When any young person gets time for themselves, they know exactly what to do.
How could they resist in such a world of options? Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Series, Music… the list goes on.
Not so fast.
Although today’s generation rush to please themselves first, they’re not remembering the rule that – “we get what we spend our time doing”.
Time spent muddled in entertainment is time we’re not spending on bettering ourselves and creating the “future” we all want but never seem to do anything about.
In the tech world, the wealth pyramid dictates that the 1% of creators are kept rich at the top by the “masses” at the bottom.
The 1% black sheep all share one thing in common. They are obsessed with educating themselves all of the time – basing their decisions not on what feels good in the moment but on who they want to become.
For example, Mark Cuban, US entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, when asked about enjoyment and the time he spends watching TV, responded, “tv? that’s for the other guy”.
Other leading US entrepreneurs, famously limit screen time for their kids to next to nothing – when the rest of the world can’t get enough.
The “other guy” is the sucker.
That’s because the marketplace is only interested in what value you can bring, and in order to increase your value, you need to invest in yourself.
On average, people spend 50 minutes of entertainment to every 1 minute of education. 50:1 means 12 minutes of education for 10 hours of entertainment.
This is a hopeless ratio.
Those who over-indulge in the riches of their generation won’t achieve anything (think of the fat-bellied Roman obsessed with the wines, olives, and pleasures of the empire).
Note: The “riches” of today include all our technologies.
Given that access to talent is becoming more widespread, (and “diversity” a massive key to company success), competition is increasing, and along with it, “new normals” for hard-work.
What’s more, the rise of online education is going to widen the gap further between avid self-learners and those entertaining themselves mindlessly.
Simply put, it’s not enough to be smart, you need to be always getting smarter, and if you’re not growing, you’re falling behind.
As Aristotle states:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore, is not an act, but a habit”.
In order to analyse what path you are on, ask: “In 30 years when I look back at what I achieved in my life, will it be time well spent?”
Chances are, what you will remember are the times you went above and beyond yourself, the times you created big value and impacted other people’s lives. Not; the times you spent selfishly looking at tv and comedy.
So wake up and smell the roses, change your ratio of entertainment to education. Start practicing activities which enhance your life, and stop following the crowd.
If you follow what the majority do, you’ll get what the majority get.
Change your ratio, and change your life.
The next time someone asks you, “have you seen the orangutan video?”, respond by saying: “have you read this book?”.
Note: I was writing this article at 23.08pm on a Saturday night bus – and continued to do so until after midnight. What do you think everyone else was doing? Either looking at their phones or staring into space.
Utilise EVERY opportunity. “Education” or value creation isn’t sexy or always inviting. It only happens everywhere you find time for it. If you wait for the ideal circumstances, you will always be waiting.