Time to play?

Time to play?

__”There is a price to be paid for the success you want…” [Part 1]
When our first child, a daughter who is now 32, was about 18 months old, my greatest joy was getting home so that the two of us could play. And we would play until she went to sleep; the problem is she developed an exhausting habit of waking up in the middle of the night and demanding that we play!
My wife was having none of it and she insisted that we must teach her that there is a time to play and a time to do other things like learning and resting properly.
Over time then, in addition to play, we focused on teaching her cognitive skills and to enjoy learning. I thought about this earlier this year as she received her second Master’s degree at Cambridge University. I smiled, even as tears welled in my eyes. If you are not yet a parent, someday you will know.
Now donโ€™t get me wrong, Iโ€™m not saying donโ€™t have fun; my family and I have lots of fun together. Family time is very very important!
Why do I tell you this story?
The answer is simple; I see a lot of adults who actually donโ€™t know that there is a time to play and a time to do more serious things. And yet those same people expect all the benefits associated with being fully productive.
I love sport and I could quite happily afford to go to the stadium in London twice a week or to watch all the games on TV.
The only serious entrepreneurs who spend that kind of time watching a sports team… own the team! And even then I know for a fact that owners of these teams donโ€™t attend all the games!
Once or twice a month, I give myself a โ€œtreatโ€ and it is to watch ONE game [ONLY] on TV; and maybe twice a year I will go to an actual stadium. And I always watch from a gym riding on a bike or treadmill.
The rest I just read as sports scores and match reports. Takes 15 minutes and Iโ€™m done!
The business of โ€œplayingโ€ is one of the biggest and most diverse… and trillions of dollars are made. It uses terminology such as entertainment, gaming, leisure, etc., and it is a great business to be in. I make money from it myself.
If you are not in this business then you must make sure it does not consume you completely. It must be done with moderation if you truly want to succeed in life.
Then there is social media. Some people cannot go five minutes without checking their device for something [I know itโ€™s not you!] I can assure Mark Zuckerberg does not do that, and he owns Meta!
And while no one is going to stop you from spending all your time watching TV, sport, gaming, videos, and laughing on social media platforms… do it with discipline and moderation so that you can have time to do other things.
After I watch a game on TV [90 minutes], I must immediately find something to do that is more productive. Mostly I read a book for the rest of the weekend. Everything must be deliberate and disciplined.
Is this work or play? If itโ€™s play, then it should not be more than 15% of my available time.
I recently read the new biography of Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson. If there is one takeaway, he has a near superhuman work ethic. This is not a guy who would watch every game of a football teamโ€™s season!
And yet despite the ferocity with which he applies himself when he is pursuing his ventures, there was nothing I did not recognize; that pattern is similar to all the high-performance people I have ever known, whether in business, politics, or sport.
__Someone once said self-discipline is the bridge between your aspiration and its fulfillment. If you are not paranoid about wasting time, success will elude you.
When asked about why she had been so successful, one of my favorite evangelists of all time, Kathryn Kuhlman, said, โ€œI was prepared to pay the priceโ€.
There is a price to be paid for the success you want, and it begins with the ability to cut out unnecessary โ€œplay timeโ€.
“The future begins with what you do today”. Mahatma Gandhi
To be continued…
Image caption: Protect both your work time and family time from “time thieves”. Before you know it, your children will be adults all grown up and living out of the house, like mine are now.
Strive Masiyiwa
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