Four Foundations

The “I Don’t Have Time” Lie

“I don’t have time for that.”

How many of us have been guilty of passing on that lie?  I know that, from time to time,  I have spread that one, so I know that when people say it they believe it.

I sure understand being busy and not always getting to everything I’d like to accomplish in the course of a day (or a week or, or, or….) but I discipline myself not to say “I don’t have time.”

Is this language important?  I think so.

When I say “I don’t have time” I am not acknowledging the fact that time is a fixed commodity.  We all have the same 24 hours to ‘spend’ each day and we all make choices about how to spend them.  Has your mind jumped to “No, wait, you’re wrong…. I HAVE to go to work every day”?  That’s often the first roadblock people put up, but is it valid?

Do you really HAVE to go to work every day or is it a choice that you make?

When you stop and think, it really is a choice.  People choose to go to work rather than to accept the consequences of NOT going to work.  And it doesn’t end there: we have choices about what we do and how we do it, about our attitude, our intensity and our attention to detail.  About when to dig in and do ‘extra’ and when a task has been done ‘well enough.’

Day-to-day events and the conversations we have about them offer parents a wonderful opportunity to learn about our children’s thinking and to teach them about ours.  The next time you are tempted to say “I don’t have time” take a moment.  Maybe you have found exactly the right time to talk to your kids about the choices we make, the priorities we set and the way that small good choices add up?

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One Comment

  • trienahg

    I love this. When my son was quite little we were having the “I don’t want to wear that” fight. Don’t remember if it was shorts, or short sleeves or whatever. But at three he was extremely adamant. He finally yelled “you can’t make me.” My first reaction of course was “wanna bet” (in my mind). My second was to sit back and say, you are right. If you are willing to accept the consequences, I can’t. That is a very important lesson in life, that there are consequences, good and bad, for every decision that we make. Thanks for this.

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