When asked “what’s the biggest mistake we make in life?” the buddha replied, “The biggest mistake is you think you have time.”
Time is free but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. And once its lost, you can never get it back.
The average person lives 78 years. We spend 28.3 years of our life sleeping. That’s almost a third of our life but 30% of us struggle to sleep well. We spend 10.5 years of our life working but over 50% of us want to leave our current jobs. Time is more valuable than money.
You can get more money, but you can never get more time. We spend 9 years on T.V. and social media. We spend 6 years doing chores. We spend 4 years eating and drinking. We spend 3.5 years in education. We spend 2.5 years grooming. We spend 2.5 years shopping. We spend 1.5 years in child care and we spend 1.3 years commuting.
That leaves us with 9 years. How will we spend that time?
Steve jobs said “your time is limited so don”t waste it living someone else’s life”.
So there is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is time flies, the good news is you are the pilot.
Imagine you wake up everyday with $86,400 in your bank account and at the end of the night, it’s all gone whether you spent it or not. And then the next day, you get another $86,400, what would we do with it?
Everyday 86,400 seconds are deposited into your life account. At the end of the day, once they are all used up you get a new 86,400 seconds. We would never waste it if it was money, so why do we waste it when it comes to time? Those seconds are so much more powerful than dollars because you can always make more dollars, you can’t always make more time.
To realize the value of 1 year, ask a student who failed a grade. To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who lost their child in the final month. To realize the value of 1 week, ask the editor of an online magazine. To realize the value of 1 hour, ask the couple who is in a long term relationship. To realize the value of 1 minute, ask the person who just missed a bus, train or plane. To realize the value of 1 second, ask the person who just missed an accident and to realize the value of a millisecond, ask the person who just came 2nd at the Olympics.
We think that it’s people wasting our time but it’s really us giving them the permission to do that and in reality, these 2 people live inside us. Don’t let someone be a priority when all you are to them is an option.
Some of us lose the people most important to us because we don’t value their time. Some of us don’t recognize how important someone is to us until they are gone.
Inside all of us are 2 voices. One voice that wants to uplift, one voice that want us to expand, one voice that want us to grow. And then there’s the other voice, the voice that holds us back, the voice that makes us lazy, the voice that makes us complacent, the voice that restricts us from our potential.
Everyday from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep, inside of us there’s this battle between the 2 voices. And guess which one wins? The one that we listen to the most. The one that we feed. The one that we amplify. It is our choice of how we use our time.
Life and time are the best two teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of time and time teaches us the value of life.