I’ve stopped accepting things I don’t need just because they’re free. Sure, if it’s free and I want it I’m going to take it but if it’s free and I don’t, why should I? It’s not adding value to my life.
Example: I don’t eat McDonald’s. Haven’t in over a year (and that was internationally). The last time I had McDonald’s in the United States was in 2014. So, if someone offers me a free McDouble, I’m turning it down (unless I have no other source of sustenance and need it to survive).
Too many of us are accepting things that will cost us our happiness or add clutter to our lives just because they don’t cost us a dollar. How many 5K tee-shirts do you need? How much hotel shampoo can you collect? With everything, you must ask yourself “Is it quality and does it add value to my life?”
The same is true for things given free of charge. I was talking to a videographer I know recently and he is photographing his first wedding soon. While he’s a great videographer, he’s an amateur photographer and he let the couple who asked him to capture their special day know exactly that. But this is the gift they wanted from him. Now, I hope he does a phenomenal job but, if he doesn’t, them taking the free route will likely be their biggest regret of the day.
So, always remember, just because it’s free doesn’t mean it didn’t cost you anything. Some of the most expensive things ever appeared to be free at the time. Don’t believe me? Look at all that “free money” that has since become student loan debt.
If you wouldn’t pay for it if you could, question whether or not you should accept it.
Make quality a priority.
“Forever is big.” — 2013 NBA Finals Television Advertisement
Tomorrow: Not promised. 11:59 PM on whatever day you’re reading this post: Not promised. The next second of life is not promised. You have right now. What are you doing with it? Or, so you won’t think I’m being judgemental, what unnecessary things do I do with my time? The amount of time spent daily on Instagram: Wasted. Scrolling past articles on my Twitter timeline that will impact my growth and, instead, choosing to click on a WorldStar video: A waste. Riding the bus to work and sleeping as opposed to reading one of the books I’m supposed to be finishing this week: Once again, time spent that I can never get back. Sitting around on my lunch break watching the Steve Harvey Show because that’s what the ladies at work decide to set the TV on: 45 minutes of my life down the drain. I could go on and on about ways I waste my time. But I won’t. I’ll go ahead and jump to the point: You’ll stop wasting your time when you get tired of wasting your time. When you get tired of your job, you’ll begin to stay up at night and apply for more jobs. When you realize you don’t have the credentials necessary to get a position you want, you’ll invest in your own education. You’ll stop making excuses as to why you shouldn’t get out of bed in the morning and go workout. You’ll stop skipping church. You’ll start purchasing books on financial responsibility. You’ll enjoy 1 quality date a month instead of 2 bar nights with your boys each week. Don’t give your time to anything. Invest it in everything. When you do community service, you’re investing in the future so those who come after you have it better. When you begin dating, you invest in your significant other so that they will be there for you forever. When you go to church, you invest in your spirituality so that, after this life, you will be rewarded. The return on investment is not always as great as one would hope but that is often because we give up too soon. Stop giving up too soon. Stop accepting good enough as the standard. You were made for greatness and, until you reach it, you’re going to feel unfulfilled. Eric Thomas said “A diamond starts off with a very humble beginning: coal.” Add pressure to your time. Polish yourself. Not only in your spare time. Do it during the time you’re supposed to be asleep. Do it during the time you’re supposed to be watching the NBA Finals. Enjoy your life. Relax. But on commercial breaks, do a push up. During dinner with your girlfriend, instead of discussing how Beyoncé is working on buying a new car, discuss how you plan to raise your credit score. Forever is big. Create a legacy that will last that long. It begins with each new second.