Categories
Blog

Time and Money

Do you want more time?

Or do you want more money?

Or do you want both?

Then you’ll really like this Transformers post.

In the last post I asked the questions; “What do you want?” and “Are you ready to stop drifting?”

Rather than guessing, I went to an expert that actually did some research on the subject. Frank Luntz wrote a book called What Americans Really Want, Really. It is based on the research he did while conducting focus groups. What he found was that what people really want is more money, or more time. If the economy is not good they want more money. If the economy is doing fine, then they want more time. Wow, that rimed!

So, this episode is going to be about time and money.

It seems most of spend the vast majority of our time trying to make money so we can enjoy what little time we have left over. But most of the things we like to do in our left-over time takes more money, so we spend more time to make more money so we can enjoy less time.

We’ll do this from 8am to 5pm (if we’re lucky), 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, for at least 45 years…the goal being to retire when we are 65 and enjoy the good life. Of course, you can’t physically enjoy life as much at 65 as you could at 25, and the reality is that most retirees worry about running out of money before they run out of time.

Ok, I should stop here to let you know I’m not trying to bum you out, but to take a break and think about what we’re doing. If you take a step back, a lot of what we do just doesn’t make sense.

So, let’s look at the concepts of both time and money.

Time

As I was thinking about what to talk about in this episode, and as soon as I thought about the concept of time, my mind flashed back to an awesome song written by the band Chicago called Does anybody really know what time it is? It’s really good and worth listening to again.

Anyway, the lyrics are “Does anybody really know what time it is, does anybody really care?” That’s a great question. Let me explain.

I live near Pinehurst in North Carolina. If I tell you I’m going to call you at noon what does that mean? If I say that to my sister who lives in Virginia it means 1200, right?

But what if I tell my aunt who lives in Gig Harbor, Washington I’ll call her at noon. My 1200 is her is her 9 am. So, which is it?

And if I call a German business associate at noon, that means 6pm to him.

Is that standard time or daylight savings time? Who came up with all this?

To compensate for the confusion in time zones someone came up with the idea of a standard called Greenwich Mean Time or GMT, which is based on the time it is in Greenwich, England. Somehow the Brits became the keepers of time.

Anyway, GMT is now called Universal Coordinated Time or UTC (I just found that out) and the military calls it ZULU time, I have no idea why.

If GMT, or UTC, or Zulu is 0, then my time zone is -5, or 5 hours less than GMT, UTC, Zulu. Are you confused yet?

Wait it gets better.

What year do you think it is?

Is it BC, AD, BCE, or CE?  Is that in the Julian calendar, the Gregorian calendar, the Chinese calendar, or the Jewish calendar?

See, I think Chicago’s song had it right.

Here are 3 fun trivia facts about time …and I promise this is all going somewhere, so hang in there.

Time trivia fact #1

The terms B.C. and A.D. stand for “before Christ” and “anno Domini,” which is Latin for “in the year of the Lord.”

These terms are used to mark years in the Gregorian and Julian calendars—with the birth of Jesus as the event that divides history.

In theory, all the years before Jesus’ birth receive the label B.C., and all those after his birth get A.D.

If Jesus had been born in 1 A.D., these designations would be completely accurate. But, it is much more likely that Jesus was born in 4 B.C. or earlier. So how did we get the division between B.C. and A.D.?

There was a monk named Dionysius, who lived during the fifth and sixth centuries A.D., and it seems he is the one who came up with the B.C. and A.D.

Dionysius was born somewhere in what is now Romania or Bulgaria, and he lived from about 470 to 544 A.D. He moved to Rome and became well known for translating the famous decrees from the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon. He also wrote about elementary mathematics and is most famous for is the “Anno Domini” calculations that were used to number the years of the Gregorian calendar.

Although we’re not exactly sure how he came to this conclusion, Dionysius dated his current Roman Consul (that’s the top elected official in the Roman government) at the time, to “525 years after ‘the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ’”—or Anno Domini, meaning 525 years after Jesus’ birth, that is, 525 A.D. Because of Dionysius’s calculations, a new calendar using B.C. and A.D. was born.

People who don’t like the reference to Jesus use the terms B.C.E (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era), but still use the same calendar that mark the incarnation of Jesus as their basis of a “Common Era”.

Even though Dionysius’ determination for Jesus’ birth wasn’t calculated until the sixth century, it was even later, in the eighth century, before most people used it. That was thanks to an eight century book on the history of the English people which used Dionysius’s dating system.  

Time trivia fact #2

The time it takes Earth to complete one orbit around the sun is 365.2422 days.

Julius Caesar sanctioned the Julian calendar in 46 BC. It was based on 365 days per year plus a leap day every four years. The average length of a year of the Julian Calendar was 365.25 days.

The difference between the 365.2422 day solar orbit and the 365.25 day Julian year adds up to an error of about one day every 128 years. That might not seem like much, but after using the Julian Calendar for sixteen centuries, the error had grown to twelve days.

The Gregorian Calendar is what we use now and is named after Pope Gregory XIII (13th)

Ok, this gets confusing, so stay in there with me.

In 1582, Gregory declared that three out of every four century years, (a century year being those years that are evenly divided by 100), those 3 years would not be not leap years. So, even though 1700, 1800, and 1900 would normally have been leap years, under the Gregorian calendar they were not, but 2000 was, and 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not leap years, but 2400 will be.

The removal of those three days from every 400 years brought down the average length of a calendar year to 365.2425 days, and reduced the error from about one day every 128 years to about one day every 3300 years.

This all assumes that the time it takes the Earth to complete one solar orbit remains constant at 365.2422 days, even though there is evidence that this may not be a good assumption.

