What Lord of the Rings Taught Me About Time

by Alay Yajnik
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I enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, especially the Lord of the Rings. I’m not a Tolkien scholar by any means, but I read the Lord of the Rings every couple of years. Like all great books, I always take something new away each time I read it. One of the quotes that resonated with me is when Gandalf (the wise wizard) and Frodo (the reluctant hero) are talking:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

In this one phrase, Tolkien reminds us that:


How often do we truly decide what to do with our time on this earth?

So often in life we simply go through the day dealing with one mini-crisis after another. At the end of the day, exhausted from our labors, we take pride in making it through the day. But we haven’t moved ourselves forward in any meaningful way.

The question you should be asking yourself is, “At the end of the day, how much progress did I make in improving my business and my life?”

If you aren’t satisfied with the answer, it could be that you are not being intentional about how you use your time.

Time is Your Most Precious Resource

It’s more precious than money: it can’t be saved, you can’t earn more time, and you can’t take out a loan for more time.

All too often, people don’t decide how they will use their most precious resource. They are not intentional about how the use their time. And so circumstances decide for them. The result is a wasted day, week, year…or tragically, a wasted life.

Do Less to Achieve More

The first step to becoming intentional about time is to do nothing at all. Put away the electronics, close your door, and just think. Think about what you want, think about how you are spending your time, and think about what you should be doing.

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