14. When do you find you feel the most sure and confident?
15. If you had one year left to live, what would you spend the majority of your time doing?
Now add the checkmarks in each column. Do you notice anything? I've done this exercise with a whole lot of folks and the results are almost always the same.
Sleeping: Necessary and feels great, but doesn't provide much "life" to life. Most likely, you don't have a single checkmark in this column.
Working: Also necessary and can feel rewarding, but it is typically something you must do and not something you love to do. Most people Have between one and three checkmarks in this column.
Other 8: Surprise! The majority of the most important events in your Life don't occur while you sleep or work . . . They occur during the other 8 hours.
While it's true that I created the quiz to convince you of the significance of the other 8 hours, I think it is still a valuable illustration.
Prove it to yourself by thinking about the most meaningful events and memories in your own life. When did they occur?
It Cuts Both Ways
Time has no conscience, and the other 8 hours are indifferent. They can be invested or wasted. The other 8 hours can improve every aspect Of your life, but you must do something valuable with them. If you waste the other 8 hours, they can't help you. The clock ticks. Seconds, minutes, and hours pass, regardless of what you do. Your finances, your job responsibilities, your relationship with your parents or spouse, your health, and even your quality of life and level of happiness are either getting better or getting worse. Life and all of the things in it are moving forward, progressing, and advancing or falling behind, stagnating, and dying. Is your net worth growing or shrinking? Are you moving up in the company or down? Are you getting closer to your boyfriend or moving farther away from him? Are you getting into shape or losing the battle of the bulge?
If you don't invest the other 8 hours in the areas of your life that are important to you, those areas will shrivel up and waste away (unless you're talking about weight, and in that circumstance, neglect tends to Have the opposite effect). How many friendships have you had that disappeared because you didn't put the time into them? Have you grown apart from a spouse or significant other? Have you lost touch with your faith? Have you felt shocked after stepping on the bathroom scale? Have you ever wondered where the last year, or five or ten years, have gone?
Do you get sick of coming up with reasons for why you didn't start a business or take that trip? The reason for all of these shortfalls can be Traced to how you failed to invest the other 8 hours into these areas of your life.
Still not convinced that life starts after 5:00 PM? Talk to someone who has completely wasted the other 8 hours for several years (or decades). You'll see pain, frustration, anger, and despair. You'll hear about how life is unfair and that having the "good" life is hopeless. If you sleep 8, work 8, and waste 8, at the very best, you'll manage to survive, much like Mark has on his lonely island.
Each of us is given the other 8 hours (some more, some less). It's up to us to use this time as wisely as possible. If you have a plan for your day after 5:00 PM and actually do something with this time, there is very little in life you can't accomplish or achieve. Those who invest the other 8 hours achieve and experience the most from life. Those who waste the other 8 hours feel stagnant and unfulfi led, and they are the subject of the next chapter . . .