Saturday, March 5, 2011

Use time well

I met a 75 year old man yesterday who is working as a senior executive in a large firm. He said that although he retired many years ago, he has allowed himself to be persuaded to continue employment and put his talents, knowledge and experience to productive use. His wife passed away recently of cancer and he regretted that he could never spend enough time with her or his children. It seems she always complained to him that his work was his first wife and she was only his housekeeper. I could sense that he was deeply upset over his neglect of her.

This meeting set me thinking. Sometimes we are confused about our priorities. We tend to focus on the the wrong things only to realise and regret much later. We get employed to sustain ourselves and our families but get carried away and imagine that our career is of paramount importance. We begin to enjoy the rat race and do not know when to stop. We begin to crave for continuous success in this race and want to win at any cost.

Of course, there are some people who are clear about their goals and purpose. If career is indeed ones sole pursuit, it is great to be focused and dogged about it. However, for most people, career is not the sole goal. They seek happiness in the family front too. Some have spiritual goals too. For such people, it is frustrating to be unable to give adequate attention to other goals. One should not end up as a successful yet unhappy or dissatisfied person due to neglecting other goals.

It would be useful, from time to time, to step back and re-evaluate our direction and our time allocation to various activities. Are we allocating sufficient time for our physical well being? Are we giving enough quality time and attention to our loved ones? Is recreation, rejuvenation and connecting with God featuring in our calendar? Are TV & computers becoming an obsession? Is there any mismatch between our priorities and our activities?

The time to course correct is now. Do not let inertia dictate your life. Get in control of your time. Because without our realising it, we are getting older and exhausting our precious and limited time.

Use your time well.

“Put your family first. I’ve yet to see an obituary that says, “He died peacefully surrounded by his stockbroker, his accountant and his golf partner.” - Robin Sharma

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” - Annie Dillard

“If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.” - Robin Sharma


Krishnan S said...

Very nicely written. Regards

KParthasarathi said...

You have put things in the proper perspective.Balancing the time judiciously among the different activities of life is very vital to lead a purposeful life.Nice post

B M said...

Wow congrats sir. I know how tough it is to keep writing regularly and you have taken up this task in your typical professional style.

All the best for many more blogs

Ashok said...

Well, there's not a single word written by that can be disputed by any logical mind. But we all realise this at different points in our life, how difficult it becomes to really implement it in letter and spirit. The biggest obstacle I experience is both the Husband and wife to be on the same wavelength on this. There r very few lucky ones out there.

Being Pramoda... said...

Hello Vish..

nicely written.. its important to have goals, set priorities and ork the same to get succeeded..

well, thanks for visiting my space.. am too away from blog so far.. just today popped in blogs once again..


Rhapsody B. said...


The Key is balance and balance is the challenge. Often the need to sustain life, pay bills, keep a roof of ones head, clothes on ones back consume much of ones time because at times the pay is inadequate and one must seek another job to supplement the other income in order to make ends meet. It is this demand that throws things out of focus and eats the energy and spirit of those trying to balance work and family. It is not easy, though it can be done with due diligence.

Great post.
Thank you for stopping by my space and I will heed your advice. I have been ask this many times yet my feet are laden on the issue. I will make steps towards retifying that. Thanks again...

Stay blessed.

Anya said...

what a story ;)

Have a nice week-end
Kareltje =^.^= ♥ Betsie >^.^<
Anya :)

Badri said...

Dear Vish,

I enjoyed reading this article. One of my Professors used to say that "the winner in a rat race is also a rat!". So, finding a balance is quite important. I particularly liked Robin Sharma's comment about the obituary.

I am currently doing a Masters Program in Leadership and Strategy at London Business School. There is a course called "Understanding Top Management". One of the exercises in that course is to write about my favourite job profile (the one that I will take up after the course). In the next session, we are asked to write about Obituaries... ie. what a close friend will say on my obituary. Post this, we are asked to share both the documents with our neighbour in the class and discuss. I found this exercise quite revealing. This exercise brought lot of reality to our goals/aspirations.

