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Time – is it scarce or plentiful?

Whether you consciously realize it or not you have a ‘view’ (by which I mean underlying belief ) on the answer to this question, which has a major influence on how you live your life.

In Western culture it is implicit that time is scarce and life is short. We value activity and busyness. We are complimentary to those who are productive, efficient and who  ‘achieve’ the most in the shortest period of time. Multi-taskers are also much admired.  If this is how you live your life do you :

– ever become stressed or over whelmed by all you ‘have to do’?
– become frustrated sometimes because there is ‘never enough time’?
– have an inbalance between work and social/family life ?
– wonder ‘what is it all about ‘ ?

Maybe it’s time to change your perspective on time to one of plenty ! If you do this you are much more likely to  :

– relax and allow space for reflection on what is really important to you and then focus on that.
– make better decisions, particularly at crisis points.  It has been said that great leaders slow down in a crisis. Activity for the sake of wanting to ‘ do something ‘ can be counter productive.
– not fall victim to negative thought patterns.  Many fearful thoughts and emotions result from the belief that there is not enough time to do this or that.
– not be stressed by deadlines. Deadlines can be useful to get us to focus on an issue but they are rarely as immovable as is suggested, especially by those who want us to ‘jump to their tune’. Think of the number of deadlines you know from your own experience which came and went without major consequence.

When you are ‘lying on your deathbed’,  how you have lived your life (not what you have achieved), and the quality of your relationships are going to be your benchmark of success. If you are focused on your productivity and quantum of achievement, stemming in part from scarcity thinking with regard to time, you may miss the mark in terms of what is ultimately important to you.

While life is short (or at least your current life depending on whether or not you believe in reincarnation !) and we need some sense of urgency to motivate us,  it is a paradoxically true  that we are more likely to live a full life if we believe that ‘we have time on our side’.


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