If you were given £750,000 the day you were born, and knew that was all you would ever get, how would your choices be different?
At home the other week, we were discussing changing our carpets upstairs. I’m sure you have such conversations in your lives too … can we afford to replace the car, should we re-do the bathrooms, where shall we go on holiday this year, can I afford that training course I’d love to do?
Often a factor in such conversations is money and a choice about what we can afford. We play one thing off against another. Money is a currency we understand. It gives us choices, informs our priorities. We strive to acquire more, so that we can have more choice. But what if there was a finite sum?
Time is a currency too.
The offer of £750,000 reflected the fact that most of us, living a full life into our mid 80s, will have around 750,000 hours on this planet. You can’t buy or earn any more.
Yet time, we fritter away with less conscious attention than a handful of small change.
We allow others to spend it for us. Especially in work. I’m required to be in that meeting. I need to travel to Glasgow. I have to finish that report this week-end. I must spend a few hours this evening getting on top of my email…
Even worse, we do this with our energy.
Our lives become dominated by things that not only eat into our time on this earth, but also which drain us of our energy.
That dull meeting you wish you weren’t in. The hours commuting. The dinner party with the couple you don’t really like. The hours in the gym you hate, but tell yourself you ought to do. The tedious job you wish was different.
Meanwhile, the simple things in life that energise us, we find less time for. Reading a book. Playing with the children. Enjoying an amazing view. That hour of yoga. Baking some bread.
You have around 750,000 hours in your life. It’s your choice how you spend it. Spend more of it on the things that inspire you and less on the things that are other people’s choices or that allow your energy, your very life essence, to leak away.
photo credit: BramstonePhotography via photopin cc