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When You Appreciate This, You Begin Truly Living

After a somewhat busier week than usual, it’s been great to have some warmer weather here in London this weekend. It’s not quite the t-shirt and shorts kind of weather just yet, but the sort where you’re compelled to spend more time outdoors. And that’s exactly what Laurie and I did yesterday.

We turned our smartphones to ‘flight mode’ and explored London like tourists. Our first stop was at an award winning restaurant based in Covent Garden for lunch; a place that I’ve wanted to eat at for some time now and which was made easier by receiving a gift to dine at the venue at my 30th birthday last year!

It was during this meal, where we were sat in full view of the kitchen performing precision cooking at its finest, that I was reminded of an analogy I read in a magazine onboard the Eurostar to Paris in May last year.

The analogy goes something like this:

Imagine I were to wire across £86,400 into your bank account each day for the rest of your life, on the condition that you must give back to me at the end of every day, that amount which you have not spent. You cannot gain interest on the money or carry it across to the next day. I take back whatever is not spent at the end of the day, give you £86,400 again the next morning, with the process repeating itself.

What would you do? 

If you’re like most people, your answer might be similar to this: “Spend it all of course. I would think about how I would spend that money everyday so I don’t have to give any of it back to you!”

Here’s the thing.

This process is actually taking place everyday right now in your life.

Not in pounds sterling or US dollars, or even Bitcoins, but in time. You have 86,400 seconds to use everyday. You cannot save time or earn interest on time. Once gone, it is gone forever.

The question is: are you wasting these seconds given to you or are you spending them wisely?

A common complaint I hear a lot from people who are in the same place as they were last year or who find it difficult to do the things most important to them, is a lack of time. They blame their inaction on a lack of resources (in this case, time), when in fact it has more to do with how resourceful we are.

All the people you look up to – from those rags-to-riches entrepreneur success stories to the highly paid entertainers and athletes – have the same 24 hours in the day as you. It’s one of the few things we all share in common.

The difference comes down to how you’re choosing to spend your time.

Take the time this week to reflect on what your priorities are. There may be a lot of things you consider to be important, but which are the absolute most important?

When you have clearly defined, thought out priorities, you are in a much better position to structure your schedule and your days around these. Cut or reduce other activities that are eating up your time and which do not contribute to you achieving your priorities.

It’s only when you become aware of how limited your time is, that you can channel your energy into truly living. When you grasp how important your time is, you avoid the tragic scenario of living as if you’re never going to die and dying having never really lived.

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