“The two most powerful warriors …
Patience and time.”
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Those two quotes by Leo Tolstoy and William Penn, respectively, perfectly encapsulate the tempestuous relationship we have with time.
How often have you said to yourself … why didn’t I do this sooner?!
Or even a simple realization like … holy shit, is it really September of 2022 right now?!
Time has a way of slapping us in the face when we least expect it.
Even though, when asked, we always give the corporate answer about how much we value time.
Ask anyone who has lost someone they love whether they’d pay for more time with that person, and you’ll get an immediate and resounding YES.
And yet, it’s a currency we spend with reckless abandon, even though it’s the only currency we cannot acquire more of.
Time influences our mental and emotional states.
Depression is often a focus on the past. Living in the rearview mirror.
Anxiety is often a focus on the future. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong.
We’re often grappling with time that has already passed. Time that is about to pass. And avoiding the only thing that brings us peace …
Time in this very moment.
Personally, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life.
There are plenty of things that I regret and would do differently if I were given the opportunity for a redo.
Acceptance of time that has passed is important. I cannot change those mistakes that I made but I must accept that I did those things.
More importantly, I can learn the lessons from those decisions and use them to make better decisions in the future.
Many of those mistakes have shaped who I am and who I will become.
This is another funny thing with humans and time …
If I ask you to look back 10 years at how much you’ve changed and grown, you’d probably say it’s been a total transformation.
The person you are now is vastly different from the person you were 10 years ago.
However, if I ask you to predict how much change you’ll experience in 10 years from now, you’ll grossly underestimate it.
This is a cognitive bias that we all have. We recognize past change but we predict future change really poorly.
Even though we know it already happened in a 10 year span, we can’t imagine more change occurring in the next 10 years. We assume we’ll be relatively the same as we are now.
Which is a big part of why, in my opinion, so many people avoid making the decisions they need to make to create the change they want to see.
And as a result, end up tossing away more time as if it’s an unlimited resource.
How are you investing your time?
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
I speak to people all the time who say they want change.
They want to change the way they look or the way they feel. They want to change their relationship with food, the way they perform, or the example they set for their kids.
Often times they struggle with the time they wasted doing fad diets and programs that were ineffective.
Which I can completely understand since I did the exact same thing.
I used to think … that’s almost 10 years of my life that I can never get back.
That thought process can lead to a negative feedback loop that’s not too dissimilar from how depressive-like symptoms present themselves.
Instead, consider the lessons that were learned during that time. And how much you’ve grown and changed since then.
Consider that you no longer identify with that person who made those decisions.
That you now value things like sustainability and enjoying the process.
The other issue that often comes up is indecision.
I know I need this and I want this change … but I’m afraid.
So I do nothing. I delay, I avoid, I deflect.
And in doing so, I pay with the most valuable currency on earth …
So many people choose to pay in time instead of money.
Which isn’t right or wrong …
But having awareness is key.
Because the number one comment I hear from people who were afraid to make a decision … and then eventually realize that they need to get started is …
I wish I did this sooner.
Why didn’t I do this when we first spoke?
I can’t believe I allowed so much time to pass.
Part of me wants to say … yeah, I tried to tell you lol. But I’m not that mean (at least not all the time).
But humans have a fucked up relationship with time and not everyone can be saved.
In fact, the goal is not to save everyone. We can only help those who are willing to be helped.
The bottom line is this …
You may want to change right now. You may have a goal or a result that has been eluding you for a while and you desperately want to achieve it.
You know what achieving it would mean for you and how much better you’d feel.
But you’ve also been on this roller coaster ride for a while so you have a hard time making a decision.
And to that I’ll say …
I get it. I’ve been there.
Nothing will change unless YOU change.
But the fact remains that if you don’t change and you don’t make a decision and you don’t do things differently … then you’re paying the ultimate price (more time wasted).
The negative emotions that come to the surface mean that you’re not focusing on the present moment.
This is all that matters. Right now.
If you decide today … you’ll see progress in 2 weeks.
If you decide today … you’ll feel a big difference in 4 weeks.
If you decide today … you’ll be unrecognizable in 52 weeks.
On the flip side, if you choose to punt … you’re quite literally burning time by the second.
This isn’t some motivational bullshit.
I’m not one for rah-rah speeches.
This is simply a stream of conscious message about how we can all get better with our relationship with time.
Make it a great day.