Last Updated Jun 2, 2011 3:45 PM EDT
The other 8 hours are those precious hours of the day when you are not working or sleeping. How you spend the other 8 hours determines where you are in life, your education, the satisfaction you have with your relationships, your bank account balance, your happiness, and just about everything else that is important to you.
The time you spend sleeping and the time you spend working will, at most, keep you right where you are. But if you invest the other 8 hours -- even a couple of hours once in awhile -- they can radically improve your life. In fact, I'd go so far as to say the other 8 hours may be the most effective thing that can transform your life.
You lose 8 hours to sleep. You sell 8 hours to work. So if you waste the other 8 hours, how can you ever expect to get ahead? The only way to get a life and increase your financial security is to use the other 8 hours to create: This can mean starting a business, working on a side project, inventing, learning something new, and ultimately, increasing your human capital. But -- and this is a big but -- you've got to recognize just how valuable your free time is. Do this:
1. Ask what the other 8 hours have done for you. Play detective. Think about everything that's good in your life. What's the cause? Was it the result of something that happened while you were sleeping, working, or during the other 8 hours? Great relationship? It didn't get that way during your sleep. Great health? I doubt it's from working. Killer job? How'd you get it? When did you go to school? Almost everything can be traced back to the other 8 hours. Your job is to make the connection.
2. Stop calling it "free time." It undermines its significance and importance. The 8 hours you sleep gives your body and mind a chance to recuperate and repair. The 8 hours you work help you pay the bills and survive. The other 8 hours is your opportunity to grow and work toward a better future. It's the most valuable time you have.
If you do just these two things, you'll start to appreciate the power the other 8 hours have had over your life -- and you'll begin to recognize the power they can have in determining the rest of it.
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