For something as dominant as the four digits [or two horns] that we use to tell time, it is disappointing that there is no manual for telling, and not surprising that we do it wrong so often.
It is easy to say that the time is 0655 looking at our designer watches, but it is not so easy to tell what time it is in our lives.
Are you goofing around when it is time to be serious, are you procrastinating when it is time to start, are you complaining when it is time to be doing, are you talking when it is time to listen, are you giving up when you should be holding on or are you holding on when it is time to give up?
I’m talking about how we confuse time to mess up our narrative about life.
Here are some examples:
We focus on the days, making short-term decisions, instead of being cognisant of the years.
We ignore the benefits that short-term pain can have in earning us long-term satisfaction. Which means that we often fail to invest, embracing a shortcut instead.
We rehearse the past, obsessing about sunk costs, instead of freeing ourselves up to make new decisions based on new information.
We put a stopwatch on our best experiences, ticktocking the moments instead of living in them.
But we fail to be honest about the time when we are struggling, or unhappy, imagining instead that it is lasting forever.
We confuse the thrill of fast-paced media with the magic of doing work that matters, even though they each take just as long.
We might have a fancy watch, but that does not mean we are good at telling time.
The time in your life is as important as the time on your wrist.