What’s Your Budget?

I’ll ask this question of people who have already paid to work with me. They look at me funny.

“Not in money,” I say. “Time. How many hours per week do you have to dedicate to the work we’re going to do?”

They’ll shrug, and they’ll guess. “10?”

That’s a ridiculous answer. It’s meaningless. You don’t have ten hours. How do I know? Because even without having ever met you, I know this: in the last week, you absolutely did not sit around motionless for ten hours.

“Give me an example of something you did for at least ten hours last week, besides your day job.” Unless your day job is going to suddenly give you ten paid hours off each week to work with me, that’s not usually feasible. Most people can’t name any one thing they did for at least ten hours, besides maybe sleep.

So now they begin to see my point. Whatever your life is now, it has climbed like a hermit crab into the shell of your current schedule. If you want to change your life, you have to pry that sucker out. You have to cull whatever chronological cholesterol has clogged up your calendar. You have to be brutal.

Sometimes – very often, in fact – it actually does mean quitting your day job. You can trade hours for dollars almost anywhere, so if you’re not getting more than that out of your current job, why also allow it to block you from self-improvement?

If you’re so happy with every other facet of your life that you wouldn’t dream of doing less of those things – if all your non-work time is spent in enlightening pursuits or enjoyable activities with your family or great feats of altruism – and yet you’re still made miserable by the one black mark on your daily planner?

Then tear that page out, my friend. Start anew. On your way out, slam the door.

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