I heard this statement the other day and when I really analysed it, it changed the way I thought about almost every aspect of life –
“Time is a man-made concept used to keep human beings in sync, however it distracts us from being truly in tune with the world around us”
Let’s deconstruct the statement a little bit.
To really understand it, we must take a step back…
Time Isn’t Real
Those birthdays that we celebrate…
That 7-day period we call a week…
The hourly increments which dictates our lives …
School, work & all of our activities centre around this yearly thing we call a calendar.
This is all a human concept
Now, I know that it sounds like I’ve just taken a hit of something and lost my mind but please bear with me.
Just imagine for a second that we didn’t have this ‘time’ concept.
Instead of having to try and learn everything about a subject by the exam at 1PM on Wednesday you didn’t have to rush to cram it all.
You had more time to refine your knowledge. You could explore any areas that you didn’t understand, and you could actually learn what was important.
Imagine that instead of being forced into that crappy job you didn’t really want to do at 21 straight out of university, you had the ability to just take a while to think and focus on what you truly enjoyed.
So many times we do things to appease our parents and be able to show to those around us that we are ‘succeeding at life’… at least according to people our age.
The understanding that time is not real is a liberating thought.
Instead of having to adhere to the social conventions that surround us…
Start driving with your L’s at 16… Graduate school at 18… Finish uni & get a grad job at 21… Get married at 25… Be a parent by 30
It seems like so much of our life is following a path that we had no choice in setting.
How does this make sense when we all develop at different rates & have different passions?
Visualise a world when we could look past the concept of time – where it didn’t matter.
A world where we could focus inwards on what was important to us.
Imagine if it didn’t matter about the world’s expectations.
There’s a famous saying that goes – “You need to destroy the idea that there’s an expectation to do things by a certain age. You don’t have to be married with kids at 25. It’s okay to not have your dream job at 30 or to not have graduated by 22. There are no rules to life. Life is neither a race, nor a competition”
We are all at different stages and develop differently depending on the circumstances and situations that we grow up with.
Imagine the type of subjects you might have been willing to take in your final year VCE studies if you had no time pressure to sit for exams in 12 months.
What if you knew could take a little bit longer to learn the concepts that you actually enjoyed?
Now of course, I understand that this is a utopian view.
Time is a necessary constraint to ensure that things get done and objectives are achieved.
What I’m suggesting is that we choose to do what we love instead of what seems practical.
You think learning that new language is too hard?
Just start right now… 1 new word a day over 5 years of 365 days = 1825 words.
In anyone’s books you would be fluent by then.
We can never discount the effect of compounding work and now that we understand that time is merely a construct made by humans we can work in the understanding that there is no rush.
We just need to stick at whatever we choose to do & work in the knowledge that time will pass.
Too often, we allow the fear of failure to stop us from pursuing what we truly do.
Michael Jordan said – “I never lost a game, I just ran out of time”
Well if we reframe our thoughts to the notion that there is no time we will never lose.
We have a blank canvas.
A free shot.
Failure is not final, failure is not fatal.
We can now try all those passions and dreams that we hold inside our heart.
We have the knowledge that we can try again & again until we finally master what we choose to do.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
An expert is merely a beginner who never gave up and tried one more time.
Go forth & prosper.
Start that new class, open that new business, pick up that new sport.
There is no limit on what we can do and now there is no limit on the time that we have to succeed either.
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If you haven’t yet, please check out my first posts – Introduction: Who is Nahu, The Night I Almost Died, Life Without a Father, Stories From The Street, Filter Bubbles, The Growth Mindset & My Biggest Fear!