“Rich people have big libraries. Poor people have big televisions.”
This quote from American entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn may be amusing but to a great extent, it is true.
According to a 2012 survey by top market research firm Kantar Media, 80 percent of the 19 million Filipino homes have a TV set. Further, 40 percent watches TV during primetime and spends an average of five hours on it during weekdays. With an average of four to five family members, that’s a whole lot of people glued to the tube and a huge chunk of time invested on something that has little to no bearing at all in their daily lives! One cannot help but wonder how much this habit contributes to our continuing plight of being a third-world country.
Spending time watching TV is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, it does help us unwind, bond with the family, and be entertained. However, unless our source of income is directly related to watching TV shows which I highly doubt is the case for most of us, spending so much of it every single day takes a toll on our productivity, even just in relation to our household chores and the most mundane of our tasks.
Think about it. How much time do you actually spend watching TV in a day? If it’s more or less 5 hours, I encourage you to try a little experiment. Consciously limit your TV time to a total of, say, two or three hours a day for a month. Then, spend those saved hours doing productive things for yourself and your family, or even for the community. Try that dessert recipe you’ve always wanted to do. Enroll in a free online course. Brush up on those craft-making skills. Map out the action plan for that start-up business in your head. You will soon realize how much you can achieve if you just make use of your precious time wisely.
One thing common to truly successful people is that they have a deeply-ingrained habit of using their time doing what really matters and constantly improving on whatever it is they’re good at to make their lives and the lives of people around them, better.
While it is true that corruption has much to do with the Philippines being poor, it is also true that the quality of our individual lives really depends on nobody else but ourselves and the choices we make. I believe that we all have a chance to prosper no matter what our economic status is at the moment, if we learn to put more work and resourcefulness into the 24 hours given to us each day.
Cut your TV time. Except perhaps for getting a little left behind on the latest melodrama or the latest buzz from this comedian or that talk show host, you will be surprised to know that you aren’t missing anything much at all.