On the way to school this morning, Sam wanted to know why it's easier for kids to learn things than it is for adults. In trying to explain, I used the example of learning a language and how much easier it is for kids who grow up in bilingual families.
“That would be so cool!” Lily said.
“What? A bilingual family?”
“No daddy, it would be so cool to speak another language!”
It took me a minute to get over the shock of what I’d just heard. Ever since I started learning Spanish, Lily has wanted nothing to do with it.
Here lately, she’s been totally over it.
“For the love of God, would you please speak English!!!!” she says.
I guess, at least for this morning, speaking another language is cool. So I said, “Well, pick a language and get started.”
“But I can’t,” she said, and then began listing all the reasons why she couldn’t.
Every single one was bullshit, and I shot them down one after another. With nothing left, she finally said, “But I don’t have as much time as you do!” and I nearly spit my coffee onto the steering wheel.
It’s funny how kids her age view adults. As though between the time we drop them off at school and the time we pick them up, we’re just sitting around sipping coffee and taking it easy.
I told her, straight up, that not having enough time was a bullcrap excuse.
"There are 24 hours in every day. I’m not a magician, I can’t pull time out of a hat, so I don't have any more of it than you do. We all have the exact same amount of time every single day. The only difference is how we choose to spend it.”
Then I reminded her that she could learn a language in 10 or 15 minutes a day, and dared her to look me in the eye and tell me she didn’t have an extra 20 or 30 minutes every single day.
“I don’t have time” is the ultimate excuse we give ourselves when we want to experience something new, but we’re unwilling to go through the pain of actually doing it.
“I don’t have time,” we say, and with those words, we let ourselves off the hook.
Meanwhile, we find plenty of time for all sorts of other things.
Netflix and chill.
Mindlessly watching YouTube.
Scrolling through social media.
Playing the latest video game.
But when it comes to that new experience we claim to want, suddenly we’re all out of time.
Most of the time, that’s bullshit.
We all have the same 24 hours.
The difference between "enough time" and "not enough time," more often than not, is commitment.