When asked “What is 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 it’s 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. 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’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is time flies; the good news is you’re the pilot. Imagine you wake up every day 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’re 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 1 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’s in a long distance 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. 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’re gone.
Inside all of us are 2 voices – 1 voice that wants to uplift, 1 voice that want us to expand. 1 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.
Every day 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. And as William Shakespeare said, “Time is very slow for those who want, very fast for those who are scared, very long for those who are sad, and very short for those who celebrate, but for those who love, time is eternal.”