Today, I want to remind you that everything essential requires time, energy, and effort.
Table of Contents
- Everything Meaningful Requires Your All
- How To Maximize Your Time
- How To Preserve Your Energy
- How To Direct Your Efforts
- There Are No Shortcuts
Everything Meaningful Requires Your All
Within life, things such as getting in shape, starting a family, and achieving great goals, require your best. You will never experience spontaneous, passionate self-improvement when pursuing virtue and meaningful goals. To reach your full potential, you have to put in work every day, all the time.
And what are your tools? Time, energy, and effort. These tools are the pillars of your success. You have to utilize each to achieve the great goals you have set for yourself.
For example, let’s say you want to get into shape. You cannot achieve physical fitness in an afternoon. Therefore, you will need time to see results. From there, you will need to take your energy and direct it towards exercising. Lastly, your efforts are defined by how motivated you are. If your drive is lacking, you will become distracted.
Today, we will discuss how to maximize your time, preserve your energy, and direct your efforts.
How To Maximize Your Time
‘”I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’ – J.R.R. Tolkien
Time is “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” For individuals, time is simply how long we have to live. Time is always moving, and you are always aging. Thus, it is vital to utilize this valuable resource effectively through the following means:
- Keep track of your past actions – A calendar or planner will help you see where you have been, so you can better plan where you need to go. If you know where your efforts have gone and how long they’ve taken, you can course-correct whenever you need. I utilize Google calendars for tracking time and plotting out the day. I also take 10-15 minutes daily to plan my day and move tasks around.
- Plot out your day – Determining what you want to do will help you plan how much time you need for everything. Only a fool believes he doesn’t need to prepare.
- Determine how long specific actions take – Understanding the time invested in activities will help you set realistic goals. If something takes an hour, assume it’ll take an hour and 15 and plan accordingly.
If you don’t use your time well, then the day will get away from you. However, if you plan accordingly, you can maximize your day and use your most valuable resource towards achieving your best self.
How To Preserve Your Energy
Your energy determines how effective you can use your physical body and mental capacity to accomplish your goals. The more power you have, the more effective your concentration can be. If you’re too tired, you can’t focus on studying. If you feel ill from poor food choices, you cannot make the best decisions when faced with challenges.
Here are the best ways to preserve your energy:
- Don’t consume crappy media – The media is designed to demoralize you and undermine your efforts. Your response? Don’t consume. Don’t watch the news or absorb works of hopelessness. Only stride to consume works that inspire and uplift. You need to ignore cynical, “realistic” works, or you’ll waste your hope and vitality.
- Exercise, sleep regularly, and eat well – Your physical body is crucial to your success. You cannot “willpower” your way through mental trauma, physical sickness, or a poor meal. Eat well, exercise regularly, and get sleep. This healthiness will replenish your physical energy. You can focus better, work well, and ensure success with better physical energy.
How To Direct Your Efforts
Your efforts encompass how you direct your resources. Your resources are your energy, time, money, and other tangible and intangible goods that support your journey. Additionally, efforts describe your mindset, value system, and mood. If any of these elements are aligned poorly, you will not succeed.
For example, a man who values his whims cannot achieve greatness. Why? Because his impulses will pull him away from the deep concentration needed to become his best self. However, a virtuous man will always give his best even when he fails at his duties or goals.
Here are the best ways to ensure your efforts are directly properly:
- Be clear about your goals – What do you want to do with your life? Understanding your life’s purpose can help you map your years, months, weeks, and days. The clearer you are about your purpose, the better you will act.
- Find a community worth fighting for and with – Community gives an individual support and purpose. Seek a virtuous community as focused and determined as you are. And remember, this community must seek virtuous ends. How do you find such people? Firstly, cultivate moral excellence within yourself. Secondly, find churches, gyms, and other places where people congregate to pursue physical fitness, mental acumen, and spiritual enrichment. These are the places where good people are likely to be found.
- Adopt philosophies that promote virtue – Modern man has all the philosophical justifications for his laziness and addictions. This justification only makes him weak, scared, and pathetic. Instead, you should read philosophies, biographies, and ideas that promote virtue. No personal philosophy is flawless, but you must follow belief systems that encourage your integrity at the expense of your comfort.
There Are No Shortcuts
My main goal for this post is to remind you that every dream you have will require your best. You cannot take shortcuts to achieve your most virtuous self. If you want to accomplish great things, you will have the work.
This world will not tell you this message. The government will say caring about your greatness is meaningless – they will take care of you. The corporations will sell you shortcuts. Most families and churches will promise salvation and community without virtue.
There is no other way.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Theresa
- What is one amazing thing you want to do before you die? Why do you want to do it? What do you think would be required for you to reach this goal?
- How do you waste your time? What can you do differently to stop this from happening? For example, I realized I wasted a few hours a week on social media. I started the process slowly by cutting back a few minutes here and there. Eventually, I removed it entirely from my life and found myself thinking clearer with more time to pursue what matters.
- Do you feel tired constantly? I rid myself of social media and worked out more often. I also ate better food and drank plenty of water.
- How do you define your value system? What do you believe is important and why? What do others think of your beliefs? Are you open about your beliefs? Why or why not?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.