At The Company, we embrace concepts, ideas, and practices that prioritize efficiency and maximize the execution of mission. As such, we often step back and examine one of our most precious assets: time.
When you get right down to it, time is really all any of us truly own. Time is, in fact, the great equalizer. Time is our universal currency. Even though our measurements of time are purely artificial, we all measure time in the same way. A second means nothing to the universe, but it can mean everything to us. To date, we cannot create, change, or erase time – but we can choose how to live the time we have. Our time is the most vital essence. Our own time didn’t exist before we were born, and doesn’t apply once we pass. The proverbial clock starts at birth and marches ever forward, without regard for all it touches. If you’re living for tomorrow, you’re always a day behind.
Looking around the world today, you will see lots of people wasting their precious time. They may be focused on things that don’t truly bring value or benefit to themselves or the world around them, working more than they are living, or simply allowing the many carefully crafted distractions of today’s time consume the one thing they cannot get back. I am, by no means, above any of these. I’ve spent my time doing many things that really don’t provide any value, as I’m sure we all have. What I’ve learned and attempt to put into practice, is mindful awareness of time. Next time you are mindlessly scrolling through social media, watching a show that isn’t even that good, sitting in a meeting that could have been an email, or getting heated and ranting over something from the internet or the news – mindfully bring your conscious awareness away from those things and truly think about time. Are there things you want to do with your life that you’re letting slip through your fingers, because you’re distracted or caught up in things that aren’t a wise investment of your time? What changes can we make to our current situation that would help us spend our time in a way that leaves us feeling more fulfilled? Time can be utilized as an investment. Invest your time in those you love and care about. Invest your time into an education that will enable to you to do better for yourself and to reach the goals you set for yourself. Invest your time in work that fulfills you and brings out your joys and passions. To quote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – “It is time the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
Perspective is reality, so let mindful awareness of time guide and shape your perspective. Think of this mindful awareness as a pause button for life. It is effortless to be absorbed by the mundane busy-work of life. Stop, in the middle of doing anything, and focus acutely on the time you’re spending or investing right now. Is it worth the cost? If it is, enjoy it with passion and vigor. If it isn’t worth the cost, you have some work to do. For me, a great way to regain my desired perspective on life and how I’m using my time, is to go for a hike. Find a place to stop and admire the nature all around you. The beauty you see around you exists as it is, regardless of you or the way you’ve spent your time – and will continue to do so. Take a deep breath of fresh air, and reflect on the time you’ve spent to lead you to this moment. Think of how you can invest your time in things that truly make you happy. Leave it all there in the beauty of nature and go back to living your life, with intention. It all comes back to time. Your time. The world is competing for your time and you will never have enough.
As organizations and institutions, we must examine what’s important to us, what drives our mission, what defines our identity. And that is what we must use to drive forward. That’s what we must use to actualize our biggest goals.
“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.”