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Now you have to understand I was born and raised and grew up in Southern California. There was never snow on the ground unless we drove to it which we did often, so now I’m living in a beautiful house in the mountains and it’s finally time to de-winterize our sprinkler system. See we paid a landscaping company that comes in and they winterize the whole system and I never even thought about it. It’s actually, to be honest with you, it’s all automatic. I don’t even think about watering the plants. We have beautiful trees, beautiful flowers and a beautiful grass are for our child to play, but now it’s time to de-winterize and I thought, heck it doesn’t look that difficult. I can do it myself. So I spent about 20 minutes on YouTube watching YouTube tutorials and then I grabbed my tools and went outside and I went outside head held high, chest out, feeling like a man. I was ready to go de-winterize.

Now I know most of you are probably laughing if you’ve ever done this yourself because you know how easy it is, right? Well, it wasn’t easy for me. I went out there and I saw that the valves were turned the wrong way. They were in the shut-off position, so I quickly maneuver them to the correct position to get them lined up with the pipes just right so the water would flow. I also checked the close value, the air valve, to make sure they were good. Got it. I did everything the videos had said. Now I walked back in, turned the sprinkler system on to show my amazement of the water spraying everywhere, flooding our yard, only to have nothing happen.

Frustrated, I went back in. I read another tutorial, then went back outside, looked at the system for probably 20 minutes, trying to figure out what could be different with this particular system. What was different with this sprinkler system than the ones that I saw on YouTube? Over the course of two hours I spent trying to problem solve what was going on, trying to figure out the nuances, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, then I marched over to the electric system that waters our whole yard. Right, the whole thing comes in and it’s a really average system. Nothing grand but it’s an electric system I have timed zones and such. And so I grabbed the manual and I started flipping through that. Now over this time, I’ve spent probably about three hours and still no water. My wife turned to me and she said, “You know what, you know it’s gonna be one little valve. One little thing that was just off a little bit and that’s what’s gonna be the difference.” I said, “Geez. You know what, you’re totally right.” And the funny thing is, this is not my area of expertise. This is why I hire coaches. This is why I have mentors.

I have people who have already done the due diligence specialist in their areas because that’s what they’re great at and it’s better for me not to be a jack of all trades. You see as a business consultant when I come into a company, I’m getting paid upwards of $3,000 an hour to work on their cases and most of them rehire me because the value was there. Now here I was saving $50 and really just my ego trying to fix the sprinkler system and I started to think about it, right? What else am I doing in this area? Where are my five to thrive, my mind, my body, my soul, my relationships, my business? Am I sacrificing myself and my growth for the opportunity costs that are there?

So in other words when I look at things like coaching a client, I had a client who was doing a six-month sprint in their business. Now three months into that sprint, they had called me and hired me as their coach cause they wanted to really accelerate their progress. The problem was is they were working 15 hour days seven days a week and by the time I caught onto the board to help them out, they had already run themselves ragged, they had already run themselves into the hospital with medical bills going through the roof and missing actual key appointments that actually had set them back over a year. You see they didn’t factor in the opportunity costs of hiring somebody else in and spending the time that they needed to do in their zone of genius and healing themselves, taking time off.

Now I’ve seen this in a lot of areas, right? In the area of relationships, I was actually in a business meeting with high-level business owners from all over and all different aspects and somebody came up and they were a family lawyer and if you’re not familiar with family law, it’s divorce law, right? And he stood up in closing and he said, “Hey everyone, thanks it was a great meeting. I just want to say one thing. John wasn’t here today because he and his wife are going through a divorce.” Now I was a guest in this group. I was a guest speaker and so it kind of took me aback that he would say something like this and he said, “Look, what is the price of flowers every single week and a simple I love you? It’s way less expensive than divorce.” So what he was really trying to say is what are the opportunity costs of things that we neglect, right? The things that we put off, our time, where is that? Where is that in our life, in our area of relationships, now he was relating this to John who I had never met, but really what he was saying was what is it that John was spending time doing something else, right? He wasn’t taking care of his family. He wasn’t taking care of his wife in this case and where are we in our five to thrive not taking care of ourselves or where are we sacrificing time for something else, the opportunity cost?

What is the opportunity cost of you watching TV two, three hours a day? What else could you be doing, the fun you could be having, the fulfillment in your relationships? Now a lot of you reached out to me because you subscribe to the author of your own story newsletter and there are two questions I ask everybody and I love your responses and a lot of times in our conversations back and forth, a lot of you are telling me, Hey Doug, I just don’t have the time. You know, I love what you’re doing, the lifestyle, being able to travel anywhere with your family, spend any time you want with your family and enjoy it, but I just don’t have the time to build something like that. And the answer is it’s all opportunity cost. What is the time that you’re spending doing other things costing you? You see in John, what was he doing? He could have sent flowers and just sat down with his wife. Now he’s going through a divorce. The cost is not only financial, but it’s emotional.

With me, you know spending over three hours and probably a lot more if I think about it, trying to save $50 and my ego to fix a sprinkler, I could have spent that time with my one-year-old child, precious time that I can never get back, right? And where else are we doing this in this five to thrive? So grab your journal. Write our your five to thrive, your mind, your body, your soul, your relationships, and your business and I’ll give you bonus points if you do the other three that I talk about periodically in these and that’s wealth, growth, and fun. Now, where are you not having enough time? Where do you look at these things when you look at your goals in these areas … so write your goals down. Write, what do you want? What do you truly want in the deep parts of your heart? What do you want in each of these areas? Once you’ve identified that, look at them and be honest in why aren’t you hitting them and if you’re honest with yourself, how many of these are, you don’t have enough time, right and just be honest.

You know for me when I do this exercise, often times it’s three or four of them, right? It’s quite a few. I just didn’t have enough time to do all the things I wanted to do but in reality, when we look back at our schedule, when we look at our calendar and remember I always say, show me your calendar and I’ll show you your priorities. How much time are we spending doing things that we just don’t care about? Binging on Netflix? Watching movies? Going to sporting events? Maybe going to happy hour at a bar with people we don’t really care about too much, right? Where are we doing that? And now what I want you to do is recognize that and replace it with your priorities. The opportunity cost is too high for you not to continue this journey to the author of your own story lifestyle.

I want you to have it all and so much more. That’s it for me today. As always go over to authorofyourownstory.com  where you can get the latest tips, tricks, and techniques delivered right to your inbox and share this with just three people. That’s all. One, two, and three, three people that you want to have conversations that matter with and look if somebody shared this with you, they think highly of you so congratulations. That’s a great thing in your day and make sure you’re sharing this so you continue growing your tribe. I’ll see you tomorrow. Remember to go out and be the author of your own story.

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