Happy New Year! I hope it is a splendid one.
My best wish is for you to gain a deeper understanding of your priorities.
We are at the beginning of the year, and we usually start thinking about our resolutions and our plans for the year. For this reason, it is worth remembering that: time is money!
As a matter of fact, the movie “In time” is the ideal film-metaphor.
I have cut the opening lines, the moment in which the main character gives the key to understanding the story:
“Time is now the currency. We earn it and spend it. The rich can live forever. And the rest of us? I just want to wake up with more time on my hand than hours in the day.“
Instead of money, time is used as payment. A cup of coffee costs 5 minutes, a bus ride half an hour and a hotel stay one week. It is deducted from “life” which becomes shorter and shorter as it is spent.
You can also gain time and make sure that your clock does not reach zero (because it would mean you would die), and therefore exchange your days for work and have more time to breath.
This is the paradox of the “ghetto”. Just as it was for the Greek mythological creature Sisyphus, who was condemned to rolling an immense boulder up the mountain , only to watch it roll back down and start again, in the same way the characters of the movie are hostages to the clock hands which tick by.
A great example to get us to open our eyes. We are the “ghetto”, the world in which we live. But it is not the case for everyone and everywhere. There are two ways of describing time: “Chronos” is the Greek term with which we track the sequence of time, seconds, minutes and hours that pass by. On the other hand, there are entire cultures that live using the concept of “Kairos”, that is to say “appropriate time” or “quality time”.
Even us, when we ask a person how their evening went, we do not ask “how many” hours they spent, but “how” they spent it. Was it good? Did it go badly?
I think that “Chronos” has caught up with us. Many of us work for money and exchange it for other days of life (perhaps buying objects which have no influence on “Kairos”).
We often do jobs that we do not like.
We waste time on unproductive activities which do not allow us to progress, but we continue to walk on “endless running-machines” without realizing that we have got on it at the wrong end.
We pretend nothing has happened and continue worrying about earning money and maintaining our “status quo”.
“The rich can live forever” says Will in the scene. For us, it is just the same. The rich, those that have time, those who do not need to work in order to accumulate breathing time, but use their breathing time to do a job that they like, they are the ones that live forever.
They dedicate their time to passions, the family, investments and they continue to accumulate “bonuses”.
“It (wealth) is not measured in dollars and cents, but by the number of days which you do not have to work“ says Robert Kiyosaky.
The use of time can make a great difference. In the long run, looking at our results, it is possible to understand how we have spent it.
Have we “spent” our hours, or have we “invested” them?
Have we surrendered to urgencies (Chronos), or have we found room for our hearts and investments too (Kairos)?
In any case, it is a good moment to start. It always is, even if you only had one more day on earth. Actually, by lengthening and shortening time, we sometimes discover surprising things about ourselves. Further on in the film, one of the “rich people” asks Will: “If you had as much time as I have on that clock (100 years), what would you do with it?” and he replies “I’d stop watching it. I can tell you one thing. If I had all that time, I sure as hell wouldn’t waste it“.
If you only had 1 more year to live, how would your priorities change? What would you do today?
If you had 200 years instead, what would you do differently? What passions would you have?
The point of the matter is, besides imagination, you can begin these things immediately, even today. You would still have all the time necessary to be successful.
But we are stopped by fears, by urgencies and sometimes by little “formation” or by the wrong information. We do not know how to multiply our time well.
To invest means to do it with “knowledge/awareness”, reading, practising, learning a new language. Luckily, nowadays it is possible with very little, just think about all the free resources on internet, rather than accessing millions of books which are real treasures. Where would I be without my books!!
This is one of the ways to make you worth more. I believe that learning something new is a real value multiplier, like spending quality time with the family, and perhaps switching off the TV or switching to offline.
In the section “Buy the recommended book”, I have suggested one of the books which have made a difference for me: “First Things First”.
In a world in which we are always rushing, it is important to acknowledge the aspects of our life which deserve our attention. Often the reason why we continue to do what we are doing, while our days pass by without “Kairos”, is because our objectives are not clear, or because we have tried to reach them following too many priorities.
As Stephen Covey says,“When you have too many top priorities, you effectively have no top priorities“.
So I hope that you will be able to start individuating the “few essential things” in life, which you will never regret and to which you will give better attention immediately, in terms of quality.
If you think that the time spent reading this post is “Kairos”, then please share it 😉
“… and in case I don’t see ya…
good afternoon, good evening and good night!”…
(The Truman Show)