5 Reflective Questions To Look At How You’re Spending Your Time

If willpower alone did the trick, we wouldn’t have a massive industry built around failed New Year’s resolutions. Willpower is the Water in your bucket. You save it up and then empty it all out on a single area of your garden and then wonder why the plants are dying two weeks later.

Look at nature. It’s all about sustained nourishment over a longer period of time. Seeds take water and slowly sprout. They wiggle their way to the surface and finally encounter the light of day. Then they fight the harsh elements to remain alive and grow to reproduce and thrive. Sound familiar?

Life has a formula, and the wise follow it and thrive. When we take the combined power of our attention (or focus) and marry it to our intention (or willpower), we get the clarity and sustained attention we need to grow an idea or important thing in our lives. Think of it like drip irrigation.

In our teens, we’d dump buckets of “Water” everywhere and find more in the tank. It’s easy to be sloppy when “youth is wasted on the young.” Later in life, perhaps in our thirties, we begin to feel the fatigue setting in. We perhaps shift to a sprinkler system and are a little more careful with our “Water.” Most people stop there and get what they get—often with low-grade fatigue and constant frustration.

But I put it to you that there’s a better way. Think of tiny little drip irrigation tubes connecting to each hand-picked plant in your Life Garden. You curate what’s going to be there, and then, with laser precision, focus just the right amount of Water to keep each plant happy and thriving.

Some plants take more than others, and that’s fine. We map it all out and make a life plan that delivers what life needs to each. This way, you don’t focus on trinkets you want so much that there’s no money for your passions. You don’t neglect your health because you think that being a great mom means the ultimate sacrifice of not taking care of yourself, which will eventually mean not being able to care for your kids.

We must find balance and focus on sustaining that balance. The act of focusing is intentional. You have to exert some energy to bring something into focus. So what do we need to do?

We need to develop a practice of focusing on the specific items in our Life Garden every day so that our Water gets delivered as needed. We are here to live life and not pass time blindly.

What does that mean? Let’s go back to our definitions.

Living life is the act of staying alive and existing while this miracle called life happens and then eventually ends.

Time is the measure of this thing called life. We come in and our time starts. When our time is up, life ceases to exist in us, though it somehow continues on all around us.

Time lives on a continuum with energy and money. Energy is the currency of life itself. Money gets us food and shelter, which provide the energy we need to keep living life.

Time, energy, and money blend together to make a figurative special sauce I’m calling “Water” that we then use and allocate in our personal “Life Garden” to nourish the important items in our life, which we’re going to call “plants.” In my new book, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the Life Garden and I’ll help you start mapping out your own.

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