my life.

That made me start to think of what I have accomplished and what I still feel I need to do.  This, in turn, made me start thinking of my assets.

When we are asked about our assets we often start rattling off our bank account balances, our home, our investments and any other material thing we can think of.

There are two assets that rarely, if ever, get mentioned.  The second most valuable asset we have is the people in our lives.  I will write about this in great detail in future articles.

Your Most Precious Asset

I believe the most important asset we possess is time!      

I do not believe in pre-destiny.  That is, I don’t believe that we are born with everything already programmed or that we are going to be what we were pre-destined to be and there is nothing we can do about it.

Quite the contrary, I believe that we have nearly total control on what we become and we have the power to change it if we don’t like the path we initially set for ourselves.

With that being said, though, let’s assume for a minute that at the moment of conception, we are given a bank with a set number of seconds, minutes, hours, and days.  We cannot add to that bank.  Every day that passes uses up one of those precious, irreplaceable assets.

Whether we are preset with a certain number of days or not, one fact is undeniable.  We cannot save time.

When I teach money management, the first thing I have people do is take a portion of their money and put it aside in a wealth accumulation account.  This money will be used to purchase other types of assets that will then create an income stream of their own.

Once this is set up and comfortable, we begin to segregate other funds into specific accounts all to be used in the future.

We cannot do this with time.  At 12:00 midnight we are given 86,400 seconds for the day.  We cannot bank any of them.  We cannot save any of them for a rainy day or any other kind of day.  When they pass, they are gone forever.

It is up to each of us to decide how we fill those 86,400 seconds.

We are each different and we have different needs, desires, and goals.  We are all on different paths so the way I spend my precious time will not be how you spend yours.  And in no way will I be judgmental about what you decide.

The question I would ask you, though, is this.  Is the way you are spending your precious time moving you forward toward your goals or are they being wasted?

I know we cannot expect to work 24 hours a day with no fun and no sleep.  In fact, time for pleasurable pursuits is built into every one of my days.  I find recreation or play to be a critical component of a truly rich life and should be included.  One of the accounts that I recommend in my money management system is a Play account to make sure that we take time for recreation

But we also need to make sure that we are using the time we have been given at the start of each day to make steady progress toward the goals we have set for ourselves.

 Biggest Regrets

I have heard others say this and I am sure you have heard it but I have to repeat it here.  As I get older and realize that my time left here on this planet is limited, I don’t regret any of the things I have done.  I haven’t always made the best choices, far from it actually.  But I made a decision and I moved on.

What I do regret are the things I did not do.  I regret the times I didn’t stop to take in a beautiful sunset or to listen to songs of the birds around me.  There have been opportunities to tell someone how much I cared for them that I let pass by.  Many of these people are gone now and there will be no more opportunities to tell them.

There are many more examples but the purpose of this article is not to depress you.  The purpose is to inspire you to keep moving.

If you haven’t yet painted a picture of your ideal life, your Rich Life, or created a plan to get there, I urge you to do it today.

Decide how you want to live your life and begin to move in that direction.  Decide what you want to be, do, and have.  Be specific and don’t limit yourself by thinking that your dream is too big.  Let your creative juices flow.

If there is someone you need to apologize to, then do it today.  If you have been meaning to call an old friend then put it on your calendar and make the call.  Do the things that will energize you and move you forward.

Don’t sleep your life away.  Yes, we need sleep.  Many of us require about 8 hours sleep per night.  I can get by with less and usually do but don’t cheat yourself of needed rest.

By the same token, don’t sleep too much.  I know so many people who sleep 10 or more hours per day.  We don’t need that much sleep in most situations.  Set a schedule for the amount of sleep you need and then get up and be productive.

Get up an hour earlier every day.  Use this time over a cup of coffee or your favorite tea to plan you day or develop your goals.  Use this time to take the next step on your most important goal.

I’ll end this article with one of my favorite quotes.  I have been unable to find the true original source for this quote but it has been attributed to Erma Bombeck in the past.

“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, 
chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
“WOO HOO what a ride!”

Get the most you can out of this day and put the most you can into it.  Live this day fully.  Make it a great one and make your life truly rich in every way.

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{ 3 comments }

Clare Delaney January 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm

A very happy birthday to you Dennis, I hope it’s a great one, and I know the year ahead will be a special one for you, with many achievements along the way. I also hope you continue with your blog and inspire us all to do better!

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Jerry Pinney January 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Dennis,

Happy Birthday! The world is a better place because you are a part of it. Thanks for all you do.

Now, Let the celebration begin. Enjoy.

Jerry

Debbie Mrazek January 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm

WoooooHooooooo!!! Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!:)
Hope you will enjoy the celebration for a FULL 59 days!!!!:)
Lifting my glass to you and wishing you a great day and MANY MANY more!:)

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