Over the years I have learn so much from Jay Abraham on marketing, copywriting, and finding success in business. In this article, Jay makes the case for not working smart or hard on Saturdays. This story hit home to me and I hope it hits home to you as well. Enjoy.
4,420 Saturday Mornings…
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time-to-time.
Let me tell you about it:
I started scanning my iTunes in order to listen to a Saturday morning podcast. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous presence and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job… I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital,” he continued.
“Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.”
“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about eighty-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about eighty-five years.
“Now then, I multiplied 85 times 52 and I came up with 4,420, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.
“It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be eighty-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.
“So, I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,560 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.
“Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.
“There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”
“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.
“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on my show!”
You could have heard a pin drop when the discussion was over. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about.
I had planned to work that Saturday morning.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”
“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids.
And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.
A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.
And so, as one smart bear once said…
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”
– Winnie the Pooh.
Pass this on to all of your FRIENDS, so that they can all enjoy the rest of their lives from this moment!
Forget setting New Year’s Resolutions this year. Instead, find success this year by adapting these success habits. This article by Brian Tracy was first published in the daily e-letter, ETR.
The habits of success have been studied by great thinkers and philosophers for at least 2,500 years. After personally studying the subject for more than 30 years, I have identified seven habits that you need to develop if you want to perform at your very best in everything you do.
1. You need to become goal-oriented — dedicated to setting and working from clearly written objectives every day of your life.
2. You need to become results-oriented. This involves two practices. The first is the practice of continuously learning so that you become better at what you do. The second is the practice of time management — setting very clear priorities and then concentrating single-mindedly on the most valuable use of your time.
3. You need to become action-oriented — the most important habit for material success. This is the ability to get on with a job and get it done fast. You need to overcome procrastination, push aside your fears, and launch yourself 100% toward the achievement of your goals.
4. You need to become people-oriented. Virtually all of your happiness in life will come from your ability to get along well with other people. And getting along well with other people is based on a set of habits that you learned, or failed to learn, in childhood: patience, kindness, compassion, and understanding. But it is never too late to develop those habits. . And the more you practice them, the more you will internalize those qualities and actually become the person you want to be.
5. You need to be health-oriented. This means that you must make a conscious effort to eat the right foods in the right proportions. You must exercise on a regular basis to keep your body young and fit. And you must get enough rest and enjoy leisure activities that will enable you, in combination with diet and exercise, to live a long, full life.
6. You need to be oriented toward honesty and integrity. In the final analysis, the character you develop as you go through life is more important than virtually anything else. You set very clear values for yourself and you organize your life around your values. You develop a vision for yourself and then you live your life consistent with your highest ideals. You never compromise your integrity or peace of mind for anyone or anything.
7. The seventh habit that you need — the one that guarantees all the others will happen — is that of self-discipline. Your ability to discipline yourself, to master yourself, to control yourself, goes hand in hand with your success in every area of life.
My favorite definition of self-discipline comes from Elbert Hubbard. He said, “Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”