I meet a few old friends from the YMCA for a monthly breakfast. As I was waiting for them to show up I noticed the four women at the table next to me and what they didn’t eat, what was taken and thrown away. What a waste.
I also remember my mother saying, “Eat everything on your plate; they’re starving children in China.” Well, as a child that must have had some impact – big, small or otherwise – because I made an effort to finish everything on my plate. Now, what does my meal have to do with the Chinese? Absolutely nothing. What does anyone’s meal have to do with the Chinese? the other “starving” people in the world? Nothing. Whether we’re at home or at a restaurant, the American servings are too big. In some of those starving-people countries, one of our dinner portions at the restaurant would feel a family of four! Such a waste. Why do restaurnats feel it’s imperative to serve a plate the size of a large pizza filled with food to feed two, three or four? Do you feel compelled to eat it all because it’s in front of you? Sometimes, I’m certain.
How many times have you heard or said, “That’s a waste of energy.” “Why? That’d be a waste of time.” “He’s wasting his talent.” ” What a waste of money!”? Waste comes in a closet full of nouns.
Is what you’re doing now a waste of time and energy? Is my writing just for me; therefore, a waste of time and energy? I believe I’m putting my time and energy into a purposeful, and I hope, productive venture with my writings. If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t do it…or would I? We may start projects and then realize that we need help or it will be a waste. I know you can list several wasted ventures of different products. Look on all our store shelves, on retail clothes hangers, in car lots, or even book stores and see the products that may not be there in a month. How many movies have been filmed and never released?
Have you every thrown away money on something that was a complete failure? Did you even think it would fail when you began the investment? Probably not. Sometimes we spin our wheels and waste good energy on a bad product or venture. Don’t you love hindsight? Where has it gotten you, if anywhere?
Time, energy and money spent on ideas that didn’t come to fruition may not be a total waste, if we can learn from our “mistakes” and then lessen the time the next time around and make it work. I know that I’ve thrown away time, money and energy on marketing materials, on product and on promotion, but I felt that they were good investments at the time. I also know that had I invested in someone who had a better understanding, more experience and knowledge, and an expertise that would have alleviated some of the steps, I probably wouldn’t have had to throw away the one-sheets, the flier, the cd’s, the book cover, etc. I have learned through this waste; then is it actually a waste?
Turn your “wasted” talent into something of value to you and others. What talent it that? Only you can decide. What’s your passion and how can you move on it to gain profit, power and purpose? Why waste your time on mind-numbing television programs and then have time management glitches? Why waste your time and energy on a prospect who’s never going to say “yes”? or on a relationship that’s neither healthy nor worthwhile? or on a venture that you know is a failure before you begin? Turn those wasted days, months, thoughts, etc. into something productive that helps you.
Know that with every given day we have the power to invest in ourselves. Read more. Ask for more advice. Mentor someone. Sign up for and take a class. Get healthy: join a health club; run your first 5k, 10k o mini-marathon, or marathon. Wow, that’s putting your time and energy into something worthwhile – if you believe it. All of these are good investments of your time, energy and money. Even if you don’t like the book,you learned something and it’s better than the 900th episode of Law and Order. Even if the class didn’t turn out as you’d hoped, you learned something and met new people. That’s better than hours – or even days- playing computer games. Spending time running, walking, riding your bike or working out helps you mentally and physically; they help make you more productive.
Yes, I sometimes waste :30 or so a day on some computer games, and on some social media messages – writing and reading. But I’ve planned for them. I just have to make certain that I don’t let those waster get in the way of my potential and progress. And you? What can you do today, right now, that’ll help you with your personal and professional investments? Good luck! Keep on keeping on. It’s a waste not to.