It's About Time: 20 Quotes to Motivate Us To Make the Most of Our Days

“The thing is, we think we have time.” – Buddha

My dad thought he had time. His dream was to visit all the National Parks when he retired. He worked six-seven days a week most of his life. He was an honorable man who felt a deep obligation to make an enduring difference for the people he worked with and for.

He achieved that goal. But at a cost.

Dad finally took off on his long-delayed dream a week after he retired. A week after that, he had a stroke in a hotel bathroom. He eventually recovered, but he never got to visit Banff, Zion or the Grand Tetons. He never got to do what he had dreamed of doing his whole life.

I don’t want that to happen to me.

I don’t want that to happen to you.

I don’t want that to happen to anyone.

Please, right now, change your perspective about TIME.

Change the way you think about it. Change the way you talk about it. Because it matters.

Do you talk about “never having enough time?”

About being “behind time?” About waiting until you have “more time?”

Please understand you will never have MORE TIME than you have RIGHT NOW.

The only way to make the most of your time is to spend it on what really matters now, not someday. Assuming you’ll have a chance to do what’s important later is a path to regrets.

Take three minutes right now to figure out one thing that is important to you in the following six areas of life. Assign a time metric to these time intentions so you have a way to hold yourself accountable for them.

I’ve provided a few examples to prompt your thinking. Please write down what comes to mind because what occurs to you first is often top-of-mind because it's calling you.

Relationships: I will:

· Go on Date Night with my partner once a week.

· Read bedtime stories to my kids 5 nights a week.

· Call my mom every Sunday night.

· Host Game Night with friends every other Monday

· ­­­­­__________________________________________

Health: I will:

· Go for a 30 minute walk six days a week.

· Eat lean, green and protein (no carbs) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

· Work out with a personal trainer three times a week.

· Make a long-overdue appointment with my doctor and dentist today.

· ________________________________________________________

Career: I will:

· Schedule an appointment this week with my boss to discuss a project I’d like to lead.

· Register for an industry conference or professional training in the next two months.

· Sign up for Toastmasters or LinkedIn training to improve my communication skills.

· Volunteer to mentor a junior employee or new-hire for a hour once-a-week.

· ___________________________________________________________

Contribution: I will:

· Contribute to a friend’s Go Fund Me or Kickstarter campaign this week.

· Volunteer at the animal shelter, my church or a local non-profit twice a month.

· Give a 50% tip every week to a service employee (e.g., waiter, maid, taxi driver).

· Establish an annual scholarship to support the education of others in my profession.

· ____________________________________________________________________

Finance: I will:

· Sit down with my family at our holiday meal to discuss my estate plans.

· Establish a monthly budget with a max for household purchases, entertainment, etc.

· Schedule an appt. this month with a disability and long-term health insurance expert.

· Hire an accountant/bookkeeper this month to organize my taxes and financial records.

· ­­­­­______________________________________________________________

Personal Development/Interests: I will:

· Play a sport - tennis, racquetball, pickle ball - at least twice a week.

· Join the writer’s support group at my local bookstore and start my book this week.

· Plan a summer cruise to the Bahamas that I’ve been wanting to go on for years.

· Sign up for a cooking course and host monthly dinners with new recipes for friends.

· ­­­______________________________________________________

Want a way to make this fun? Print this post out and take it to lunch with a friend. Or print it out and discuss it over dinner with you and your partner or with your family.

Divvy up the time so each person gets a minimum of ten minutes to talk through how they plan to invest their time in each area.

Please notice the verb invest. From now on, the goal is to invest your time mindfully, instead of spend it mindlessly.

Invest means making thoughtful choices about how, where, why, to what and to whom you allocate your time so you're making meaningful use of it.

To that purpose, I’m sharing 20 thought-provoking quotes on time that can increase your awareness and appreciation of the all-important role it plays in your quality of life.

Simply said, being more mindful of how you invest your time is the single best thing you can do to create a quality of life that is congruent with your values and priorities.

Aviation pioneer Chuck Yeager said, "At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results." Investing your time wisely is a tantible way to produce results instead of regrets.

You might want to post these quotes where they’re in sight, in mind so you keep how you invest your time … top of mind.

