Friday, October 19th, 2012
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”
One thing I have come to see as life’s most ironic yet rather intriguing feature is time. Most of the time, one is carried away by the euphoria of youth, making it easy to forget the big picture – the moments you spend now will never come back to you. It may seem as though you have the time to procrastinate, that you can complete that assignment tomorrow, send that email in the next hour, or send that text message in the evening. But, if you really ponder over it, you can only do just one thing in just that one moment. It will never be repeated. If you decide to do it, or not, or do it later, you have for that time, made your decision on how that moment would be spent. The only option life gives you is the privilege to celebrate what you have done in the time past, in the time to come.
Why is this important? Save the obvious personal implications, every possible phenomenon you can identify in any field was as a direct consequence of how the major players in that field managed their time.
I’ll make a popular stop in Egypt. Going back a number of years, between 6000 and 5000BC, we come into the glory days of that ancient people. Modern architecture, for millennia to come, will continue to derive inspiration from the designs of the Egyptians. Rudimentary knowledge in astrology and anatomy accredits the early workings of the Egyptians. Time itself was first measured in Egypt, in approximately 1500BC. It was called the clepsydra, the water clock, and it could keep time, even at night, as opposed to most sun dials which would surface years later.
Out with the horology, in with the politics. In time, society grew and became more organized and deliberate about its internal workings. The common way of doing things developed in time, to establish cultures. Cultures that in time developed holistically, especially in the area of military tactics, to become conquerors. In time, we had Caesar, Alexandria, Napoleon, Attila, Cyrus, and a host of others who seem but a blimp on the map of time. What they all had in common was that they respected their most valuable resource – time. They fought at sun rise, they fought at sun down, and they fought at twilight. They all knew that the key to success was making sure you made the best of your least available resource. Time.
“I have noticed in life that most people get ahead when other people are resting” Henry Ford, while making this statement, may have been addressing a crowd on a different issue, but the words he spoke that day resonate in the minds of entrepreneurs everywhere. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a self-help book and did not read chapters on goal setting and time management, or a chapter that treated both of those topics as one.
The difference between a lazy man and a hard-working man is not the value of the work they have exerted, but the time at which such work was completed. Take for example, Student A who submits a given task four days before deadline and Student B who does the same work, but manages to scribble something on paper seconds before the deadline. They have accomplished the exact same task, yet we consider Student A to be more hard-working, all because he completed his task “in time”.
Time is a valuable thing. The way you manage your time is a better indicator of your diligence and dexterity, than how you manage your money. I personally believe that unless you are the beneficiary of an inexhaustible heritage that would sustain you for generations, if you don’t spend your time wisely, you probably never would be wealthy.
My parting words. Make the best of the first second you have after reading this article. Then make it habit. Carpe diem.
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