The truth is, most of us have a pretty adversarial relationship to time.
There’s never enough. We’re always behind. It goes by too fast. We can’t do important things because we don’t have enough time.
None of it is helpful. Most of it is bullshit.
Let’s take the first one: there’s never enough time. This is powerful because there’s some truth to it: time is limited and precious. We will die, and while we don’t know how much time we have left in this life, we do know that it’s limited. It’s helpful to remember that we must make the most of our limited time!
But time is also abundant. Think of the past few years — it might seem like they passed really quickly, but actually we had so many hours we can’t count them. We had a huge abundance of hours. Maybe we didn’t spend them wisely (I know I misspent quite a few hours), but we had plenty of time. We still do, today and this month and this year.
The key is to see this abundance, and feel it in your body. It’s like the abundance of oxygen in the air all around us: it’s limited and precious, but we have plenty of it and can breathe freely and with joy. In some situations, oxygen is so limited that it can be life-threatening … but most of the time, we have more than enough for our needs.
That’s true of time. We have more than enough for our needs. We can do amazing things with the time we have — look at da Vinci and Gandhi and Rosa Parks and Tolstoy and Curie. It’s not about how much time we have, but how we use it, how we experience it.
With that said, I’d like to propose a handful of ways we can shift so that we can master our relationship with time.