Time Flies. Luckily, You Have Wings
You might think you don’t have enough time for everything. The real problem is that time doesn’t have enough of you. You might feel overwhelmed at how your days and months play out, how the years go by… However, remember this: though it may be true that time flies, you are the one with wings. You should always be in control of your flight path so you can enjoy the view.
Saint Agustin once astutely remarked that few things are so complex to define as the idea of time. “If no one asks me, I know what it is, but if someone asks me, “what is time?”, I am incapable of explaining it”. Things get even more confusing if we consider that every culture and country has its own ideas on the subject.
“Carpe dium, quam minimum credula postero”. “Seize the day and don’t count on tomorrow”
For many western societies, “time is money”. It might seem frivolous, but since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the persistent and unstoppable “tick tock, tick tock” is synonymous with money. Our day-to-day is governed by a series of patterns and routines that are mostly defined by our work schedules.
Now, here is an especially interesting fact that should make us stop and think. According to an article published in Business Insider magazine, countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, or Austria, have a linear understanding of time. They also believe that time spent working is time well spent.
However, in southern European countries like Spain and Italy, things change a bit. Authors like Richard Lewis tell us that people in these places are “multiactive”. The more they can do at the same time, the happier they feel. But, they believe that the best way to invest your time isn’t at work, it is in the company of other people. In this case, time well spent is time building quality relationships.
Child time, adult time
A child has a very different perception of time than an adult. For children who are just starting their lives, sensory information is so intense, magical, and fascinating that everything seems more vivid. The days pass slowly and calmly, like a giant elephant walking at snail’s pace through an extraordinary world. This world is a collage of shapes, textures, and colors, with infinite things to discover and new information and memories to assimilate
Adults, however, live deep down in a music box where the same melody is always playing. The strict routine dulls excitement and traps us in a predictable and hum-drum cycle that disconnects us from all that once seemed extraordinary.
So, since the world seems too familiar and every day much the same, time hurtles forward. Our adult perception of time detached itself long ago from the company of that elephant. When we walked with him, he invited us to go slower, to focus on the here and now.
Two visions of time, a child’s and an adult’s, reinforce what William James called “psychological time”. This theory reminds us that time doesn’t necessarily have to accelerate as we get older. To a certain extent, it all depends on how we live our lives and our capacity to keep experimenting and appreciating the nuances of life with wonder and curiosity.
“It’s not that we have so little time, it’s that we waste so much time…”
Open your wings, don’t let time fly for you
Time flies faster when we are adults, we all know that. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that we are the ones who have wings, so we should allow ourselves to be present and enjoy the views. We should seize the moment and let the warm breezes take us to see the most beautiful sunrises.
“Even a minute that runs to waste is irrecoverable. Yet, knowing this, how much time do we waste!”
All the same, it is clear that we have obligations, work to do, goals to achieve, and routines to carry on with to give harmony to our existence. However, to enjoy a better quality of life, we must understand one small thing. Time is the most valuable thing that we human beings can spend. Therefore, we have to choose wisely how we will spend our time, and in whom we invest our time.
If we don’t enjoy what we do or work on something that is truly satisfying, we are wasting our lives. The years fly by, they vanish like a sugar cube in the ocean. We can’t let that happen. There are times when we should let things happen, but there are also moments when we have to make things happen. We make them happen because we want to and because we need to.
To achieve that, our only choice is to open our wings and search for our destiny, our place, our people, our purpose… We should do whatever we have to go make it possible. We should take full advantage of the time that we have.