The idea that ‘someday’ you will ‘arrive’ is an illusion; ‘someday’ never comes. ‘Someday’ is a trick the enemy plays on our minds to keep us focused on the future and out of the present, for it is only in the present that we discover God and find true value in life. As Zig Ziglar says, “Happiness is not a when or a where, it’s a here and a now.”
Imagine saying to yourself, “Someday I’m going to spend more time with my family, but right now I’ve really got to focus on my career.” This statement acknowledges that for a period of time you have already neglected your family; else why would you seek to correct the situation? But let me ask, what did you think would be different ‘someday’? What assumption presupposes that right now you must focus on your career? Do you not make enough money for your family to survive? Or do you assume that proper families must meet a minimum standard of living? For what reason are you willing to sacrifice the here-and-now for a future that may never be?
Let’s say that I tell myself that ‘someday’ I will spend more time with my family but for the next 12 months I must work 60-hour-weeks to earn a promotion. By committing myself to this schedule I sacrifice 20 hours per week, 80 hours per month, 960 hours that year which I could have spent with my family instead. I will never get those 960 hours back, and I cannot make them up. My wife and children will go through unique life-events during those 960 hours which cannot be re-created or re-lived at a future date; they are lost forever. During those 960 hours you will undoubtedly be able to take advantage of unique work opportunities and chances for advancement that you would have missed had you been home. However, there are far more business opportunities in the world than there are members of your family. So you have not only traded time, you have also traded away opportunity to be with your unique family; this is called opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is one of the greatest costs businesses and individuals face.
Consider, then, what you have exchanged for 960 high-opportunity-cost family hours: A promotion. Let’s say that this promotion increases your annual pay 30% from $60,000 per year to $78,000 per year, an additional $1,500 per month. That’s a big raise! With that $1,500 every month you could get a nicer house in a better neighborhood; you could give more to the church and/or charity of your choice; you could take your family on nice trips. Those things have value, to be sure. But what you have done is monetize time with your family; you’ve changed dollars for pesos at a 1:1 exchange rate. I wonder, now that a year has passed and you are $1,500 richer every month, has ‘someday’ arrived? Do you have something now that you did not have a year ago, something that now makes life with your family bearable? What is it? Do you even know? Is it your new house that you traded countless hugs and kisses for? Do you think you are somehow a better father or mother because of your promotion?
There will always be business opportunities; there will always be chances for promotions and raises, in time. Today is the last May 21st, 2012 that you will ever get to spend with your family. Make sure you get a good price for it.