How Much Time Do You Invest Into Your Personal Development?

I’m a (not so) secret super fan of the FOKN Bois, the oddly paired rap duo from Ghana. It’s often tempting to invoke parallels between the members of this group and the now-defunct Outkast, but it’s even wiser to refrain from that temptation. Just like Andre and Big Boi, M3nsa and Wanlov are – and always have been – rappers and creative artists in their own right. The similarities between the two groups begin and end at the junction where two unlikely collaborators whisked together potions of music that have delighted (and shocked) music lovers over the years.

Of the two members of FOKN Bois, it’s Wanlov I have the most frequent online interactions with. All the same, I still try to keep a limit on those interactions. Part of being a successful fan-girl is maintaining just enough visibility under the radar so as to create awareness, but not become a nuisance, thereby earning yourself a block. (I’ve nearly sabotaged myself on more than one occasion. I won’t repeat 2017’s mistakes this year!) I tend to treat my “relationship” with M3nsa the way a cephalopod navigates its relationship with other ocean creatures: Ever watching; always learning; content with watching the fireworks show on his wall without giving my input. My secret is out now. Now you all know my shameful truth. I am a lurker.

So while I was octopussing my way across M3nsa’s feed the other day, I took particular interest in a video he’d posted about not pissing Asian people off.

The two women featured had glorious dark hair – the type of hair sold by grumpy men of the same ancestry at exorbitant prices expensive in modest shops dotted all over inner cities. Shops I used to visit when I still wore a relaxer. A bit of nostalgia for the ATL set in and I clicked play. I laughed at appropriate moments and grunted in solidarity at others. Then I glanced back up at M3nsa’s caption.

Before I start my 15hr day.

Did you read that right? Do you feel that? That…right there! The waves of shame and guilt… They’re pouring out over you now, aren’t they? If you have a lifelong dream or goal you’ve been harboring and doing little to nothing about, you ought to be drowning in those waves. I’m not saying this to pass judgment over you, but to say I am in the water with you, keeping my head above water with only the strength of my conviction.

Here’s the thing I’m getting at: I can bet the salvation of my soul that everyone reading this blog has a latent desire that they want to see come true before they die. Maybe you want to be an actress, or a marine biologist or an Oga who struts around his compound with one of those cow tail fly swatters. I don’t know. I do know that each of us harbors a secret fantasy, some mission that we’ve convinced ourselves is greater than ourselves or more worthy than who we are currently. Do you know the difference between ‘successful’ people and the rest of us? They don’t believe that to be true of themselves at all. For them, the pursuit of greatness is not a vain conceit, but rather a condition worthy of their existence. That pursuit is not pride: That’s an expression of gratitude to the one who created you. It’s recognizing that each of us is only given a specific number of days to live on the blue ball known as Earth, and it is only logical that we make the most of them.

I can now confess to you that while I do harbor a number of lofty dreams, I have not always made the most of my days. It takes as much time to plan as it does to dream. When we are born into this world, we are not afforded the same benefits. Some of us are born into wealth, while most into poverty. Some of us are born with exceptional beauty. There is only ONE resource we are all guaranteed: and that’s time. And while I was never a child of privilege I know now that I have always had time at my disposal to invest. I have not always made the most of my time. Over the weekend, I mentally revisited M3nsa’s brief caption and wondered to myself when was the last time I invested 15 (consecutive) hours into anything? Have I ever? I can’t rightly say…and that’s a shame for a woman who given sanctuary for any number of large goals.

The thing about sanctuary is this: It’s only meant to be temporary. At some point, one must find discomfort in sheltering an idea, a hope or a plan and commit to setting it free. If not, it becomes a burden.

Tom Corley in an accountant and financial planner. He surveyed 233 wealthy individuals, mostly self-made millionaires, on their daily habits. He compiled a list of 7 habits of highly successful people. Avoiding wastes of time was number seven on that list. He writes:

“Money isn’t the only important resource for wealthy people. Time is another one. When we invest our time in anything it’s lost forever.

Be choosy about the apps you spend your time with too, instead of spending hours on end watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram.”

(Why he gotta talk about me like that though?)

This is my Monday motivation to you M.O.M. Squad. 15 hours out of 24 is a lot of time; there’s no disputing that. While you have not have 15 hours in your day to invest in your personal passion, or while you may not be accustomed to channeling 15 hours into one pursuit, make a commitment to carve out more time to feed your dream. Shift the energy from dreaming to planning and in time, those plans will become the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Give it time. Nothing is impossible for you.