20 Motivating Quotes to Make the Most of Your Time

1. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” - Carl Sandburg

2. “The bad news? Time flies. The good news? You’re the pilot.” – Michael Altschuler

3. “One day, you’re going to wake up and there won’t be any time left to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.” – Paulo Coelho

4. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” – nurse Bonnie Ware, reporting the #1 regret of people at the end of their life

5. “We have two lives and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” – Confucius

6. “The future is already here and we’re already late.” – John Legend

7. “Now is the new later.” – Sam Horn

8. “Tomorrow is another day, but so was yesterday.” – Rene Ricard

9. “The first step to getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan

10. “Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is like saying, 'I don't want to.” - Lao Tzu

11. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

12. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin

13. “If you’ve made a decision and haven’t taken action, you haven’t really made a decision.” – Tony Robbins

14. “It’s only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day to day basis.” – Margaret Bonnano

15. “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

16. “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” – Henry David Thoreau

17. “How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss

18. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

19. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela

20. Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck

Pope Paul II said, “The future starts today, not tomorrow.”

The time is ripe to value yourself and value your time. The time is ripe to change your future by beginning to invest your time in what will matter in the long run … today, not someday.

- - -

Sam Horn, CEO of the Intrigue Agency, is on a mission to help people make the most of their time, now not later. Her books - POP!, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention - have been featured in NY Times, Forbes, INC and Fast Company and presented to NASA, Intel, Cisco, Boeing, ASAE. This is excerpted from SOMEDAY is Not a Day in the Week (St. Martins Press, 2019).

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Day Right Quote #9: Life is a Window of Opportunity

Life is a window of opportunity. Have you ever thought of it that way?

We are here for a certain amount of time.

Are you taking advantage of your precious window of opportunity to pursue your dreams, connect with loved ones, do what makes you happy?

Henry Miller said, "Life is, for most of us, one long postponement."

What is something you're postponing?

How will you start that, do that, bring more of that into your life THIS WEEK instead of putting it off?

Life is a window of opportunity

Lesson #9 From My Year by the Water: Fun Is Not a Four-Letter Word

When people ask what prompted me to give away 95% of what I owned and take off for a Year by the Water, I often tell them what Andrew said, “Mom, you’re created a life where you can do anything you want, and you’re not taking advantage of it.” He helped me realize the clock is ticking. Not in a morbid way. In a motivating way. But I was also ready to do the opposite of my always. I love my work, but I was pretty much going-going-going seven days a week. I was exhausted. (Sound familiar?)

Then, like many busy people I know, I came down with a respiratory illness that wouldn’t get better. I “soldiered through” for weeks (got to keep my commitments, right?) until I was so sick I could hardly get out of bed.

A friend took me to Urgent Care. After checking my lungs, the doc diagnosed walking pneumonia, prescribed bed rest and antibiotics, and then said, “I don’t understand why so many people are working themselves to death. You’re lucky we can treat this with a Z-pack. You’ll be fine in ten days. But if you don’t start taking better care of yourself, your body will do something else to get your attention.”

Hmm. What is it with this Puritan Work Ethic? Why do so many of us believe hard work is noble? Why do 55% of Americans NOT take all their paid vacation days? (Fact!) Why do so many of us feel it’s only okay to “play” when all our work is done? Since, for many of us, our work is never done, we never find time to have fun. We just get more and more run down.

I’m supposed to know better than this.

Guess what my major was in college? Recreation Administration! Career counselors kept suggesting I study law or medicine to make the most of my brain, but I grew up playing sports and believed they're at the center of a happy, healthy life. Even though some people told me this was a “joke degree for slackers,” I worked my way through college coaching swim teams, running community centers, organizing sports leagues and was a walking/talking advocate of the benefits of being active outdoors.

Yet, for a number of reasons, for the past couple of decades, I’ve spent more time sitting and spectating than being active. Let’s unpack that for a moment.

As parents, it’s easy for our days to become filled with chauffeuring kids to practices, games and activities while we sit in the car. on the bleachers or on the sidelines. Yet, when I think about my athletic career growing up, my mom came to one of my swim meets and my dad came to one of my tennis matches. That was it. And I didn’t feel bereft, abandoned or unloved. They had their life, I had mine.

As entrepreneurs, or if we have financial and family care-taking responsibilities, we can be in constant biz dev mode, constant got-to-work two jobs to pay bills mode, or constant “It’s selfish to go off and do something my own thing when my parents, kids, friends, neighbors (fill in the blank) need me.”

One of the most important epiphanies from My Year by the Water is, “It’s NOT SELFISH to do something that makes up happy; it’s SMART. It’s not indulgent or frivolous to do something each week that fills us with joy; it’s an investment in a more fulfilling life ... now and in the years to come.”

Please understand, I’m not suggesting we abandon our obligations and only do what we want. I’m suggesting we balance our responsibility to others with a responsibility to our selves to stay happy, healthy and in love with life.

