How to lead a successful life is a question many people oftentimes ask themselves. But how would you recognize success? Is it the amount of google searches on your name? Or the amount of money in your bank account? Or perhaps the amount of loved-ones you have? It differs for every person. But what people really should be asking themselves is how to lead an effective life, or an efficient one. You see, success is something that is built over time, and to manage that time effectively is a skill that will ease your path to success.
Time is the most important components of success. Without time, human beings aren’t able to develop any aspect of their lives that could possibly make their life successful. Therefore, time isn’t just a commodity that leads to success; it’s a necessity.
Whether you seek wealth, health, or love, reaching that goal is dependent on the time you put into it and how you shape it. Everyone has time; the only thing some people don’t have is the skill to manage it effectively. So then, you might ask yourself: How do I do that?
“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things” (Peter Drucker). In order to lead a successful life, we must first distinguish between what’s really important and what we perceive to be important. If we look at Gatsby, we can see that his priorities were completely out of whack, having sense for the wrong direction. He didn’t know what the right things to do were, and so his life ended up being a complete waste of time in which he ultimately died not getting what he longed for.
So before we charge towards whatever goal we wish to pursue, we need to think and understand what is important for us in order to achieve it. We need to think what the right things to do are. What if your goal was to become a professional athlete, but you attend a culinary school, because you think that will get you there? I know that example is a little extreme, but the point remains. Why would someone go to culinary school if they want to be an athlete? The first step to leading a successful life is to know what the next steps are that need to be taken, so that we don’t get lost on our path and go in the wrong direction. Once we have figured that out, then it comes to one’s ability to stay on the path and to know “how to walk”.
Knowing “how to walk” brings us to efficiency. “Efficiency is doing things right”, referring to your skill to manage time and to work in a well-organized and competent way. For example, you wanted to become a professional football player, but you start hitting the ball with a racket. Again, the example is a little strange, but the point remains. Why hit a football with a racket? That doesn’t seem like the most efficient way to reach your goal. Efficiency comes from the understanding of one’s goal and the logistics behind it. It starts with asking yourself questions about how to approach a certain goal and then acting accordingly. Doing things right in a way that achieves maximum productivity will help us use our time appropriately and thus make effective use of (one of) the most important component of success.
Time is the foundation our lives are built upon. If our foundation isn’t spread out and stable enough, it will crumble. And our life crumbles along with it. And so perhaps we should contemplate the thought that one of the biggest ways to determine our success is the amount of time we have and how we manage it.