86,400 Seconds to Change Your Life
By Gwen Parkes
We all want to feel successful and accomplished in our lives so we often focus on being efficient, crossing off our daily "to-do" lists and managing our time well so that we can squeeze 36 hours worth of work into a 24-hour day. But no matter what we do or how much we plan, there is only so much time in a given day -- 86,400 seconds to be exact.
While everyone is given the exact same amount of time each day, it seems that some people use it more productively than others. Why is that? What are those efficient people doing that the rest of us are not, and what do they know that we don't?
In her debut book, 86,400: Manage Your Purpose to Make Every Second of Each Day Count, author Lavaille Lavette, exposes why the rat race is no longer working. "Managing your time is useless unless you manage your purpose."
A Gradual Epiphany
Lavaille had what she calls a "gradual" epiphany. The first time she ever thought about a day being comprised of 86,400 seconds was in Church when her minister stressed the importance of being careful about how you spent each day. Four days later she heard Kris Allen's pop single Live Like We're Dying, which includes the lyrics "only 86,400 seconds in a day." Two days later an e-mail in Lavaille's inbox had the subject line "86,400." Convinced that the number 86,400 was suddenly rearing its head in all aspects of her life, Lavaille chose to stand up and take notice. "I saw it as a sign to dig into how I was spending my time."
Time Management vs. Purpose Management
With a master's degree in education and a background as a school teacher, school administrator and time management specialist, Lavaille set about examining how she spent her own 86,400 seconds each day and found that she wasn't "maximizing my effectiveness." Lavaille explains, "I was only concerned about the tasks I had to do and crossing things off my list."
Committed to being more conscious of how she spent each day, Lavaille focused on her purpose, instead of her time and schedule, and broke her purpose into three distinct areas: 1) Purpose within her family; 2) purpose within her career/vocation; and 3) purpose as it relates to being of service to others and giving back in some way. "Education is what I have always been most passionate about and once I re-focused my energy on that area and devoted myself to my purpose, my world really opened up."
Based on her own self-awakening process, Lavaille outlines how to rearrange your life around the concept of purpose management, instead of time management. Her method utilizes the ten tools of: forgiveness, wisdom, dedication, balance, imagination, thankfulness, patience, faithfulness, generosity and courage, to create this purpose-based order. Lavaille believes anyone can find their passion and learn to value their 86,400 seconds, instead of constantly racing against the clock.
"I think readers can gain inspiration and motivation from my story," says Lavaille. All people have the same amount of seconds in a given day to be successful. It takes hard work, but you can make U-turns in life."
The three most valuable lessons in Lavaille's opinion are:
1. Wake up your consciousness. Be aware of your time and how you use it, but also know that every 86,400 seconds presents new opportunities.
2. Don't take time for granted. No one has unlimited time and it's important to realize that time is special. Once you treat time as a precious commodity, you will be more intentional with your actions.
3. Worry about your purpose, not your time. Finding your passion is the key to both your success and happiness. "The fruits of your labor will benefit you greatly if it is something that you are passionate about and something that you really believe in."
"This book is just the start," says Lavaille. Next up for this purpose-driven author and workshop leader, are another two books and more workshops about how to develop an 86,400 mindset.
"I want this [concept] to be a sustainable, natural way of life and not a fad or something that people try to do one or two times."
Next:Top Companies Hiring
Stories from Readers Digest
- What Your HR Person Won't Tell You About Being Fired
- How to Assert Yourself at Work
- How to Make Your Resume Stand Out