The world is not ending, but it is slowing down. Many of us until now haven’t had the chance to experience living at a slower pace, so the transition many of us are going through is shocking. Maybe we were struggling to stay positive before, and now it feels like there is less hope.
But when things slow down, it forces us to look at details. Many of us were looking for happiness outside ourselves in the form of distractions…but now, since we are all at home, we have no choice but to come to terms with ourselves. Some of us would rather not look inside ourselves, and instead sedate ourselves at home with food, drinks or entertainment while biding our time. But choosing entertainment over self-educating comes with a couple great costs.
The first is that we spent valuable time entertaining ourselves versus knowing ourselves. We wouldn’t have changed much coming out of this virus quarantine panic, and when things finally blow over, we will return to life the same. And then the next crisis, the same pattern. But those of us who choose to learn during this crucial time, fortify ourselves as independent people who unwillingly become the source of help and positivity during the next crisis.
The second cost is health, which erodes with anxiety. If we are already cooped up, uncomfortable, annoyed, exhausted and everything, not knowing when this quarantine will end will make it seem like the feelings we have now will last indefinitely as well. In this sense, the environment in the head becomes much worse than the epidemic we are actually facing.
Things are slowing down, but far from ending. We need a breather, to become accustomed to what it feels like to not live a rushed, routine life. As the saying goes, “The devil is in within the details.” This is a rare chance for many of us to examine our life in detail, and maybe to also absolve some demons that plagued us even before this plague.
Today I’d like to talk about the concept of time and how it’s often valued less compared to money because of its intangible nature. Money is tangible and can be used to buy things that others can see: houses, cars, electronics–pretty much anything that can elevate us in our social hierarchy. But we need time (and energy) to make money; money we can always make more if we have time, but we can never make more time. At the end of the day, each minute we get back from our busy schedule is time that we can invest in ourselves.
If not yet, I hope you can begin feeling the empowerment that comes from being able to reclaim your time. And while it is true that many of us don’t have time for things we enjoy doing, it is also true that if we don’t make time for it, we will never have it. Before long, we will realize that we are becoming older; that time has slipped through our indecisive fingers. Now is the time to demonstrate courage and take back your time that is being stolen by manipulative people and useless gossip. Every moment, whether we give it to positive causes or negative feelings, our attention builds what comes tomorrow.
One more day until the goal. But for now, we must work and make sure we get through the day. But depending on what we have planned for the weekend, the day can go by either quickly or last forever. And if the day is going by slow, there are many stimulants and pointless conversation to help kill time. During my college days, I remember many of the local bars would have weekday happy hours. When I later started working full-time jobs, I thought this was a great idea, because it would make the time go by so much faster by hanging out with equally bored friends. The more I was bored with my day, the faster I wanted it to go, so that I had time to do the fun things.
But the irony is that as we get older, we often wonder where the time flew by; we passed it by ourselves, not realizing that even though there are several ways to “kill time” there is no way to get it back. We never know when life gets unexpectedly busy until it actually happens.
The reason why it’s so important to start that thing you wanted to do today, is because only today is guaranteed. You are the youngest you’ll ever be today. As Elon Musk once said, “your responsibilites will only increase as you get older.” Instead of being bored and waiting for the next best thing to come, let’s create that best moment here and now. Otherwise, the future that we look forward to so much becomes just like that Friday: always fleeting.