My Year by the Water was SO MUCH FUN. Swimming with Zach the Dolphin. Seeing the sun rise over Diamond Head while riding the waves off Waikiki. Exploring Monet’s Garden. Reveling in a road of my own. Never knowing what was over the next knoll, around the next bend.

Now that I’m on to my next adventure – spending time with my sons, their wives and their brand new babies – I’ve promised myself to NOT let the rubber band of routine snap back and return to being a desk potato.

Like today, for example. I spent a good eight hours at the computer prepping for consulting appointments and working on my new book; but then the mountains called. A friend told me about Colorado Chautauqua I jumped online and discovered it was less than five miles away. I jumped in my car and fifteen minutes later was hiking the golden foothills, exploring the Flatirons and checking out this historic national landmark -which Theodore Roosevelt called “The Most American Thing in America.

So, here’s to fun NOT being a four-letter word. Here’s to fun being an active part of our life (intentional play on words) so we’re enjoying our lives, taking care of ourselves and making the most of our health … now, not someday.

fun is not a four letter word - beach

Lesson #8 From My Year by the Water: Figure Out Your NEXT and Start Doing it NOW

I had an opportunity to speak for a national convention on the topic of "Is the Light On In Your Eyes?" The conference theme was "Reflections on Success" and I started by saying many of us spend more time reflecting on what movie to watch this weekend than on what we're going to do with the rest of our life. Sound familiar?

Many of the people in the audience were successful entrepreneurs who have so many different projects and people counting on them, they feel they can't take time off. Many work 60-70 hour weeks and haven't taken a vacation for years. Some are ready to retire, but can't imagine what they're going to do NEXT that could be as satisfying and productive as what they're currently doing.

I told them we were going to spend the next ninety minutes reflecting on what's working, what's not and what we're going to do about it NEXT. I shared a quiz that can help anyone figure out in 4 minutes what's supporting their happiness, what's sabotaging it.

One of the options we talked about is how to make our passion - what puts the light on in our eyes - part of our profession. Many people told me they're too "busy" to do the hobbies that used to bring them joy. I told them, they can COMBINE their recreation WITH their work in a win-win way - instead of seeing them as being mutually exclusive.

Here's what I mean.

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, the largest networking organization in the world. After hearing about my full calendar of #speaking, #consulting and #traveling, he asked, "What do you do for fun?"

Long pause. I finally dug deep and came up with "I walk my dog around the lake."

Please don't get me wrong. I love what I do and I am grateful to have the opportunity to do work with smart talented people who are making a positive difference in the world ... it's just that I was going 24/7.

That conversation and several other wake-up calls motivated me to set out on a Year by the Water. I didn't abandon my business ... I just took it on the road. As James Taylor said when he took a break from touring to compose new lyrics and produce a new album; "I didn't quit work - I did a different kind of work. " I went from non-stop productivity to full-time creativity. I did the opposite of my always and the contrast filled me with joy.

What I learned on my travels is that you don't have to be torn between two worlds - you can have the best of both worlds. You don't have to put aside what puts the light on in your eyes - you can integrate it into your work so you feel more balanced and blessed. You don't have to lose your "hobby" because you're always working, you can leverage your hobby to make your work fun and productive.

Want an example of how this works?

When I lived on#Maui, I had a friend named Kathy who was a 4.5 tennis player and a Realtor. We played a couple times a week until the economy slumped and she told me she was too bus" finding clients to play tennis anymore.

I suggested her hobby wasn't an indulgence she do only when she had spare time - it was a competitive edge that could give her access to ideal clients. I suggested she approach the concierges at the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea Resort (both 5 diamond properties catering to affluent travelers - Kathy's target demographic) and let them know they could recommend her to guests looking for a good game of singles. They eagerly did this because Kathy had lived on the island for years, was a respected member of the community, and they trusted her to make this a good experience for their resort guests.

This turned into a win for everyone. Within a month, Kathy was back to playing tennis 3-5 times a week AND had several new clients buying houses. She didn't offend anyone with hard selling. It was natural while sharing an iced-tea after a satisfying match for guests to ask "What do you do?" When they found out she was a Realtor, they'd often ask if she had any available properties for a good price. Not only was Kathy back to being active outside doing something she loved - it became an organic marketing tool that kept her visible and became her secret sauce to success in a down market.

Want other ways to figure out how you can integrate your passion into your profession and keep the light on in your eyes? Want to leverage your years of experience into a new NEXT that makes a positive difference for all involved?

I'm working on a book that shows how to do that, and will be sharing some of the steps on my www.SamHorn.com site and on my LinkedIn page.

You're invited to check out these sample posts to access some of the specific steps on how to create a unique niche ... and shape work you love that matters NOW, not someday ... so you're creating a life-work integration that is personally and professionally satisfying.

