The one thing that we all have in common is time. It doesn’t matter if you are the wealthiest person in the world or the poorest. You cannot buy more time. So time is the most precious asset we have. Children don’t think too much about time because they have lots of it but the older we become, the more scarce that asset becomes.
We don’t know how much time we have left on this planet but we like to think we will live a long and healthy life. But we don’t know. In the song, “The Dance” Garth Brooks sings “How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye, And now I’m glad I didn’t know The way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance.” The pathways, outcomes and length of our lives is not revealed to us. It probably is better this way as, if we knew the outcome, we would be tempted not to dance or even put our dance shoes on.
Just for the purposes of this though, let’s imagine we will live until we are 100 years of age. In 100 years, there are 36,500 days, 876,000 hours so over 52 million minutes. I don’t even know if I’ve got that right but we have a lot of minutes to live our lives. Of course, 1/3 of those minutes will be spent sleeping so are not available to us. Then there is the time spent eating, getting ready for the day, travelling to work, visiting the bathroom, etc. All activities that reduce our allocated time considerably. And we continue to waste this incredible asset without asking whether the current activity is the best use of our time. To use it better, be mindful of what you are doing. Be present in this moment. If you are enjoying the moment, then one could argue that time is not wasted. Listen to audiobooks, podcasts in the car, the train and/or the bathroom. This multi-tasking might offer increased use of time.
If time is our most precious and valuable asset, it is the greatest gift you can give to others and to self. Our modern lifestyle appears to mean we are busy, busy, busy all the time. We are too busy to have friends, it seems. Too busy to care. Too busy to pick up the phone and ask if someone is okay. And that excuse is perfectly acceptable and understood. The kids attend 30 minute piano class, then bundled back in the car and taken to swimming lessons before frantically completing homework and racing to bed. No wonder we are all often exhausted. Perhaps we could use give a little of our time to help someone out without expecting reward, to give unselfishly of ourselves. We could call a loved one and really listen to them. Take a walk in nature to appreciate our world. We could take valuable time out for ourselves to meditate, reboot and reflect on our lives, on what is important to us and how we could better use the allocated time.
Be generous with your time.