Quality moments add up to quality life

For decades, I have been fascinated by “time.” Time capsules, time warp, Einstein’s theory of time, time out, time to retire, time zones, timeliness, time to hit the hay. The fact that time flies. And, most important of all, time management. As a result, I have shelves of time management books. From time to time, I revisit those heavily-highlighted books. Last week, I revisited “Give Me a Moment and I'll Change Your Life” by Alan Lakein. Moments matter, says Lakein! But don’t confuse moments with minutes—a minute is a measurable time period (60 seconds to be exact). A moment, on the other hand, is an unspecified very short period of time. Lakein says the trick to a wonderful life is making sure you have “quality moments.” Because quality moments add up to quality hours, which add up to quality days, which add up to quality months and years, which all add up to a quality life. Lakein has been widely considered “the father of time management.” He is credited with inventing the concept of time management in 1968. He wrote his first book, “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life,” in 1973. That book sold three million copies and young Bill Clinton was one of its readers. Clinton was just out of law school when he read “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life.” Clinton begins his autobiography by referencing Lakein’s book: “The book’s main point was the necessity of listing short-, medium-, and long-term life goals, then categorizing them in order of their importance, with the ‘A’ group being the most important, the ‘B’ group next, and the ‘C’ the last, then listing under each goal specific activities designed to achieve them. “I still have that paperback book, now almost 30 years old,” wrote Clinton. And like Clinton, I still treasure my copy with its yellowing pages. Surprisingly, Lakein has written only two books during his decades-long career that has influenced people around the world. My favourite is “Give Me a Moment and I’ll Change Your Life,” written in 1997—24 years later than his first book. Maybe I prefer “Give Me a Moment and I’ll Change Your Life” because it is such a slim volume. Only 97 pages, with lots of white spaces. Now, that’s my kind of book. It is succinct and readable. My favorite chapter is Chapter 10—“Recognize quality moments.” Every moment is an opportunity and any moment can change your life, writes Lakein. You'll know you have quality moments when: You’re completely absorbed in what’s going on? You’re so energized you could do 10 times as much, if not more. You feel as if you’re using all your potential. You smile and say to yourself, “This is the greatest.” You get the idea! Managing the moments of your life is critical and it’s never too late to begin. So, whatever your age, make sure you are cultivating quality moments every day—always remembering that quality moments add up to quality hours which add up to quality days which add up to a quality life. Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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