Hope you'll visit those sites. You will never regret clarifying what's important to you and bringing more of that into your life ... you will only regret not doing it sooner.

what is your next - do now

Is It Time to Put Yourself In Your Own Story?

Do you know what my son Tom said when I told him I was taking my business on the road for a Year by the Water? “So, you’re finally going to put yourself in the story.”

Wow. What an interesting and astute observation.

I'm not the only one who took myself out of my own story.

I encountered many people on my travels who were putting everyone else first, themselves last.

They wistfully talked about the dreams they’d put on hold.

Many said they’re so busy taking care of everyone else, they don't have the time or energy to take care of themselves.

They had bills to pay, kids to raise, projects at work, parents with health challenges …the list goes on.

Some seemed to think it’s selfish to do something – even once a week – that makes them happy.

Sound familiar?

One of the most important epiphanies from my Year by the Water is that doing something that puts the light on in our eyes is not selfish; it’s smart.

And we don’t have to quit our job, win the lottery or walk away from our obligations to do this. We can do something that puts the light on in our eyes even if it's once a month. Even if it’s for an hour or two.

It’s not indulgent to do more of makes us happy – whether that’s to curl up with a good book or get back into a hobby we used to love - it’s inspiring. It sets a precedent and gives the people around us permission and incentive to do the same.

What did you give up because you got busy or were told it was selfish?

What used to bring you joy you no longer have time for?

What did you abandon because you were told it "wouldn't pay the bills?"

Bring it back into your life.

It's not too late to become, as Charles Bukowski says, "the person you wanted to be before the world told you what you should be."

Trust that everyone wins when you take responsibility for doing something that lights you up.

You will never regret putting yourself back in the story of your life; you will only regret not doing it sooner.

put yourself in your own story

Lesson #2 From my Year by the Water: We're Not Torn Between Two Worlds; We Have the Best of Both Worlds

Years ago when my sons we're growing up on Maui, I felt torn between two worlds. I had two sons I loved and wanted to be with AND had a thriving speaking/training business that called for me to be on the road and in the air. At a National Speakers Association convention on the mainland, I ran into a long-time friend Maggie Bedrosian. We hadn't seen each other since I had left Washington D.C. for the Hawaiian Islands several years before.

Maggie asked, "Sam, how are you?" I started telling her. Before I could finish, Maggie being Maggie, (she must have been an impish elf and wise sage in another life) interrupted me and said, "No Sam, tell me in ONE WORD how you're doing."

Wow, what a great question. It forced me to distill everything I was feeling into one catchall phrase. I dug deep, opened my mouth, and out came "Maggie, I'm … conflicted."

Her eyebrows flew up. "Conflicted? How so?"

"Yesterday morning I was on Keawakapu Beach with Tom and Andrew at golden hour. They were charging into the surf with their boogie boards, riding those waves all the way in until they scraped their bellies on the beach, and then running out to catch another one. It was Nirvana. I didn't want to be anywhere else.

Today, I’m here at this conference surrounded by smart, talented peers, I'm learning new things, speaking on my favorite topic, my brain's on fire, and I'm humming with energy and new ideas.

I feel like I'm constantly torn between two worlds."

Maggie looked at me and then shared this insight. "Sam, the words you use to describe your experience define your experience. You better come up with another word to describe how you feel, because that's how it's going to be."

Smart woman.

That night I couldn't sleep. If I wasn't conflicted, what was I? I kept mentally tasting words, experimenting with them to see if they captured the mix of emotions I felt. Finally it came to me.

The next day I tracked down Maggie. There she was down the hall. I ran up to her and said, "Maggie, I figured it out. I'm not conflicted, I'm … blessed. I'm not torn between two worlds, I have the best of both worlds.”

That describes how I feel now.

I've just had 16 months of glorious adventuring, exploring, discovering, reflecting, and “funning” on my Year by the Water. (If “funning” isn’t a verb, it deserves to be.)

Now I'm here in Boulder holding my beautiful baby granddaughter Natalia in my arms. This morning I was sitting on the floor and playing Lego's with my grandson Mateo.

Last night I was sitting on the couch with Tom and Patty getting caught up, and as they say in Hawaii, “talking story.”

The day before, I was making nutritious greenies, doing “folding laundry meditation, and enjoying Dolores' (Patty's Mom) delicious home-made cooking.

This morning, Mateo is playing airplane on his own private jungle gym, (his dad) and watching his favorite Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood with his mom. It feels oh-so-right.

