Time IS Money, Isn’t It?

“Time is Money.”

Benjamin Franklin

Well,  yes … yes, it is … maybe.

This quotation seems always used to justify billable hours or some decision to go for the money, instead of for more satisfying, but less economic ends.

Time is money … in other words, time is what we use to create things of value for which others will reward us with money.

Some people create economic powerhouses with their time, while others create a child’s memories.  Some become learning machines while others restore old automobiles or build furniture.    Some seek adventure, while other look for peace and stability.

Some create value by leading and others by following.  Some create value through change and others through consistency.  What we do has value for someone else, even when we do not know the value we bring to that other.

Our time will come and our time will go.  Only two unknowns in this situation:

How much time do I get?   

How will I spend it?

We usually do not know the answer to the first question, but we are pretty much in control of the answer to the second one.

So the questions this morning are pretty straight-forward:

What do you create with your time?

How does what you create offer value?

My slightly revised motto:

“Time is Value” 

Whistling a happy tune while I ponder how I can share my talents to create value in the Heartland ….


“Books. They’re What’s for Dinner.

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,  and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Francis Bacon Sr. said this in Essays, Volume 2 (1899) and as a book lover, I could not agree more … I think. 

My question today is a deceptively simple one:

How do you know which book goes in which pile?

The answer is in a second line from Bacon’s quotation … the one that does NOT get quoted all the time.  Bacon adds this:

That is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

Helpful, although he still does not tell us how to determine the differences. Continue reading

Gurus …

The world is full of gurus, experts, and masters.  We used to have a lot of “meisters” as well, but that term seems to have lost its panache.

We crave knowledge, but too often settle for data and information.

On a recent stroll around our neighborhood, I noticed a fellow resident talking about the benefits of living here with several people in a car, who were obviously shopping for a new home.

I sure hope they talk to more than just this one person, to get a fuller picture of life in our neighborhood.  Their source is a known “crank” at resident association meetings, a poor neighbor to those around him, and generally negative human being.  I don’t like his dog, either.

We do not always adequately or accurately evaluate what we receive . While my neighbor was not seeking the “expert” role, many do and we need to approach their value carefully.   Here are five things I learned “the hard way” about learning from others.

Be A Tad Nitpicky

Pay attention to the details and question them.  Many folks like to talk in generalities and make vague statements.  Consider what they are saying in terms of consistency, validity, and common sense. Continue reading

A Few Words About Dewy Eyes, Hard Heads, and Rain …

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

This well-known quote has been used to do two things over the years:

1)  Belittle those who exercise caution about attempting something new or different.

2)  Exalt those who focus on positive outcomes.

Let me suggest a third way:

Celebrate those who do both:)

The world needs “cockeyed optimists“.  Optimism pushes us beyond our comfort zones into the places where growth and achievement occur.  Dreaming is a very good thing, but not in isolation.  Dewy-eyed visionaries need connection to reality.

I can dream about climbing that mountain, but I still need to consider how to prepare for the ascent.

The world also needs “hardheaded realists“.   I have been told not to “rain on the parade” in the past.  This old saying plays a subtle trick on us.    Notice how the perception of the cause has shifted to the person who notes the condition?

Realists do not make the rain come; they just give the weather report.

So let’s think about what we need to have the best of both worlds:

Without realistic analysis, planning, and execution, we would not do much of real note in our lives.

Without dreaming about what could be, we would not even try.

Making my case for being a little pessimistic AND a little optimistic about everything in the Heartland ….


Where Did We End Up Now …?



“NOT QUITE WHAT I EXPECTED”, as they say …

Emily Perl Kingsley is a writer for Sesame Street, but that’s not why I know of her.    Many years ago, she wrote a simple little essay about how we plan things for our unborn children and then cope with the realities of life after the birth.  This simple story has been used by many people since to help them cope with unwanted change.

You can read the whole story in little over one minute at:


I was reminded of Kingsley’s powerful story recently while reading another powerful story about coping and change:


Originally a guest post from John Tiller on Michael Hyatt‘s blog about how his family coped with an almost unbearable tragedy.

Both provide valuable insights into effective coping.

As you move through your workday, take careful note of how many people spend their energy and time on what is different from they expected.

“I didn’t get that promotion that I worked so hard to earn”

“Just as we get comfortable with the system, they change it on us.” 

“Why can’t things be like they used to be?” (or at least like we think they used to be:)

Now consider your own responses …

How can you help others appreciate Holland even though they were planning on Italy?

Happy just for the chance to be anywhere in the Heartland ….