Every minute of every day, we have choices about how we use our time. The decisions we make about this determines our level of joy, fulfilment and much, much more.
How we choose to use our time
There’s a wonderful example of what a difference it can make to use our time well in the 2009 biopic Gifted Hands, about a famous pediatric neurosurgeon called Ben Carson. My favourite part is not about his many accomplishments in adult life, but the way his mother weans him and his brother off watching junk TV when they are kids and into reading books and acquiring a lifelong thirst for knowledge and education. It’s a total game-changer for them both.
Another great example can be found in the movie About Time, where the main character Tim and his father both have the ability to time travel back to any point in their lives and relive it. The father uses all the extra time he gains in this way to read books. Tim uses it much more creatively, to relive each day a second time.
First time around, he’s on automatic pilot, which is the busy, unconscious level that most people live at. It’s an unremarkable way of life.
The second time around, he approaches the same day with a higher level of awareness. It beautifully passes the space of how much more joyous our lives can be when we live more consciously. How he interacts with people and the value he gets from each day the second time around is worlds apart from the mediocre way he lived it the first time.
The value of time
In real life, we don’t have the luxury of being able to relive each day differently, but how we use the time we have and the level of consciousness we engage is something that is open to us all. It begins with valuing our time instead of letting it slowly ebb away.
Time is free, but it’s priceless.
You can’t own it, but you can use it.
You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.
Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.
These words from American businessman and bestselling author Harvey Mackay hold great wisdom.
What you spend your time on
How you choose to spend your time in every moment of each day may not seem important in itself, but it all adds up. Time is the most valuable commodity you have. How you have used it in the past will determine much about the person you are today, and how you use it today will determine much about who you become tomorrow.
In the online clutter clearing courses I teach, many people who have physical clutter also realize they have a lot of time clutter. This takes the form of unproductive time gobblers such as spending hours immersed in social media, binge-watching box sets or mining information from the internet that is never put to any use. These and many other socially acceptable activities do not move you forward in any meaningful way. They keep you occupied in the small stuff so you don’t have to address the bigger, more important issues, such as finding your purpose in life and living it.
This is why when someone sets about reducing their time clutter, a scary thought at the back of their mind may be, ‘What will I do with my time if I bring myself completely up to date?’
And similarly, when someone nears the end of the process of decluttering their home, ‘What will I do with my life if I have no clutter that needs to be taken care of?’
If you never face these questions, your self-sabotaging behaviours may continue for the rest of your life, leaving you at the end with no clear idea why you incarnated on earth and the sure knowledge that too much time was wasted.
The interesting thing about these scary thoughts of this kind is that they may not have their basis in fear at all, but in excitement.
The everyday part of you that clings to safety feels afraid to leap into the unknown. Higher parts of you that remember your purpose feel excited that you may at last be ready to embark on finding it.
The big question is, which path will you choose? Whether you know it or not, you make that choice in every moment of your life. Stay small or go big? Waste time or use it wisely? Fritter it away or value each second?
Guess which choice of path leads to a life full of purpose, meaning and joy?
Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2022
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