Mark and Sarah's lessons aren't reserved for castaways on remote islands. Their story is played out every day around the globe -- in small towns and in big cities, in diners and in corner offices, and for those working for minimum wage and those pursuing advanced degrees. If you feel like you are stranded on an island of monotony, unpaid bills, and forgotten dreams, or if you find yourself daydreaming of a different life but have no idea how to achieve it, there is only one solution. . . .
Your day doesn't start when you crawl out of bed. Your day -- and even your life -- doesn't really start until 5:00 pm. What you've done with your time after 5:00 pm last week, last month, and last year has determined where you are today. How you use the other 8 hours today, tomorrow, and next year will determine your future -- they are your only hope to radically improve your life. The 8 hours you sleep are lost. The 8 hours you sell for a paycheck are gone. What you have -- really, all you have -- are the other 8 hours. Life not only happens in those the other 8 hours, but life is the other 8 hours.
Where you work, the size of your paycheck, the amount of debt you have, what you weigh, the number of people you can count on to help you in an emergency, your connection to god, the relationship you have with your spouse and children, and just about everything else that is meaningful to you is the result of how you've used the other 8 hours.
Look at each of the areas below to see the profound effect the other 8 hours has had:
Even if you met your partner/spouse at work (i did), you needed to put time and energy into your relationship after work if you wanted it to grow and mature. The dates you went on, long walks, and falling in love all occurred during the other 8 hours. Even the disagreements and arguments that make you the couple you are today occurred after 5:00 pm.
If you have children, surely their conception and maybe their birth occurred during the other 8 hours. All of the diapers you changed, Elmo you watched, and homework you've helped complete -- all of the things you did to build connections with your children today -- wouldn't have happened if it were not for the other 8 hours.
The reason my daughter runs up and hugs me when I come home From work is because of the other 8 hours I've "invested" in her (then again, it's probably the m&ms I bribed her with).
The love your spouse and children feel toward you -- and, yes, the absence of love -- is entirely the result of how you have spent the other 8 hours. The connection you feel toward your siblings and parents is based largely on what you've done during the other 8 hours. If you invested them wisely, you probably have some good relationships. If you didn't, you probably don't.