8 Seconds, 8 Years, 8 Decades

Today is the 8th Anniversary of the day I married my beautiful wife. And it got me thinking about time.

For a bull rider, the magic time is 8 Seconds. That’s how long they need to stay atop their bucking steed to be crowned rodeo champion. When victories and careers are on the line, those eight seconds must seem an eternity.

Conversely, 8 Years of married bliss is the blink of an eye. Our first kiss (after my beautiful wife flinched); our first dance; our first overseas holiday. I have to force myself to slow that time down, to bask rather than rush through the countless subsequent kisses; our travels through thirty more countries; and all those times we danced and danced and … OK, so that was probably the last time we danced. Tempus fugit.

We were married the month Lehman Brothers collapsed. The shadow of the Global Financial Crisis loomed. So if, like me, you were in business eight years ago that must feel like both the blink of an eye and yet an age, years filled with challenge, opportunity, evolution and perseverance.

In many ways, I cannot fathom 8 decades, 80 Years, an average lifetime. Eighty years ago was 1936, the ‘Year of the Three Kings‘, the Berlin Olympics, the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger. Eighty years from now we will be preparing for another new century, although ‘we’ will likely have already made the final journey. What of ourselves will we have left behind?

If your eight decade plan feels a little unreal – or morbid – then what of the next eight years? Many of my clients from my wedding year still have eight (or more) years of business growth ahead of them. There will be new challenges, though not anything like the most recent past, and I look forward to helping them achieve their next level of greatness as I do with all my new relationships.

And ultimately, whether it’s 8 years or 8 decades, our future is composed only of consecutive blocks of 8 seconds each, spreading into the ever-distant future. Perhaps you feel that eight seconds is too ephemeral, that nothing can be achieved in such a tiny segment slotted in to the age of the universe? Think now of the rodeo champion, and how endless his 8 seconds must feel. There is much you can achieve right now. Though I will suggest only one: Choose, in this moment, this eight seconds as you sit reading my words… Choose to be happy.

Leave your happiness wherever, and whenever, you go.

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