As I was driving to work a couple days ago, a strange question came into my mind. Why am I so different from so many men who enjoy working on their cars? They like to keep their vehicles clean, engines bright, and wheels shining. Many men (around the globe) spend hours on their cars while also dreaming of owning better cars. Being fairly mechanically inclined, I am sure I could fix just about any issue in a car but I don’t even have the interest, let alone the tools. I make sure the cars are serviced and maintained so they operate without issues but that’s about it. So, what is it about cars that doesn’t appeal to me? After some soul searching I settled on this: spend time on an asset that appreciates in value and your time will also appreciate in value, spend time on an asset that depreciates in value and your time will also depreciate.
Unless you are working on an antique car that appreciates in value over time or fix cars for a living, I think any time you spend on the car is worth only the present value of your time. On the other hand, let’s say you spend time on your business, career, or investments, this time can and will certainly pay dividends later in life.
Almost weekly I cut the grass and every time I feel I’m completely wasting two hours because the future value of this time is about as close to zero as it gets. To have someone else cut the grass would unfortunately cost more than we can afford now. So, my challenge is to continue investing in activities that pay dividends in the future, so I don’t have to waste time on this every week. Time spent learning something new, on the other hand, can have huge benefits (often unforeseen) later and usually when least expected.
Next time you’re working on something consider if the object will appreciate or depreciate over time. That’ll help determine the amount of time investment you should make. Appreciation includes both financial appreciation as well as non-tangible appreciation such as physical, emotional, and spiritual appreciation. One lesson I’ve learned while writing this blog is how much of our days are spent on “noise” and how little of what we do truly deserves to be retold. I hope you make it your challenge as I have made it mine to fill up your life with what really matters and leave the rest to everyone else.