As 2016 draws to a close and the new year approaches, many of us take the time to reflect and make some resolutions to change our behavior or maybe even our way of thinking:
What went wrong that I can correct?
What can I do better?
What can I change to make me more effective?
How can I use my time more wisely?
Probably the number one complaint I hear from business owners is the one about lack of time.
There's never enough time.
If only I had more time...oh, the things I could accomplish!
So we go to work earlier and stay later to grab hold of those extra precious hours, and we try a time management seminar to get advice from those who claim to know, but still the problem is not resolved.
Instead we just feel more frustrated, tired, and alienated from our families, our friends, and the vision of our lives we thought we were working toward.
It's as if we're looking at a square clock in a round universe. Something just doesn't fit, and we can't figure out why. The result? We're continually running after something we can't get a hold of--chasing the job, the money, the recognition, the life.
Why do so many of us get stuck in this unending chase? I think the reason is simple. It's because we think of time with a small t, rather than Time with a capital T.
Time with a small t is something you use, something you spend, something you "manage." It's the daily calendar divided into 30-minute time slots, each slot written in with the specific task to be completed.
Time with a capital T, however, is something quite different. Time with a capital T is something to be lived. It's your ultimate asset, the gift we were each given at birth.
Because Time is simply another word for your life.
There's really no other way to look at it. As your Time is lived, that's how your life is lived. And as your Time passes, that's how your life passes.
At this precise moment, each of us is exactly where we are in relationship to the beginning of our Time on this planet and the end of our Time here.
So the most important resolution you can make is to resolve the question of your life and what you want to do with it. How do you want to live your Time? Starting right now!
Until you put Time into perspective--by thinking of it with a capital T instead of a small t--you'll forever be reducing your life to the littlest things in it. If you're continually thinking about last time and this time and the next time, the Time that is your life will elude you.
Of course, you can choose to use your Time any way you want to. But unless you choose to live it as richly, as rewardingly, as excitingly, as intelligently, as fully, and as intentionally as possible, you'll squander it and fail to appreciate it.
So the most important resolution you can make for 2017 (and every year) is:
- See Time for what it really is.
- Instead of thinking, "How do I want to use my time?" think, "How do I want to live my Time?"
- Take the sanctity and quality of Time seriously.
- Make your life choices--what you want to be--first, and your work choices--what you want to do--second.
Because you don't want to go through life only to discover that you've missed the point, which is that you can't, and never could, manage time; you can only live it.
And this leaves you with the greatest question of all to consider: How do I want to give significance to this life that I'm living?