Proving That Time is Not Money
I have long realized that Benjamin Franklin must have been wrong when he stated that time is money. After all, money is a replaceable resource while time is not. However, I could not find convincing life examples that would demonstrate this point.
And then I realized that I have known personally or read about plenty of people who have lost financial fortunes but were able not only to restore but often to increase them. However, I have never met or known of a single successful person who has wasted massive amounts of time.
Recently, I have learned a fascinating story about a very successful individual whose prior business adventure collapsed after his business partner stole 1 Million US Dollars from their joint investment. Nevertheless, that individual was not bitter about his former business partner. Instead, he thought of his ex-partner as having taught him an important life lesson about how to be a better judge of character and place his trust in people more wisely. In other words, losing a large amount of money turned out to be an invaluable learning experience for him that enabled him to make much more money in his next business venture.
At the same time, I see how wasting time brings about bitterness. My definition of wasted time is paying a large opportunity cost, and in return not only failing to gain any tangible assets, but also failing to learn anything in the process. For example, spending a large amount of time and effort on writing a funding proposal incurs a significant opportunity cost. This time could have been better spent working on research or on developing teaching materials. If the proposal is not funded, it is frustrating; however, the time and efforts expended on it are not wasted if the reviews help you improve your proposal writing skills, thus learning valuable lessons. Therefore, to minimize waste in research proposal writing, one should not write an unsolicited proposal to an agency that does not provide reviews to the proposers.
Time and money are different ontological entities. It is important to allocate one’s pursuits wisely. Because time cannot be replaced, each of our pursuits must at least serve as a valuable learning experience.