I'm sitting in a parking lot at the moment. My wife is grocery shopping and I'm waiting in the car with our two sleeping babies. As is always the case in parking lots I've had a great opportunity to people watch.
The two snoozing babies behind me have also afforded me the opportunity to do some serious reflection. Life is darn complicated, and the hardest truths in life are often so painful to think of that people put them out of their minds entirely. I find that entirely unfortunate and I've long since decided not to do so. I think on them now.
As I sit here Im disappointed with myself. My oldest child is 2. In her two years I've been fortunate to spend a lot of time with her. But a few times I've chosen to travel for work, or to work late, and those decisions were plain wrong. Watching people walk by me now is a good illustration of life. A young family, followed by an elderly couple, followed by a lone elderly woman. I don't mean to project my thoughts onto their actual lives, but it is a good illustration of what life is for anybody, and it reminds me that life is too darn short to spend any unnecessary time away from loved ones.
Now, I fully appreciate the need to work hard to provide opportunity and security for my children and wife. But the times I've traveled (for example) have been misguided uses of time. I did so on the advice of another who is more experiences and may therefore be considered more success-savvy. But this person doesn't share all my perspectives. And the opportunity cost of listening to him has been in the form of time spent with my family.
I have long said that the most valuable commodity in the world is time. On any given venture what we risk most is time. In the past 2 years I have used too much of that time badly. My time sitting in this parking lot has reminded me that I wont do it anymore. I wont operate reliant on advice of people who don't share my values. I will listen to my heart and always do everything I can to maximize the value of my time. Simply put, my time is best spent with my family. There is no purpose more meaningful in life, and no venture more necessary. True as it is - I do need to work, but I will do so without waste so as to not be away from my family for a minute more than absolutely necessary.