Motivation Monday....make it happen!
Fall is officially here. This morning for the first time I can feel the crisp air and smell the sweet scent of rain on the pavement. I love it. This is my favorite time of year so I go out of my way to pay attention to everything around me in nature and cherish it. The changing leaves, the warm days, cool nights and light sprinkles of rain. If I could capture this moment in time and keep reliving it, I would. With that, it seems like the more I focus on enjoying the changing of the season, the faster it all goes by. I remember when I was young and everyone told me that time goes by fast, I did not understand it until now.
Recently it hit me. Memories that I think happened a few months ago actually occurred years ago to my astonishment (thanks Time Hop for popping up memories on Facebook and freaking me out). It's almost as if I've been an outside observer of my own life and have not been present for all that goes on. What I am starting to understand more than ever is that I can not wait to be happy or to enjoy life once I reach a goal.
I've heard so many people say it but I did not know it until now. This is it. This is the journey. All of the ups, downs, focus, hard work, enjoyment and fun is life. There is no goal to reach, no imaginary place to get to, only the here and now. Knowing that now is the only time, I am content with all that I do. It's inspiring to push myself and try something new each day because I always ask myself "if not now, when?". There is no other time.
The purpose of this post is not to scare you about the limited time you have here on earth but to remind you that life does move fast and you need to enjoy it now. The next time you start to question if you should do something ask yourself "if not now, when?". Your answer may just be, that "now is the only time, so do it!" Here is a great article I came across years ago on "The Value of Time". Enjoy!
Have any tips on how you stay present? Please share below, let's help each other out! Cheers to enjoying the present wherever you may be in your life.
Tip: Every morning (well most of the time :)) I try to drink my coffee in silence. No phone. Sometimes I will read or write but I stay away from electronics for at least 30 minutes to an hour. If it's nice outside I sit and listen to the birds chirp. Inside, I will listen to inspiring music or clean up a little area in my house so it looks nice and tidy.
This is not written by me. It's an article that I came across at a watch repair shop several years ago. When I read it, I was quite moved. Apparently the article had an affect on a lot of people because the watch repair man had photo copies of the original article on hand and he shared one with me. I've kept the photo copy in my art room for years wondering how and where to share it. I've looked online to see if the article was published somewhere else that I could link to, but have not been able to find it. I tried to look up the writer and contact him for permission but I could not get in touch. If anyone knows him or has a contact please let me know. I would love if he would re-publish the article himself somewhere for all to read and where I could link to.
The Value of Time by Charley Reese
Originally featured in Contra Costa Times on December 26, 1997
Charley Reese is listed in the original article as a writer for King Features Syndicate Inc.
"When each human being is born God opens a checking account in his name and makes a single deposit. The currency is more valuable than gold or platinum. It's time.
Now this celestial life account operates quite differently from human checking accounts. There is only one deposit. The account holder can draw on it, but he cannot add to it. No deposits are allowed. No interest is paid.
The most intriguing thing about it is we are never allowed to know the balance in our accounts. We just write checks on it until suddenly one day we are notified that the balance is zero and the account is closed.
Time also differs from human currency, like dollars. When buying something with money, we can take it back and get a refund. When we spend time, there is no refund, no exchange, no credit. Whatever we spend our time on, we are stuck forever. Hours spent watching television, for example, cannot be reclaimed and relived. We have paid units of life for the view, and for better or worse that's what we get - memories of sitcoms or ball games.
Money can be invested and we can earn more money but time cannot. No matter what we do we cannot increase the balance in our life account by a single second. We can only draw it down. Even if we do nothing but sit in a corner and start out the window, we are spending time units and drawing down our balance,
Contrary to popular and profitable misconceptions, we cannot manage or save time. No matter what we do it flows away at the same steady inexorable rate. All we can do is choose what activities we will pursue during the flow of our time units. We can control ourselves but not time.
Time units do share one thing in common with money. If we have $1 billion, then $1 seems insignificant. This psychological phenomenon has a name in economics jargon 101, but I can't recall it. It just means that the more we have of something, the less valuable each individual unit seems. And "seems" is the key word, for we are talking about perception not reality.
When we are young and imagine that we have a large balance in our life account, then time doesn't seem all that valuable. We perceive that we have so much of it, we don't think twice about idling away or even wish fretfully that it would pass more quickly.
It's only later, when our account has been drawn down a good bit and when we have seen other people's accounts closed, that in retrospect we sometimes regret the choices we made.
The samurai, that stern warrior class that ruled Japan for centuries, had a solution for the problem of discounting the value of time. The samurai would begin his day meditating on his own death. He would even visualize all the ways he could die that very day.
That may sound morbid but it's really a jolly good idea. This crazy, materialistic world is obsessed with planning - daily plans, weekly plans, five-year plans, retirement plans. The tricky thing about plans is that they lead you to assume that you will be around to complete them, though in fact, at any given moment, we don't know if the balance in our life account is five minutes or five years.
Visualizing our own death to start the day will clear away the false assumption that we have all the time in the world. It would help us to appreciate the day we have. It spurs us to decide what is really important and what isn't. It's a reminder that sharing money is far less generous than sharing time because money is replenishable, but time is not.
Funny thing is, children know this while most adults don't."