Col Krishnan said...

Hi Viswanath,

Very well presented.

It invariably happens that many of us keep climbing the ladder of success with tremendous enthusiasm and reach the last rung. Then, to our utter dismay, we find that the ladder is leaning on a wrong wall!!. (How accurate Jesus was, when stated 2000 years before - WISDOM OF THE WORLD IS FOLLY TO

But, the catch is somewhere else....It is not a question of balancing your time with professional needs and family requirements. As Eckhart Tolle says
in "Power of Now", we are all Human Beings......a combination of Human and Being. Human is external, a form manifested, whereas Being is internal, a
formless dimension unmanifested. Purpose of every existence is to flower this formless dimension, variously known as God, Almighty, Absolute, Totality etc etc..

We all are here to enable the DIVINE purpose of the Universe to unfold; that's how Important WE are!!

Thanks and Regards,

Jyotsna P kadayaprath said...

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
~William Shakespeare

VKY said...

So true .. we end up in just trying to win the rat race ..because this society (which is made of us only) judges the person not by what he is internally but what he has (externally) ..
Nice blog

Sonal Raisinghani said...

Congrats Sir ! on your 150th blog post...Fantastically written..

Just to add up with what you have written " Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves - Jawaharlal Nehru "

With the pace people work at today it is very easy to sacrifice relationships; the way in which this old man did . We easily neglect our near and dear ones. We forget that life is not about making money or achieving great heights only. There are many other things to be achieved.
Hence timely introspection is imperative. Take few minutes out of your busy schedule, Look at your priorities and see if your behaviour matches them.
Don't get caught in the wilderness with the thought - Did not understand how my time was killed. Invest every minute of your precious time in things that make you happy because Time and Tide wait for none.

Avinash said...

Congratulations on your 150 :)

Go on and make a 300 like Sehwag.
Wish you good luck. I am not so active in blogging as i once used to be.

Change of priorities you could say :)

Have a nice evening.

CR said...

Well to be honest, I read all your blos but rarely comment. But this pointer deserves a comment.

Very True. Why I chose to comment is that some people have a soothing effect on others knowingly or unknowingly. You happen to be one of those.

The problem solver in you deserves a praise.

We all have our duty and reponsibility and most time we think money will solve a problem. If money was the solution to problems then it is no problem because then you can put a value to it and get a solution to it. But if money cannot solve then you have a Real Problem.

The problem with us is that we equate money with - God or equal to God and think it solves all probelm - It can never because its only a tool. Not the craftsmen who weilds it.

When we assume money is God it simply cannot solve the problem money cannot get into God shoes and solve the issue. There lies the problem - God simply cannnot be replaced.

He will come in front of us once only in each and everybodys life time . Hope we dont miss him. Hope I have not...

Sundeep said...

Very well written Sir. Please allow me to share with my friends.


A T S said...

Well put

Hareesh said...

Really good one.. most people say "family first".. but once on job.. they forget the same..

Re-look at the priorities is absolutely necessary

Best Regards


Anonymous said...

Well said..Indeed we need to set aside a fraction of our time to carry out our dreams and what we want in our lives.We also need to set our priorities and decide what is important and give it all that we have got..
Sometimes Time is what we want most,but what we use worst..


V Rakesh said...

Many of us are unmindful of our commitment to our loved ones and to ourselves and often spend time wallowing away in search of many material things that do not matter!

Very well written and many congratulations on your 150th! May you find bliss in your creation, forever and leave the legacy for posterity to imbibe, adhere and further!

Whirlwind said...

A very useful post and well said. In our busy schedules we fail to allocate time for things and people and end up with nothing but regret in the end.

Anonymous said...


What you have said is true! Many a times we crave for things which are transcient and forget to enjoy what was given by the Lord! That is one of the reasons why I refused to accept Consultant post in our bank post retirement. I am enjoying my retired life in the company of my wife and communicating with my children.