I look around and realize I once again am blessed to have the best of both worlds … and I wouldn't rather be anywhere else. I'm immersing myself in this abundance - this state of SerenDestiny where the light is on in my eyes - and I'm imprinting every sacred moment. Receive, receive, receive. Revel, revel, revel.

BTW - This recognition that I'm not torn being two options (either-or); I have the best of both options (yes-and) is one of the most important lessons-learned from My Year by The Water. I'll be writing about the adventures that led to this understanding in my upcoming book "There Is No Present Like the Time" including:

It’s not CONTROL OR COOPERATE. It’s both.

It’s not PLAY OR PRODUCTIVITY. It’s both.

It’s not SOCIAL OR SOLITUDE. It’s both.

It’s not start with the END in mind or with an OPEN mind. It’s both.

It’s not serve others or your self. It’s both.

Next time you’re feeling as if you're being torn between two options – re-frame what you’re feeling or facing. Isn’t it an advantage to have an abundance of options – to have the best of both worlds? You're not conflicted, you're blessed.

best of both worlds

Feeling Grateful

Giving thanks isn't just for Thanksgiving. Research by Harvard shows it's not happiness that makes us grateful; it's gratefulness that makes us happy. So, why limit giving thanks to just one day a year? As Walt Whitman said, "To feel gratitude and not express it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

Many people have a tradition of unwrapping presents that have been stashed under a Christmas tree. The real presents aren't under the tree. The real presents are the moments we take to express our appreciation for our health, freedom and loved ones. what if woke up best

As this evocative image asks, "What if we woke up today with only the things we were thankful for?"

So it is as I wrap up 2016, I am filled with gratitude for this year that was filled with abundance in all its many forms.

I want to share my favorite quotes to remind us a gratitude mindset is the single best thing we can do to improve our quality of life. Feel free to print these and pass them around the table. Ask people to select a particularly meaningful quote and share what it means to them.

You and the people at the table could talk about politics, sports, the weather, plane delays, traffic and the food - or you could have a memorable discussion about the many blessings in your life, including who and what has favorably impacted you this year.

You’ve heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” You might want to post these quotes where you can see them every day, not just on holidays. Keeping them“in sight, in mind” (vs. out of sight, out of mind) can help you focus on - and appreciate - what's right in the world. And that's a win for everyone.

Gratitude quote #1: “When you drink the water, remember the well.” – Chinese proverb

Gratitude quote #2: “Make yourself a blessing to someone. Your kind smile or pat on the back just might pull someone back from the edge.” – Carmelia Elliott

Gratitude quote #3: “If the only prayer you ever said was ‘Thank you,’ that would be enough.” – Meister Ekhart

Gratitude quote #4: “There is no duty so under-rated as the duty of being happy. By being happy and grateful, we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Gratitude quote #5: “Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” – Betty Smith

Gratitude quote #6: “When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.” – Frederick Franck

Gratitude quote #7: “When you give and carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, ‘Yes, this is how I ought to feel.'” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

Gratitude quote #8: “One of the very first things I figured out about life…is that it’s better to be a grateful person than a grumpy one, because you have to live in the same world either way, and if you’re grateful, you have more fun.”—Barbara Kingsolver

Gratitude quote #9: “Most of us are about as happy as we make up our minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

Gratitude quote #10: “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette

Gratitude quote #11: “Unless people like you care a whole lot, things aren’t going to get better, they’re not!” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Gratitude quote #12: “To feel, think, learn and love; surely that is being alive and young in the real sense." - Freya Stark

Gratitude quote #13: In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, Emily longs to revisit one ordinary, “unimportant” day. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much she took for granted. “I didn’t realize all that was going on and we never noticed. Oh, earth, your’e too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”

Gratitude quote #14: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy

Gratitude quote #15: “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never have enough." - Oprah Winfrey

Gratitude quote #16: "The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it." - Richard Bach

Gratitude quote #17: "Happiness is not a goal; it's a byproduct." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Gratitude quote #18: "Success is not about getting it done or attaining money or stuff. The measure of success in lie is the amount of joy you feel." - Esther Hicks

Gratitude Quote #19: “Normal day, let me aware of the treasure you are.Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may; for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth . . . or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” – Mary Jean Iron

Gratitude Quote #20: "The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you're the pilot." - Michael Altschuler

Maintaining a spirit and mindset of gratitude as we move forward - choosing to focus on and realize all the many blessings in our world - is a magical way to "pilot our time."

Sending best wishes to you for a happy, healthy new year that is everything you want it to be - and more. - - - - Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert and author of Got Your Attention? is on a mission to help people create collaborative communications that add value for all involved. Check out Sam's #TEDx talk on how to connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere.