Running out of time? Probably not…

13th May 2019

13th March 2005. This was the date of my first ever half marathon. My 25 year-old self was pretty satisfied with a time of 1hr37mins.

Fast forward 15 years to April 2019 and a completely shattered me is celebrating a new half marathon PB of 1hr11mins at the grand old age of 39 and 3/4. But this isn’t a blog about running. This is a blog about time…and how much of it we have.

There is no way that 25 year-old me would ever have thought I’d still be running in 15 years’ time, let alone running my fastest times ever. A 40 year-old to me back then was ancient, a proper old man. Back then I thought most people died at 40!

My inability to judge time correctly made me overeager to be successful, in this instance measured by running performances, as quickly as possible. This over-eagerness led to over-training, led to injuries, led to many, many years of not fulfilling my potential. The fear of being old and incapable made me impatient.

Now being a (only slightly) wiser (nearly) 40 year-old, I can see what a mistake this was. A mistake made by me, and many others, not just in terms of running but in so many other aspects of life. We are all so impatient to succeed at work, succeed creatively, succeed in love, we forget how long we have to do all these things. We rush, we take unnecessary risks, we neglect things that we later realise we shouldn’t have, we fail, we start again.

Good things come to those who wait

Legendary management guru, Peter Drucker, wrote over 40 books in his lifetime. Three quarters of these, including his best work, were written after he was 60 years old.

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest men and perhaps the best ever investor, only made his first billion at age 55. Now, age 88, he has amassed a fortune of $85 billion.

I have only just started my financial planning business, Financial Freedom Sooner Ltd, and I hope that I have the foresight to realise that it will take 10, 15, or even 20 years for this to become the business that I want it to be. Patience is a virtue, they say…and I say it’s also a bloody good business plan. It’s an even better life plan.

So, if you’re reading this and you’re 30 years old, please know that you have all the time in the world to get to where you want to be. Even if you’re 40 or 50, there is still plenty of time left to achieve amazing things. And if you’re lucky enough to be in your 20s you have, quite literally, got your whole life ahead of you and that, as the philosopher, Seneca, would tell us “…is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount [of time] has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.”

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