Investing in your journey: Thoughts on your time & effort as a currency

I read an interesting quote last week that caused me to reflect on the way we invest our time and effort into an activity. The quote was Jiu-jitsu related, however I think it applies to any pursuit we have:

“Jiu-jitsu is like a bank; the more you put in the more you can take out.”

On the surface, this quote seems pretty simple at first, but the more I reflected on this, the more it made me think about the investments we make into our chosen pursuits. The more time and effort we invest into something, the more we are able to take from it and the more it will come to serve us. In this article I will reflect on this idea, as well as discuss the idea of our time and effort as a form of currency.

As a bit of a bonus, I’ve added some thoughts at the end regarding Cognitive Dissonance for those of you who are interested in how this concept may affect our perceptions of our time invested and our improvement.

Regardless of your chosen pursuit (be it an art form, a sport, your career, a relationship or hobby) you must invest time and effort into it if you hope to improve in that area or increase the amount of satisfaction you receive from it. The more time and effort we are able to invest, the more we receive in return from our chosen pursuit.

Sometimes, the rewards we receive from our pursuit are not tangible. In fact, this is why many of us become so dedicated to our chosen disciplines; we experience a level of satisfaction and receive rewards that no other person could comprehend unless they themselves undertook the same pursuit (and even then their own experience would be different).

But how do we go about this? We all have unique demands on our time and often we are challenged to budget the precious amount of free time we have, balancing it between a number of tasks that we value depending on their perceived importance. One way that we can best understand how to budget this time is by viewing our time and effort as a currency. 

Once we put a value on our time and effort, we start to become more strategic about what we ‘spend’ it on. Of course, our time does have inherent value, especially in a modern world when so much of it is literally monetized within a working day. View your time as something with a real value, by doing so you will start to become more conscious about what you invest that time into. 

Once you understand how much time you have to invest, you can begin to understand how much you will get out. The transaction is simple: the more time you invest, the greater the results you return. 

*Some additional thoughts*

“But wait…” I hear some people say, “…I’m not seeing the results.” This is where you need to learn to be objective with yourself; are you really putting in enough time and effort to return the results you think you should be receiving? Your perception and the reality may not match up.

This is called Cognitive Dissonance (Definition: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.)

To avoid this happening, you need to learn how to reflect on your own thoughts and behavior. Is that one training session a week going to get you to your next belt promotion in the same time as the person training six times a week? No. To be a well-rounded person, you must understand the importance of maintaining a balanced, realistic perception of yourself and your efforts. Cut the bullshit, work hard and the results will follow. It’s a simple formula. 

Thanks for reading.



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