Retail stores are beginning the Black Friday sales early this year as they open their doors on Thanksgiving evening. While many consumers will scurry through the aisles in search of sale items, it makes me wonder if our culture has lost touch with what’s truly valuable. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shopping. However, I also realize that there’s a gift that no Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale can offer, and that is time. Lately, the gift of time seems to be rare in our “always on the go” culture.

As I begin to reflect on my goals for 2012, I realize that I need to make a shift in priorities. I’m a successful business owner, so I would typically focus on expanding my business and bringing in more revenue for 2012. While this is still a priority to me, I am making the decision not to put it at the top of my priority list. If business growth and increasing revenue were to be at the top of my priority list, by default that would lead to a decrease in quality time that I spend with loved ones. So, for 2012 I am going to place things of non- monetary value at the top of my list. Now this does not necessarily mean that I will receive less in return. I truly believe that when I give of myself to others in quality time & service, the blessings will flow back to me. It’s the natural order of the universe, what you put out comes back to you multiplied. So instead of solely thinking from the mindset of what I want to achieve or receive, I am going to make a shift to focus on what I can give. I realize that this is an unorthodox way of approaching goals, especially in regards to business. The typical belief is that growth & prosperity are the direct result of hours dedicated to work or business, and in return, the benefits are the accumulation of “things” that can be bought with money.

Perhaps, as a culture we have our priorities twisted a bit. The laws of capitalism state that growth & prosperity comes from countless hours of work. However, spiritual laws state that growth & prosperity comes from using your life to be a blessing unto others. I believe that there is a happy balance between the two. However, many of us (including myself) weigh heavier on the side of being so busy from work, and can make more of an effort to shift to the side of dedicating more quality time to others. So this holiday season, you won’t find me scurrying through the aisles of retail stores. I’m going to take a step back to breathe in the moment, focus more on spiritual growth, and offer my friends & family the rare gift that they would consider most valuable to them… my time.

Author's Bio: 

Tamara Shirer is the Founder & CEO of Born For Greatness Youth Empowerment Resources. Prior to that, she spent 11 years working as a Child/Adolescent Social Worker & School Counselor. For More Information about Born For Greatness Youth Empowerment Resources, visit: