Benjamin Franklin said that time is money. Actually, time is more important than money.
Here are 3 reasons why time is more important than money:
- We are willing to give more money for better time. A consultant who receives $400 per hour is better than a consultant who receives $150 per hour. We are willing to give more money for time that is more valuable.
- We can save money, but not time. You can choose to spend or not spend money; time is spent no matter what at exactly the same rate as everyone in the world.
- Three of the 5 most commonly used words in the English language (time, person, year, way, day) concern time.
Even though we are technically forced to live only in the present time, we actually deal with the past, the present, and the future at all times in our attitudes and feelings. Scientists have studied this phenomenon a lot, and for more happiness, success in business, and better leadership, the best mixture of past/present/future seems to be:
- A positive view of the past, but not much attention given to it,
- A focus on the present, and
- A moderately high focus on the future.
This attitude of living in the present but having an eye on the future was shown to be important even by young children by the famous marshmallow experiment. If you want to see a video of a modern duplication of the experiment, click here.
The experiment was designed to test the children’s ability to delay gratification. In the experiment, 4-year-olds were placed in a room by themselves and told that they could eat the marshmallow in front of them now, or could wait until later. If they waited, they could have another marshmallow and would have two marshmallows to eat instead of one. Only 1/3 of the children valued delayed gratification enough to receive the reward of the second marshmallow.
When the two groups of children were compared at age 18, the children who waited:
- had superior emotional and social skills
- handled stress better
- were more self-confident, diligent, and self-reliant
- had higher IQs
- scored higher in verbal and math skills on the SAT by 210 total points.
I’m out of time for now, so I’ll take my marshmallows and go home. Next time, in Part 2, I’ll talk a bit more about delayed gratification and how to change your time perspective to be more successful in relationships, business, and leadership.