Time moves the same for every human. None of us can speed it up, slow it down, or stop it. What varies wildly is our relationship to it and how we exist within it. Humans in every era seem to struggle with time. Here’s Seneca, born around 4 BC – “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough […] if well invested.” Seneca’s writings in On The Shortness of Life contain some of my favorite musings on time.
So how do we invest it well? Seneca is clear on what it doesn’t look like. “life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.” If your relationship to time is fear for what’s to come and not being present in the now, life will be over before you know it. And not enjoyed that much along the way. I see many in the modern workforce chained to their desks, another mind numbing day passing, anxious about what tomorrow might bring. This is not the way. Their achievements are coming at the cost of life.
The way to live life fully and soak up what we’re given? Honor the past and learn from the ages – read and study the greats. Use the present – decide what moments matter the most to you and soak them up. Do not let them fly by unacknowledged and half experienced. Get clear and be intentional about where and how you use and experience the present. Anticipate the future with joy knowing you’re baby stepping toward a vision you believe in. Toward your OPUS.
Do you have an OPUS worth spending your time and life on? I do, and it gets clearer every day. Keep writing, rinsing, clarifying. It takes time. I know of no better way to use the time I’ve been given. Giddy. Up.