Hello there, beautiful people.
I’m sure you’ve heard or read the following lie before:
“You have the same 24 hours as Beyonce.”
Um, yeah. Actually, no. You don’t have the same 24 hours. You don’t even have 24 hours. Beyonce doesn’t either. If you subtract the 8 hours that we’re supposed to be sleeping, and the 10 hours that many of us spend working for someone else and commuting, we are left with 6.
How you spend those 6 hours is largely dependent upon your family composition and household obligations (ok, let’s call them labors of love), extra-curriculars, and whatever else you’ve got going on. Oh, you have a newborn? You attend night school? You work a second job? You’re going to have to do your own math then, sweetheart. I majored in journalism, and you’ve got too many instances where I’ll have to carry a 1.
The point is, you don’t have 24 hours.
I understand what that phrase is hinting at, but it’s inaccurate and careless. There are just too many variables for that line of thinking to work. If you and Beyonce have the same obligations and the same schedule, then I suppose you could allow an uninterested party like the Interwebs to compare the results of her time and effort with yours.
Beyonce isn’t cranking out college papers, or watching her neighbors’ kids because they couldn’t find a babysitter. She isn’t doing her own grocery shopping, folding laundry, sitting on hold to pay a bill before the lights are cut off, waiting for the cable guy, cooking dinner every night and breakfast the next day, or walking home alone late at night because she missed the last bus.
This doesn’t give you permission to allow your circumstances to act as excuses, but we can’t very well ignore them either. You’re trying. Give yourself a break!
Why does that quote bother me so much? Because it wreaks of the potential to make someone feel less than. Sure, someone might read that quote and feel inspired to work harder or manage their time more wisely.
Someone else might read that quote and say, “Gee, Beyonce and I have the same hours in the day. Look what she has, and look at what I have. I must be doing something wrong.
The message doesn’t uplift. It confuses, and it compares.
We don’t know if Beyonce is happy. We don’t know if Beyonce is living her life on her own terms. Hopefully she is. We don’t know how many hours Beyonce has each day to work on her own goals, if she really woke up like that, or how many hours she sleeps. We can definitely take a few lessons from Beyonce on work ethic (the woman works hard), but don’t fall into the trap of comparing what you know (your own life) with what you don’t (someone else’s). It’s a waste of time, and potentially detrimental to your self-esteem.
Do what you can with the time you have. If you have 6 hours, spend those 6 hours diligently working toward your goals. If you have 16 hours, do the same. If you only have 30 minutes each day uninterrupted, break down your goals into however many 30-minute steps it takes, and work toward your goals each and every day.
We all have 24 hours, but we don’t all have the same 24 hours. Use your time wisely, and do your personal best. Let Beyonce be Beyonce.
One quote we can all use as inspo:
“I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it.” – Beyonce
Now if you’ll excuse me, my lunch break is over.