If You had the Time


"I would love to own a barre studio, if I had the time," a visiting client once said to me as she made her exit from the lobby. Thankfully, she was gone before I had to respond, as I was still standing behind the desk with a quizzical look on my face. Her interesting choice of words has always stuck with me because anyone who owns a business can attest that it's not something you do because you simply "have the time". Personally, I don't know anyone who has the time for 80 hour work weeks, a lack of paychecks, and an extra decade of stress compiled into a matter of months. I think we can all agree that her words were not the words of a determined individual. As January comes to a close, most of us reevaluate the goals that we set a mere 31 days ago. Were they worth it? Did you learn anything? Was changing too challenging, not "realistic"? Here's the thing: many of us will say sayonara to our resolutions come Monday morning with a shrug and the words, "I would love to keep up with this, if only I had the time."

Let me tell you a little secret - dreams don't become realities because you have the time. They become realities when you make the time.

The definition of determination is "firmness of purpose; resoluteness". When I think of firmness of purpose I think of Matthew 7:24-25, which says, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock." The most constant example we have in Jesus uses the metaphor of a firm foundation to emphasize that stability is no quick fix.

Firmness of purpose is a decision to hold fast to your resolution, even when life gets hard and the wind and rain threaten to shake you.

If changing your priorities, your health, or your lifestyle is a necessity in your world, I would almost guarantee that you don't have the time for it. You don't have the time to get up an hour earlier to hit the gym and pack your meals before work. You don't have the time to shut off your computer at 7:00 pm and spend time with your family. "They just don't understand my responsibilities," you tell yourself. And here's the thing: you're right. No one else understands exactly what is on your plate, but you do. You know what is holding you back from living the life you were called to live.

What would you do "if you had the time"? More than likely, it's probably the thing that you really need to do. Maybe it's the dream that you've been suppressing for years or the unhealthy habit that you know you need to kick. Determination can't thrive in a heart that isn't all in. No one wants to invest in an entrepreneur who won't quit his day job. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who toes the line of exclusivity. Firmness of purpose is marked by a willingness to do whatever it takes, no matter the time it requires. Too often, we quit because we decide that the commitment is too big of a sacrifice, but nothing worth having comes without sacrifice.

You are the only one who can decide to change your life, but any dream is fragile enough to die if you deem it unworthy of your time.