Is time an endless resource or something finite? This week’s episode is an exploration of the paradox of time. Learn to be present in your days and to trust the timing of your life.
When I was in college, everyone loved to remind me that I had my whole life ahead of me. “You have so much time,” they’d tell me, but I never really felt that way. That’s why this quote by Jack Kornfield, often misattributed to Buddha, hit me like a ton of bricks when I saw it on Pinterest:
“The trouble is, you think you have time.”
Reading that quote felt like my deepest fear was being stated as a fact. There wasn’t enough time, and I had to do everything right now:
- I had to get that post-graduation job
- Now was the right time to start my businesses
- I needed to get married sooner rather than later
If you’d have sat down with my college self, I would have told you that I was simply seizing the day. Some people need that kick in the pants. For me, it simply exacerbated my already unhealthy relationship with time.
Trusting your timing
I’m all about quotes, and there’s another popular phrase that offers a contrast to the carpe diem sentiment. Maybe you’ve seen it floating around, “Trust the timing of your life.” It’s the idea of letting things happen and being responsive to whatever may come.
This perspective can be a breath of fresh air for folks who are prone to rush, like I am, but it can be problematic for others.
If you feel like you have unlimited time, it makes it easier to avoid taking the action you need.
The days are long and the years are short
Thinking of the paradox of time, there is something beautiful about trusting the timing of your life. and, at the same time, there is something beautiful about realizing that life is finite. Whether you feel more drawn to either side of the paradox, they lead you to a similar place:
It’s an invitation to be present in your life, to be present in each of your days.
This quote from Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project) adds to the dynamic:
“The days are long and the years are short”.
We have a ton of time when we are present in our days, and those days turn into years that feel like they fly by. Choose to :
- Savor your days
- Be intentional in how you spend your days
- Trust your timing
- Enjoy everything that a day has to offer
Urgency over haste
We’ll round this exploration out with a song lyric. There’s a line in a Mumford and Sons song that says “I will love with urgency and not with haste”. I’d offer up a one letter tweak:
“I will live with urgency and not with haste”
Urgency is about prioritization. It’s about knowing where to focus your time. On the other hand, haste implies doing things halfway without intention.
Are you the kind of person who tends to rush through life, or are you a person that allows life to happen to you?
Wherever you place yourself on the spectrum, choose presence. Prioritize the things you love. Define what’s important, and choose to trust the timing of the rest.