When you take the time to look around, you begin to realize that work consumes an inordinate amount of your life and always infringes on your personal time. After letting work consume my life for far too long, I soon discovered and embraced the life of a time trader. Becoming a time trader is to trade that ‘work’ and wasted time into ‘value’ time for you through life breaks. You can reframe your perceptions of success, liberate yourself from the daily grind, escape the workplace, and integrate key relationships into your life.
While you are no doubt familiar with a day trader–a person who stands by monitoring the markets and leveraging the daily volatility to make quick short-term profits. A time trader is a person who becomes a master at pulling the levers of life to dream and trade themselves to a more rewarding life, one full of experiences, relationships, and no regrets.
Finding the right balance to work and live can be daunting for the best of us. To live life as you want, you need to see life as it is. Understand it, learn from it, then change it. Time trading is a blueprint to live life more fruitfully. Each of us have the levers of life at our disposal to get the life we want. The levers of life are:
Time: We only have so much time available to live. The key is to find the right balance in life.
Flexibility: Reframing your life will allow you to become more flexible in attaining your dreams.
Money: We need to diversify our income sources and establish, where possible, automated sources of cash.
Time trading allows you to have what every human being wants–time to live life, real time to live, not a nine to five straightjacket, but time.
How can I time trade when I’m stuck working in a nine to five life? I thought the same until I realized the power inherent in the levers of life. They’re there for all of us to use, just like the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. If we were inhaling smog-filled air, our natural instinct would be to find fresh air. If we were faced with polluted water, we’d seek clean water, yet when faced with a bad working environment, boring career, or an unsettling relationship, we remain. We forget that we have these levers of life in front of us that we can pull at any time. We just need to find the courage within ourselves to act on them.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
– Alcoholics Anonymous serenity prayer
Time trading is a philosophy that you can leverage to optimize opportunities that come your way. Change your lens and you change the outcome. We don’t need to let the work life trap us; rather, we can leverage all the opportunities that are within it to our advantage.
A life break can be as short as one day or as long as you want to make it. The key with a life break is to foster a relationship with yourself and what’s important in your life. A life break allows you to experience life as it’s happening, rather than deferring your ability to experience it to those long-awaited retirement years that seem ever more far away, especially as economic fluctuations reverberate year after year.
When you time trade to negotiate a life break, you don’t need to use it to travel; rather, it can be used to realize whatever your dream is. If your dream is to write a book, then take life breaks to garner inspiration and energy to realize it. A life break is what you want to make of it. How you use your time is entirely up to you. The important thing is that you take time back in your life to live.
I hope you take that first step. Are you?
Feel free to share your answer in the comments.