Time is a limited commodity allotted to us depending on how long we live in our human form. It is the only resource in nature which can neither be stored nor transferred to next birth if you believe in reincarnation. The concept of time is a reality only in the human species and is a non-existent entity in all lower rung of creation. I believe that the animals have no concept of time which is evident from the relaxed way they live and relate with the environment. If it is true that they are conscious of time, we will find animals going around and aggrandizing wealth like us. We don’t find rat race among rats and it is the only privilege of humans! We destroy health in pursuit of wealth and spend all the wealth to recover the health back! This is the result of our wrong concept of “TIME”. Let me deal with it more in detail in this article.
Science defines time as the interval between two events. When one is in coma, he is not conscious of time. For recognizing time, we need to be conscious and Einstein in his theory of relativity defines time as a relative quantity depending on our state of mind. For example, when we are dating our girl or boy friend, we don’t recognize how the time passes by. On the other hand, when we are bored or waiting for our boy/girl friend, even a minute looks like a day. This leads to the argument that time is NOT what the clock ticks and lot to do with what our state of mind!
Depending on how much we value time, we use it for productive or un-productive purposes. Whether we are conscious or not, the time will deplete continuously. I am sixty now and looking back at my adulthood where I felt there was enough time to do things. To my surprise, I could not figure out how fast it has disappeared? Looking back, there were silver lines of achievements, strained relationships, and missed opportunities. If I can re-live my life with my current wisdom, I may make better use of my life than what I did.
Alas, the mistakes committed in life over the time become the so called wisdom. The distinction between knowledge and wisdom is, the former is borrowed from other’s mistake and latter is the result of your own. There is an anonymous quote “Learn from other’s mistake, as you may not have enough time in your life to make all of them yourself!”
When we take stock of the situation in our death bed, we regret for the unlived life and relationship which we have missed and it is not wise to wait till then as it will be too late to remedy any of our folly. Rajneesh Osho once said “You cry when your parents or spouse departs from the earthly abode only for the un-lived part of your life with them – if you have lived life fully with them, you will say good bye to them saying it is your turn now and I shall see you in the heaven later!” - It is all depending on how conscious we are about this fleeting phenomenon called “Time”. He also said “Just imagine that your spouse is going to live only for the next six months and live life with him/her with the feeling you have very limited time with them”.
I remember one of my relatives whose wife was diagnosed with heart ailment and I have seen her husband treating her like a princess. Strangely she lived for nearly 20 years with a loving husband. We make New Year resolutions to stop smoking or over eating and flout the same waiting for the next year. At the same time, if we are diagnosed with terminal illness, we trade off everything for life! Strange is it not? The point I am making is; our behaviour is the result of how we relate with the time – if we feel it is in abundance, we tend to be indifferent; on the other hand, if we feel it is a scarce commodity, we tend to use it better.
What is the main point for action?
We were almost un-conscious of time while we were in our mother’s womb. Once we are in the earthly abode, we are playful till we are pushed into the competitive world in the play school. In the popular movie “3 idiots”, the director says that our competition has started when we competed with billions of sperms to find a place in our mother’s womb. Later, we are busy with our fantasy till we recognize our identity which happens during our teen ages. Like this time passes by in our formative years.
The struggle goes on with parents and teachers mostly rebelling against systems till we reach 23. We are brought to ground reality during this age (not guaranteed for all!). This is the time our identity is completed and we start seeing the sense of taking responsibility. In other words between 13 and 23 it is identity crisis and between 23 and 30 it is the formation of stature to develop the ability to take responsibilities. This is the stage where parents lose their ability for the formation of stature of their off-springs.
At the most the father can be a conduit to provide opportunities and mentor them. In vast majority of the cases the parents have no competency to do the same and the children are left with their own initiatives to form their personality. I believe this stage in life is very crucial as vast majority of the leadership qualities are imbibed during this period. The one who misses this age remains ignorant for the rest of the life.
The next precious phase in our life is 30 to 40, during which period we develop vocational & people management skills. Many of us cannot transition from technical to general management skills and reach our level of incompetence at the end of this phase. The last phase of our professional career is from 40 to 60 where we are supposed to be ready to lead an organization. As we progress higher in the corporate ladder, lesser is the number of positions and unless otherwise we are the best, we get side-lined to settle down in the lower rung of the ladder.
Many of us develop the habit of Procrastination which means delaying things for no reasons and it is one of those modern days’ diseases which is haunting the human race. We make best use of the time only when we are conscious of Time. If not, it depletes in indulgences, sleep, gossips, blaming etc., and when we are in the death bed, we regret for all the procrastinations for not achieving enough with this precious opportunity of taking a human form in the earthly abode.
I did an analysis some time back as how we spend our life time in productive and un-productive way. If we live for 60 years in this earthly abode, we spend:
- Sleeping : 17.5 Years
- Travel : 6.4 Years
- Quarrel, upset etc. : 7.5 Years
- Eating, bathing etc. : 5.0 Years
- Gossiping : 5.0 Years
- Holidays : 6.5 Years
- Education : 5.0 Years
- Total : 53.0 Years
- Effective usage : 7.0 Years
- (11% of total life span)
- Time is the only commodity democratically allotted equally to all of us.
- Time is the only resource which cannot be stored or transferred
- It is the rarest resource that needs to be spent prudently
- Formative years from 23 to 30 are very crucial – beware of this precious time
- Don’t procrastinate – postpone things to next day which can be done today; because you may not have tomorrow to do them!
- How you relate with time decides your paradigm for relationship and your behaviour with the loved ones and human beings at large
- Life will be merciless with you if you waste your time and unproductive
- Don’t think you have lot of time to start later! As you wink your eyes, you will be sixty!
- Learn from other’s mistake and live life wisely as you may not have time to commit all mistakes yourself
- Live life as though you have very limited time in store.
o Scarcity mentality with respect to time is the best way to push you to use Time prudently.
o Don’t apply abundance mentality with respect to time because you have only one day to live and that is TODAY