The Constancy of Time
No matter which way you slice it, time moves at a very constant speed. Wait. Hold on. Stop the press.
Time is not one thing. Remember, the super smart mathematicians of yesteryears? Yeah, that thing called relativity?
We happen to be, as a specie, relatively stuck on the surface of this rock called Earth. The notion of time dilations and relative shifts in time is something most of us do not notice. The good folks of NASA however have made sure that the good folks of satellite placements in space understand and account for that… that way our GPS devices can know where we are relatively in time to each other.
But that aside, the point here is that we know time to be this a constant thing we can not change or modify. It moves. We age. It slips by. It races. It drags. It vanishes.
The Experience of Time
What we do experience is time passing at different rates. That’s where the expressions such as “time flies when you’re having fun” comes to be. Or time “dragging like molasses” when we’re bored. Nevertheless, no matter how we feel about the passage of time, it passes and is gone for good.
This brings a very salient point. How do we account for the time we do have? What do we do with it? Do we spend it? Do we waste it? Do we invest it? Do we cherish it? Do we rush it?
Investing vs Spending
There are two ways we’re going to look at time today. Investing versus spending time. Both popular ways to look at time. The difference is highly subtle. The impact is huge in the big and small picture view of life.
First however, let’s get one obvious thing straight. Time passed is gone. Living in the past is a chase without an end. Can’t do much about the past. Same for the future. It’s not promised, it’s not guaranteed, and it’s not tangible yet. No matter how much you plan for it. Leaving you with the present. The moment. The current time. The now. As in NOW.
What is now?
In the very moment is where all the decisions happen. All the action happens in the here and now. While I’m thrilled you’re reading this blog post now, I’m fully aware that you could be elsewhere. I’m very grateful you’re here reading, now.
This is where the distinction comes into play. (this is not the most exhaustive list either)
One can spend the time looking in the past, dreaming about the future, worrying about something, sitting idly waiting for something to happen, or continue reading this blog.
In the spending mode, time is something that is exhausted. It may not have much purpose or it may be significant. It can and often happens passively. Example… watching television or counting flies or watching paint dry. In spend mode, one gets the feeling that value is decreasing. Time is essentially passing without making a huge difference, if at all.
The investment mode has time being put to work. That’s the feel of the expression. One is proactive and making decisive moves with time. One is seeking results with time. One is in motion to move with time. Someone investing their time does not have time to look back all that much because the expected results are to arrive after a certain passage of time has taken place.
The investor of time is very focused on what is happening now. Very keen on seeing that now is used as mindfully as possible. The investor watches and checks the results to make educated choices about what to do next. They don’t sit paralyzed with fear.
Before moving on, just bear in mind that the choice to spend or invest is not a moral choice. It is just a simple, albeit at times complex, choice. Do not feel guilty about the choice you’ve made if it is truly the choice you’ve made (the philosophical parsing of choice can be debated another time… choice… lol)