Time trivia fact #3

Einstein’s theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as you might think. He suggested that the only true constant, is the speed of light. That means that time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are travelling.

The further you are away from the Earth’s surface the faster time occurs according to Einstein’s theory.

They have actually been able to measure the difference in time at sea level versus the time at 30,000 feet. The atomic clock calculated that for every 12 inches of elevation, 90 billionths of a second are added to a lifetime.

 Sign you up, right!

Here’s the kicker. GPS would not work if we didn’t know this.

That’s because time is faster for satellites than here on earth.

If this wasn’t taken into account, errors in global positions would continue to accumulate at a rate of about 10 kilometers each day (that’s more than 6 miles).

Now for Money

I hate to burst your bubble but what you think about money probably isn’t accurate either.

(Please hang in there, this is all going somewhere)

Most of us think that money has always been around, but not so.

Money trivia fact #1

The first official currency was minted in 600 B.C., in the country of Lydia by King Alyattes. The coins were made from electrum, a mixture of silver and gold that occurs naturally, and stamped with pictures that acted as denominations.

Money trivia fact #2

Europeans used coins as the main currency all the way up to the 16th century when the banks started using bank notes for depositors and borrowers to carry around instead of coins.

These notes could be taken to the bank at any time and exchanged for their face values in silver or gold coins. This paper money could be used to buy goods and operated much like currency today, but it was issued by banks and private institutions, not the government.

Money trivia fact #3

The first paper currency issued by European governments was actually issued by colonial governments in North America.

Because shipments between Europe and the colonies took so long, the colonists often ran out of money as operations expanded. Instead of going back to a barter system, the colonial governments used IOUs that traded as a currency.

The first instance was in the French colony of Canada. In 1685, soldiers were issued playing cards denominated and signed by the governor to use as cash instead of coins from France.

Money trivia fact #4

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the real was a Spanish silver coin, and was the currency for world trade. The English in the American colonies called it the ‘Spanish dollar’ and starting using it as their own.

Pieces of Eight are Spanish dollar coins that were minted in the Americas from the late 15th century through the 19th century. Made of silver, they were in nearly worldwide circulation by the late 19th century.  

They were still considered legal currency in the United States until 1857. The Spanish dollar coin was worth eight reales and could be physically cut into eight pieces, or “bits,” to make change — that’s where the term “pieces of eight” comes from that you may have heard in pirate movies.  

The dollar coin could also be cut into four sections of two bits each, and “two bits” became American slang for a quarter dollar, or 25 cents. The American dollar used today was based on the Spanish dollar.

Money trivia fact # 5

As some of you may know, the value of the US dollar used to be tied to a gold and silver standard, meaning that each paper dollar represented a certain amount of gold or silver that was stored in the Federal Reserve. A dollar bill in your pocket represented something tangible.

But that’s not true anymore. The US used the gold standard from 1834-1971. In 1971 we got off the gold standard. So today, what do you think that dollar bill is worth? Whatever the Federal Reserve says it is…based on nothing.

Don’t believe me? Pull a dollar bill out of your wallet and read what it says on the top of the front of the bill. It says Federal Reserve Note.

That money you work hard for and controls so much of your life is only worth whatever the Federal Reserve says it’s worth…and that could change in an instant.

By the way, did you notice there were more money trivia facts than time trivia facts? You know why?

That’s right, more people want more money than time these days.

So, what’s the point?

Imagine you went back in time 1000 years ago to England (there was no United States a 1000 years ago, and England was a brand-new kingdom). The year is 1021 AD. But is that 1021 AD in the Julian calendar or Gregorian calendar? Very good, Julian because Pope Gregory wasn’t even born yet.

Do you think anyone living then knew, or even cared, what year it was? If you told someone you had to be somewhere by 10 am would they have a clue what you were talking about?

How many people wore a watch?

For you millennials, a watch is what people used to tell time with before they had a smartphone.

OK, back to 1021 AD.

What would you use for currency? Could you use your credit card to buy lunch? How about that dollar bill in your wallet? Oh no, paper money wasn’t around yet either. There might have been some coins in the kingdom, but most people didn’t have any.

So, what are you supposed to use to buy stuff? Do they even get the concept of buying stuff? What stuff is there to buy?

Are you getting the point yet? Just because things are a certain way now, doesn’t mean it has always been that way, and will always be that way in the future.

Now imagine it is 1000 years from now. The year is 3021. Imagine trying to explain that you spend your time from 8 am to 5 pm, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year in a building, sitting at a desk with a computer and a keyboard so you can make money (whatever that is) to buy food, pay the rent, and hope to have a little left over to enjoy two days of freedom on a weekend.

They will probably think you are just as archaic as you think those English were in 1021.

At this point you might be thinking, So What?

The point is that Time and Money are both concepts that change, but your GIFT is real and it has value that doesn’t change.

So rather than trying to get more time or more money why not develop your GIFT?

This was expressed by Solomon, supposedly the wealthiest and wisest man to live, nearly 3000 years ago, when there was no money, and their idea of time was much different from ours.  He said:

“A man’s gift makes room for him
And brings him before great men.”

Not his money or his free time, his gift.

And even further back in time, in about 1400 BC, Moses said

 “ It is God  who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers.”

The Hebrew word that we translate as wealth does not mean money – money had not been invented yet. What he meant by wealth is a force – of men, means, or resources.

The point is that it is not time or money we should seek after. It is our GIFT that has value. Your GIFT is the force you need to get you the things you want from life, as well as the recognition you seek.

When you put that force into action you are employing your GIFT and beginning to Transform your life.