June 4, 2019
August 19, 2019

A portrait of an overslept girl in the morning



There are two categories in which we can place reasons for not being on time.

The first category is labelled – An act of God. In this category, we place all events and circumstances that happen that are beyond our control. You step into a lift and it isn’t there; the train gets a puncture; a jumbo jet lands in your lounge. These incidents are acts beyond your control, causing you to be late or not pitch up at all, and are all perfectly good excuses for not being on time.

The other (that almost everything else is placed into), is a category called the – I choose to be late category. Try to rationalize or justify any other reason for being late, and it boils down to you choosing to be late. If something is important enough or if the consequences are great enough, you would be on time.

If you are not on time, it means that you have chosen to not be on time. I can hear the objections and the excuses building in your brains. “What about traffic?” The funny thing about traffic is – that all the other people who are already in the meeting, at the place, waiting for you, had to take the same roads in order to get there! Don’t you love the person who is late for a meeting and blames the traffic. “How do you think we got here?”. Teleportation? NO! We just left earlier because we valued the meeting and had respect for the other participants in the meeting. If someone said that the meeting starts at 13:00, and that if you are one second late, the R10 million in cash which would have been waiting on your chair for you, would be lost forever. How many people would be late? Some people would actually sleep there the night before in case there was traffic or an act of God.



  • When you are late, you are disrespecting everybody waiting for you.
  • When you are late, you show no respect for your employer or other employees.
  • When you are late, you are physically demonstrating how un-important your job or fellow workers are to you.
  • When you are late for a family member, especially a child, you are screaming out to them with your actions, that they are not as important as your job or your hobby or your friends.
  • When you are late, you are stealing time and money from your employers.
  • When you are late, you are stealing time and money from your customers.
  • When you are late you demonstrate a poor work ethic, poor planning, poor preparation, selfishness and your dodgy personal character.
  • You do all of this and you alienate people by being just a few minutes late.

So, imagine being on time! Imagine arriving slightly early. Imagine the amount of respect, caring and goodwill you will earn. You see – everybody has a limited amount of time, that small “-“ that you see on a gravestone between your birth date, and your date of death. That small little dash relates to our small amount, and limited time that we have on this blue ball. Deep down we know and understand this and it is why we created this concept of time. Time is the central focus of all of our lives and it is limited and it’s the reason why people get so offended, upset and disappointed when you waste theirs.

From this day on, be the person who is always on time. It’s very easy to do. Just decide NOW that you will never be late for anything ever again. Then be amazed at how you seem to take control of your life and the stresses of “being late” disappear.



Isn’t it amazing how when you are late, you seem to attract the worst and slowest drivers that seem to almost intentionally drive in front of you? Firstly, they are not intentionally irritating you or going any slower than they normally would, it just seems so because you are late. Secondly, I believe it is the universe slowing you down to protect you, or even making you later so that you can learn to leave earlier the next time.



“Arriving late is a way of saying that your own time is more valuable than the time of the person waiting for you.”  Karen Joy Fowler

Have a great month!

Gavin – Motivational Speaker South Africa


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  1. Jabu says:

    Amazing piece of advice. Just so brilliant

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks Gavin,
    Some nice advice.
    Will certainly up my game and circulate to contacts, some may not like it, especially the serial offenders.

  3. Dawie Maree says:

    Thanx Gav. Can’t agree with you more. That is actually one of my aims in life – to always be where I need to be at least 5 minutes ahead of time. Get it right most of the time.

  4. Sharon says:

    Bloody brilliant and I will be sharing with my boss as we hate having such a problem with a few individuals who are constantly late. Thank you

  5. Darryl Joseph says:

    Thanks Gavin

    I always say it is simple” if you can’t be on time , just be early ”

    I will be sharing this with a few people ?

  6. Mark Liddy says:

    I couldn’t agree more. It is worth noting that the same people never seem to be late when catching a plane, train or bus.

  7. Bern says:

    Thx Gav.
    We should all lead by example and these are GREAT examples we can all learn from them.

    Will most definitely share.

  8. Khulani Cele says:

    Thanks Gavin, this piece just hit hard on me, it’s just so true and you just left me shaking how in how you honestly put it. From this minute I choose to change how manage my time keeping. Thanks again Gavin.

  9. Molly Feank says:

    That’s what I think about people being late. You show no respect for the meeting or the rest of the people in the meeting. It is totally disrespectful. ??

  10. Thelma says:

    What a stunning article and reality check. Thank you – I just love, love, love the article.

  11. Tracey says:

    Proper,thank you sir!!

  12. Jose says:

    Howzit Gavin, Hope you are well as per your usual self?.

    Have to completely agree wit the late issue, and it shows complete disregard for other peoples time. Really rubs me up the wrong way.

    Have a super duper awesome day.


    Jose De Matos

  13. Amelia Sequeira says:

    Absolutely agree Gavin! Thank you for a great article

  14. Juan says:

    As always – valuable ‘words of wisdom’ !

  15. Palesa says:

    Brilliant message Gavin , thank you

  16. Rachelle says:

    Well done Gavin, I always try to get this message through to our teams, but you’ve put it in such a way that it really hits the right strings!! Thanks, will definitely share!

  17. Cecelia Gerber says:

    Well said and absolutely 100% true

  18. René du Toit says:

    Hi Gavin,
    No change in your ability to send somebody to H… in such a way that they look forward to the journey.
    It’s been 22 years since I met you whilst in the mobile phone industry, well done, still going strong.

  19. Margi says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. No one believes excuses anyway.

    My best friend make no apologies and is always late. She just comes up with stupid comments like “you know me!” or “I’ve been busy” as if we aren’t busy.

    Usually it is for a dinner/lunch date where there is a lot of preparing to do to get the food on the table at the time I have specified to others.

    Now I just keep going for those that did bother to make it on time and if my friend is late, she is embarrassed as we have started without her.

    Hope she learns some day that Time waits for no man!

    Kind Regards

    Margie A

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