“In this short life that only lasts an hour, how much-how-little is within our power?”
Image from The Kids Should See This Blog
I often read the blog The Kids Should See This in hopes of finding fascinating items to share with my daughter and our two grandchildren. A few weeks ago, I watched a video to help visualize man’s role on earth compared to the age of the universe. Here are some things I learned:
- Our universe is estimated to be about 13.8 billion years old.
- Our solar system is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old.
- The earliest forms of life on Earth appeared 3.7 billion years ago.
- 550,000 to 750,000 years ago was the beginning of homo sapiens lineage.
- 100,000 to 210,000 years ago we see fossils of homo sapiens living outside of Africa.
- 15,000 to 40,000 years ago genetics and fossils show homo sapiens became the only surviving human species.
Do a bit of math to calculate the time each generation—including our own—has to spend on our beautiful blue world. How will you use your power to make sure many more future generations can continue doing this exercise?
Check out this to scale/time video that visualizes 13.8 billion years—It’s definitely worth 10 minutes of your time!
“The past is a place of reference, not a residence. The past is a place of learning, not a place of living.”
Image from Unsplash by Shantung Kulkarni
Our minds are marvelous. In a split second we can use our imagination to go anywhere and do anything.
By working at the speed of light and beyond, we can use mental worm holes and folds in spacetime to explore our limitless inner and outer worlds.
Another handy trick is our ability to go back in time or into the future whenever we wish.
Although daydreaming about the future and how our life may unfold is common, trips down memory lane seem to be even more prominent, since these roads have already been traveled.
Unfortunately, all this mental leaping can have us miss the very moments that make up these memories we hope to reflect upon down the road.
How much of your life do you spend residing in the past?
What lessons have you learned to make sure you prioritize opening the gifts of the present?
“As soon as I have a deadline, I work much better. Time unbounded is hard to handle.”
—May Sarton, pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton, 20th century novelist, poet, memoirist
Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler
To what degree do you experience deadlines in your personal and professional lives?
How do time constraints impact your engagement and performance?
Where do they help you step up your game, or act as negative stressors that crush your spirit?
How does having unbounded time impact your life?
Where is the sweet spot between eustress and distress as it relates to setting deadlines for yourself?
“You’re spending time to save money when you should be spending money to save time.”
—Naval Ravikant, Indian-American entrepreneur and investor
Image from Unsplash by Daniel Watson
When I was eleven, I started my first business.
My dad loaned me $75 to buy a Sears Craftsman lawn mower, and I got busy knocking on all the neighborhood doors.
Prior to my gas-powered efforts, I used one of those rotary mowers that would always get clogged with grass if it was too long or wet. After one multi-hour effort on a neighbor’s neglected lawn with only three dollars to show for it, my rotary mower was history.
Where in your life have you and do you trade your time for money?
Where over the years have your learned to use your money to more efficiently and effectively allocate your time?
Where and in what ways have you learned that time is the coin of life? In what ways can you spend and invest it more wisely? How can you use your money and other resources to get far more bang for your bucks?
“If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down.”
—Robert Pirsig, late American writer and philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Milan Fakurian
What is the current pace of your life?
To what degree are you running the rat race or crawling along at a snail’s pace?
Perhaps the tempo of your world is just right — you’ve found your groove and there is not much more to do other than put things on cruise control.
If you are on an entrance or exit ramp of life you know when it’s time to hit the gas or pump the brakes.
Where are you restless and need to speed things up?
Where are you out of breath and need to slow things down?
What is the optimal speed for you at this point in your life?
When is it time to let go or give up so that you can begin something new?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Amazon
Where do you currently feel stalled or stuck in your life? How are you wrestling with the sunk cost of time, effort, and resources where your pivoting is just not paying off? How can you tell when it’s time to quit and when to stick things out?
An approach that has served me over the years is the HHG method. This acronym stands for Head, Heart, and Gut.
In most cases, when I evaluate my endeavors through these three filters, I can move on or stay the course with greater confidence.
Try the HHG method for yourself and let me know what you discover. I also recommend Seth Godin’s classic book “The Dip” as a resource to explore in times of potential transition.
“Mortality makes it impossible to ignore the absurdity of living solely for the future.”
—Oliver Burkeman, British journalist and writer
image from Amazon
What are your favorite things to do?
Where are your most enjoyable places to travel?
Examine the highlight reel of your life so far to pick out your most wonderful experiences.
How much time is left on your biological clock?
If 4000 weeks—which amounts to about 80 years—is all that we get, how much time remains?
How many of us have a someday list or bucket list for things we hope to do or experience in the future? The challenge we often ignore is just how finite the sands of time truly are.
What happens when we wake up one morning and it hits us that we can’t have or do it all?
Hope is not an optimal strategy for living, and someday is not a day of the week.
How then can you live more fully in each moment and avoid the absurdity of living for the future?
Please check out Burkeman’s book Four Thousand Weeks—Time Management for Mortals for some wonderful coaching on this subject.
We can revisit the past, be in the present, and even venture into the future with our miraculous minds.
—Calm App Reflection
James Webb Telescope Image from NASA.com
The James Webb telescope is a miraculous piece of technology that cost ten billion dollars and took over 25 years to create. It is 100 times more powerful than the Hubble telescope, which has transformed our knowledge and understanding of the universe for decades.
These devices use various frequencies of light to examine the past, based on the distance of diverse objects. With the finite speed of light being 186,000 miles per second, we can view the moon 1.3 seconds ago, our sun 8 minutes ago, and even distant galaxies over 13.5 billion years ago. With our awareness of our ever expanding and accelerating universe, we can also use computer simulations to look way into the future.
What value have you gained through lessons from the past?
What moments are you currently experiencing that you don’t want to miss?
What potential opportunities do you see for yourself and others as the future unfolds?
You have plenty of free time. You just need to find where it is hiding.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Annie Spratt
What if time were like an Easter egg hunt? What if you could find an extra thirty minutes — or even an hour — with each extra egg you found? Consider going on an imaginary hunt in your mind and add the extra time to your base of 24 hours. With four extra eggs you could suddenly have 26 to 28 hours to work with and navigate your days with greater wiggle room. How would you spend it?
Of course, the rotation of the earth is not going to slow down any time soon. It’s clearly up to us to become better hunters to discover where pockets of time are hiding — often in plain sight.
To determine where your actual time is being spent, consider using a time log for the next few days. You can find a copy of this exercise in my Time Management Strategies and Tactics workbook, along with other tools to help you manage your time and energy.
As you apply these tools, please also consider the filtering words More, Less, Start, and Stop as guides to reallocate this hidden resource.