“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time” – Leo Tolstoy
“Time is money” “Lost time is never found again” – Benjamin Franklin
It might be the most expensive element in the world that you can’t buy. Time has always been an elusive concept.
No day goes by without time being a major factor that dictates all the comings and goings of said day.
We’re always looking to save time, or sometimes spend it, depending on the situation.
Expressions such as “A waste of time”, “Time is of the essence” and many more highlight how much civilization has valued this puzzling element.
On a large scale, most of us look for ways to save time since we’re always caught up with so many things during the day. We try to save that time so we can “spend” it somewhere else.
That still remains true, but it is no longer the big picture of how humans interact with time. A major shift has occurred in the dynamic. Yes of course you’ve guessed it.
Since the coronavirus pandemic emerged in late 2019, one country after another has been asking its citizens to stay home and quarantine. This the 21st century is generally recognized by its hectic non-stop lifestyle. With distances becoming virtually nonexistent, we’ve been trying to fit more and more things in the day.
Now the world is faced with something that few of us could have thought they’d have to deal with, how to spend all of this extra time?
You only need check the notifications on your smartphone to see one way to do that. The internet has been a huge refuge for us all. Whether it’s to check up on our loves ones or to see the latest hilarious twenty second challenge.
While everyone went about to see how best to spend their time, as one would expect, many differences became apparent. It is expected that with our diversity, everyone would have their own way of passing the time. However, an entirely different discussion arose.
Between personal trainers posting their workouts online, and everyone sharing the latest online courses to pursue, a lot of people set out to make the best use off their time. High achievers, anyone who had a regular busy schedule immediately sought to make sure they come out of quarantine healthier, smarter or ahead in their careers.
On the other hand, many had a different approach. Between binging their favorite shows and learning to cook or trying their hand at a new viral trend, these people took a more laid-back approach to this excess in time.
Some in the first party see the others as wasteful, lazy or not serious about their lives. While in the second party, they see the former as wound up and prefer to rest and relax.
And like in any math problem, there’s X and Y, but there’s also Z.
Z represents those who are stuck in the middle.
They see that being at home might be a good opportunity to rest from their busy workloads and otherwise stressful environment. At the same time, they know all too well the benefits of being engaged in time-efficient activities such as working out or education.
Social media’s power comes from the constant exposure to what we see. If you see all your friends working out at home while you’re not, you’re bound to feel like you’ve come up short. On the contrary, if all you see is your friends sharing their favorite shows, you might feel like maybe you’re too obsessed.
I once went to a trainer at the gym whom I’d planned to meet for some time now. I showed him a picture of a celebrity’s body and said “This is the body I want” confidently. The trainer shook his head and told me it’s not possible. Not because I’m not capable, but that simply, that celebrity’s body is unique to them.
The same concept applies for our personalities, or another word I like to use, our character.
It is now a common thing to hear about how to better yourself. In a fast-paced world, the corporate world is always pushing us to compete with each other and so we look for ways to improve. But instead of looking at a longer resume, it might be more rewarding to look at your own smile more often in the mirror.
Character. Undoubtedly the most important factor that accounts for just about everything that has to do with one’s identity and behavior.
And most crucially is, no two people have the same character.
Thus, it’s only logical to deduce, no two people should do the same things to better themselves in any way, shape or form that they deem suitable for growth.
It might be more important for you to start regulating your sleep rather than taking on four new online classes. It might be wiser to try to get in shape when you realized your back hurts, than to see a new show. You might be capable of doing both! But you should have a list of priorities.
It’s important to learn from others how to use time, but it’s much more vital to know exactly what you need the most to do. That can only happen by self-reflection.
If you’ve been following Aspire’s blog, last week we mentioned how boredom can help you understand more about what you want in life. This should be your stepping stone. Re-evaluate what you think is the best use of your time and find what suits you personally.
A workout that you don’t need, a class you could’ve traded with another, or a show that passed the time instead of being with your family. These are all examples of time wasted. It’s more about what you did for your character than anything else.
This, is called redeeming time. It is true that time should never be wasted because it is too precious. However, it is up to each and everyone one of us to self-reflect and find what comes first for them, even if it’s a nap. Don’t be pressured into achievements by what others showcase, and don’t give in to too much apathy.
Take your time, and redeem it.
As always, stay safe.
TOLSTOY, LEO. WAR AND PEACE Complete and Unabridged. S.l.: LEO TOLSTOY, 2020.