Many of the best known motivators in the world often share a similar message with their audience. “You can have anything you want in your life if you are willing to pay the price.” I have reflected on this thought for many years and in fact have used it many times in setting goals for my life. I have often asked myself what “paying the price” really means.
I used to think it meant out-working or out-studying everyone else. I thought it meant working longer hours, making one more call, working weekends, work, work, and more work. Does this method payoff? Absolutely! If your goal in life is to be the greatest worker in the world, then yes that method works. Like many other people, I bought into this lie of the “good life” and justified my actions by kidding myself into believing I was doing this for my family. The reality was I was doing it for myself. The exhilaration of the competition in business was intoxicating. Climbing that corporate ladder provided the same thrills as winning the Friday night football game in high school.
As you travel down the road of life though, significant events occur that change your perspective and your priorities. You discover two basic truths in life … “money doesn’t buy happiness” and “the best things in life are free.” What price would you pay to hold your newborn child in your arms for the first time? Or to experience the rapture of that first date with the love of your life? To see your aging and ailing parents young and vibrant for just one more day? To experience a gentle peace in your life that passes all understanding? You can’t buy any of these things and you can’t out-work someone else to get them. They are all part of the precious gift of life.
The most valuable thing you can ever give to your family is you and your time. What is most important in your life? Where is your focus? Do you give your family the best time of your life or only what is left over after a long day at work? A good friend of mine shared the wisdom of the ages with me just before he died from cancer at the way too young age of 40. He said, “If I would have known this was going to happen, I would have spent less time playing golf and more time playing with my kids.” He learned too late that the “best things in life are free.” What price are you really willing to pay?