Time…………Does it fly?
Project Barbados – Vision 2030#
Barbados the healthiest place to live! More to come on that, but I digress for a bit to share on something else that I hope you can find useful at an individual level or it may be useful to someone you know. Please share.
Time has been a phenomenon that has always consumed my thoughts. It is a resource and a concept that can be elusive to grasp. In recent weeks, the concept has come rushing back to me and after some reflection and conversations, my thoughts have crystalized and I feel compelled to write and share.
Time is the resource that has so many clichés to describe its impact on us; like, time waits for no man, a stitch in time saves nine, time lost cannot be regained and there is no time like the present. Many of these maxims put us into a race with time.
In fact, the resource is dichotomous because in one breath we can say we don’t have enough time and in another we can say we so have much of it, we have a lifetime. For me, time has immediacy attached to it; however, it also connotes longevity. On reflection of these conflicting but real positions, I have finally been able to categorize time in two buckets: Time which refers to the immediacy of time – the here and now, what we do today, what we do tomorrow, what we do on Monday and Time which refers to the Arc of Time which is about legacy and history. It is a manifestation of our values over a longer period.
These two competing perspectives are both very important as they get us to act and at the same time, allows us some forgiveness to realize that we have a chance to make up for lost opportunities. I think these two perspectives are so vitally important because one allows us to drive into action while the other one stops us from driving ourselves crazy and making self-destructive decisions.
“The immediacy of time”, it is true that we do not have tomorrow on reserve; there is no guarantee, so there is every reason why we should live everyday like it is our last day. It is the reason why we should enjoy life, why we should take decisions daily to make a difference in the lives of people around us. It is the reason we should avoid procrastination and inertia. I recently heard a beautiful phrase, “they are many more Mondays than Months”; the speaker meant that we can always take a decision to make that change on Monday.
I would even go further to say that they are many more todays than tomorrows, so we can always take a decision to make a change today. The immediacy of time gives us the option to deal with our life decisions in the here and now. Why wait? Just go for it! Live life! This is the important aspect of time to get us from our comfort zone and keeps us moving and contributing; what can be deemed as living life with and on purpose.
“The arc of time”, it is critical to recognize the soothing and healing nature of time. This is where we get the phrase, time is the great healer. The arc of time unscrambles the mad rush that sometimes exist in our lives, anxieties we put ourselves under. The people who can best explain the arc of time are the older folks among us because they have lived long enough to realize that some things we agonize over in the immediacy of time are so insignificant in the grand scheme of life.
When we miss a deadline, fail an exam, hold a grudge, lament over relationships that ended sour, the misfortunes and even mistakes we will encounter; all of these matters prove to be very insignificant upon reflection, in the arc of time. The big caveat I need to add though is that we need to learn from the events resulting from the immediacy of time and take corrective actions to change those experiences into the stepping stones for future success.
Ironically, the arc of time tends to take care of the immediacy of time, if we give ourselves a break to reflect, to learn, to grow and take different decisions on the next occasion. How we therefore respond to set-backs, to life’s daily challenges, navigate our relationships, even how we cope and bounce back from situations altogether turns out to be the story of our life and without even recognizing it, creates the elements of our legacy.
In the end, time really is about perspectives and how we prepare our minds to deal with success, expectations, loss, misfortune, what we prioritize, how we prioritize, how we deal with the regular challenges along our life walk, in the present. But, it is also necessary to realize that, time is longer than twine, the arc is vast enough to accommodate second and even third chances. As human beings we are resilient, we have proven and tested abilities to adapt, to learn, to re-learn, to change and to grow.
Therefore, my conclusion is summed up in a newly coined maxim: Time is a measurement of our values and not only a value of measurement.