The most valuable lesson my mentor, John Moubray, ever taught me.

The most valuable advice John Moubray ever gave me applies to everyone no matter who you are, what you do, or where you’re from.  It took me twenty years, but I finally got it.

When John gave me this gift, he simply made two statements.

Here they are:  I don’t own a television.  I won’t allow one in my house.

Simple – yet VERY complex.

What he said seemed weird to me at the time.  After all, who doesn’t own a television?

When I finally figured out the lesson, it (literally) changed my life.

Here it is.

Time is a human being’s most valuable asset.

Time is WAY more valuable than money.

People have earned, lost and earned back millions of dollars.

You can always earn more money.  Money is a renewable resource.

But once time slips away, you can NEVER get it back.

No matter who you are, or what your station is in life, you get the same amount of time that everyone else on the planet gets.

Time is the great equalizer.

Your circumstances are directly proportional to what you do with your time.

I used to watch a lot of TV, but not anymore.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes, sitting on the couch watching TV can be the best use of your time.

After all, we all need to relax and decompress.  But if it’s excessive, it can be a colossal waste.

That said, I’m going to admit it.  I’m a fan of the television reality show, Survivor.  I really enjoy it.  And I’ve watched every season since it started in 2000.

Survivor is on its 35th season.  But let’s take this season out of the equation (literally), and focus on the time I’ve spent watching Survivor over the last 34 seasons.

34 seasons times 14 episodes per season, times 60 minutes per episode equals 28,560 minutes.

28,560 minutes equals 476 hours which equals 20 days which equals 3 weeks.  But that’s 24 hours per day.  At eight hours per day, I’ve spent the equivalent of 9 work weeks…TWO MONTHS…watching Survivor.

Imagine for a moment what I could accomplish in 9 weeks if I worked eight hours a day on it.

Imagine what you could become or what you could achieve if you did the same.

So far, we haven’t even mentioned Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).  Let’s fix that.

In an earlier video post, I explained that the goals of our RCM analysis drive the level at which we write our Failure Modes.

(If you missed it, you can watch it here:

Well, the same concept applies to our time.  Our personal and professional goals drive how we “spend” our time.

When we don’t have any goals identified, we leave ourselves “twisting in the wind.”  We become “directionless.”

But when we set goals – and then identify the intermediate tasks that must be accomplished to achieve them, we find ourselves “spending our time wisely”…in pursuit of what we’ve identified we really want to achieve!

It’s not a coincidence that I’m writing this article in the second week of January.

The ball in Times Square has dropped.  The confetti’s been swept away.  We’re well into the New Year.

Many of our “resolutions” are holding fast.  But some have already fallen to the wayside.

It all comes back to goals.

Whether you’re applying RCM or living your life, goals are “where it’s at!”

If John were to have asked me two questions instead of making two statements (i.e. I don’t own a television.  I won’t allow one in my house.), here’s what I think he would have asked me.

  1. How much time are you willing to give away to nonsense?
  2. Do you even dare to imagine what you could achieve or what you could become if you set goals and spent your time working on them instead of giving away your most valuable asset to a television?

Is there something in the back of your mind that you’ve always wanted to do but you haven’t dared to yet?

I believe that if a human being has the desire to achieve something, then it’s completely within his or her capability to do it.

Oftentimes, that desire is a whisper from the Universe.  All you have to do is listen, set goals, and then spend your time achieving them.

Given what we just talked about, I sincerely thank you for the time you spent with me today reading this article.  I genuinely hope I made it worth your while!

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Nancy Regan

I started to help organizations gain an understanding of maintenance and reliability basics. After all, the basics pervade just about every asset management solution out there ~ and they’re embedded in Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).

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