In Jerry Seinfeld’s last time on Letterman, Jerry and David have an interesting conversation.
During the course of their conversation, Jerry asks David what he plans to do with the rest of his life once the show is ended.
As part of their conversation, Jerry says the following:
Jerry Seinfeld: Let me tell you what’s going to happen when you get home, there’s not going to be anyone there.
David Letterman: Laughs
Jerry: You know why? They moved on with their lives and you need to move on with your life.
In his book How Will You Measure Your Life, Prof Clay Christensen shares a similar sentiment when he talks about spending time with family.
He says the following:
“I genuinely believe that relationships with family and close friends are one of the greatest sources of happiness in life. It sounds simple, but like any important investment, these relationships need consistent attention and care. But there are two forces that will be constantly working against this happening. First, you’ll be routinely tempted to invest your resources elsewhere, in things that will provide you with a more immediate payoff. And second, your family and friends rarely shout the loudest to demand your attention. They love you and they want to support your career, too. That can add up to neglecting the people you care about most in the world. The theory of good money, bad money explains that the clock of building a fulfilling relationship is ticking from the start. If you don’t nurture and develop those relationships, they won’t be there to support you if you find yourself traversing some of the more challenging stretches of life, or as one of the most important sources of happiness in your life.”
It’s easy to get distracted by the glory of life and the pursuit of things, ambitions, and targets at work, and to forget that there are people waiting for you when you return home.
People become used to your absence and carry on with their lives without you.
As Mario Puzo says in his book, The Godfather:
A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.
Time and focus: what you focus on over time grows, and what you neglect over time dies.
As Jerry, Clay and Mario assert, people when neglected, move on without you.
You cannot get that time back and make it up by spending it later with the people who are important to you. The time you spent without them cannot be recycled and then be spent with them later. That time is gone.
People will eventually become used to your absence, and when that happens, they will have no choice but to move on.
As Jerry Seinfeld says: They move on.
As Clay Christensen says: If you don’t nurture and develop those relationships, they won’t be there to support you if you find yourself traversing some of the more challenging stretches of life
It is essential that we are selective about the people with whom we choose to spend our time with.
If you give anything your full attention, it flourishes, but if you ignore it, it withers and dies.
If you don’t pay attention to the people who matter to you, the relationship you have with them will wither, but if you pay them attention, it will blossom.