Time is short. This is another of those facts you can’t escape; it’s a given. If time is short then it makes sense not to go wasting any of it. Not a single drop.

I was speaking with a charming girl yesterday; a student nurse wishing to become a doctor. Her determination and passion in life was very apparent. She didn’t sweat the small stuff and had a great out look  on life.

You see, it’s my observation that the successful people in life are the ones who wring every last ounce of satisfaction and energy out of life. They do that by practicing this simple rule. They pay attention to what, in their life, they have some control over and they simply, economically (time-wise), let go of the rest.

If someone asks you directly for help, then that’s something  you can do – or not as you choose. If the whole world asks you for help, then there’s little you can do. Beating yourself up over it is counter-productive and such a waste of time. Now I’m not saying stop caring about things or to walk away from those in need. In fact quite the opposite in many ways, but there are areas in which you can make a personal difference and other areas where you’ll never even make a dent.

If you waste time struggling to change stuff that is obviously never going to be changed, then life will whiz past and you’ll miss it. If, on the other hand, you dedicate yourself personally to things you can change, areas where you can make a difference, then life becomes richer and more fulfilled. And the more rich it is, curiously, the more time you seem to have.

Obviously if lots of us get together we can change pretty well anything, but this is a Rule For You – these are your personal set – and thus this is about what you can change.

If you have the ear of the President or Prime Minister, you might be able to shape policy that’s  affects the entire nation. If you have the ear of the Pope, you might have a hand in shaping the next Papal Bull. If you have the ear of a General, you might avert war. If you have the ear of an Editor you might get your name in print. If you have the ear of a Head Waiter you might get the best table. And so on and so on. So whose ears have you got? What influence do you have and what change can you effect by using that influence?

Often the only ear we have is our own. The only definite influence we have is over ourselves. The only thing we can really, really change is exactly that – ourselves. Fantastic. What an opportunity to do some good. What a chance to make a real contribution. Begin with ourselves and let it spread outwards – just like this wonderful girl.

This way we don’t have to waste time preaching to those who won’t listen. We don’t have time to waste effort or energy or resources on things over which we have no control over and certainty of any success.  By changing ourselves though we can  be assured of a resultResult.