Most people don’t think in terms of minutes. They waste all the minutes. Nor do they think in terms of their whole life. They operate in the mid-range of hours or days. So they start over again every week, and spend another chunk unrelated to their lifetime goals. They are doing a random walk through life, moving without getting anywhere.” Alan Lakein
When I read this quote I had to agree. Not many of us ever think about the minutes in our day. “It will only take 10 minutes” is a common phrase I hear, and often even use myself. We say like those 10 minutes are of little value, or we can get them back easily some how. They bear the same weight to us as 10 dollars. Do you worry much about spending 10 dollars on something? I know I don’t often worry, unless it is my last 10 dollars.
But the problem is we can never relive those 10 minutes. So why do we never look at how much value they truly have. I had to ask myself this very question. 10 dollars I can easily get back. 10 minutes are gone forever. And yet we don’t ever think in those terms. Or I didn’t at least. I am very good at procrastinating. “Don’t do today what you can put off till tomorrow” has been the procrastinators motto. And one I have lived out fairly well. Maybe I am just getting older but the weight of unfinished tasks are now beginning to feel pretty heavy. Or as William Jones said “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” And the opposite is true I am finding. Nothing is so relieving as the completion of a task. Crossing off those things on our to do list is very satisfying.
I have come to learn, like most of us have or will at one time that “Some day” doesn’t exist, never has, and never will. There is no “some day”. There’s only today. When tomorrow comes, it will be another today; so will the next day. They all will. There is never anything but today.” Jeff Olson We have this “round toit” mentality that one day, maybe. And then we wonder why we never accomplish anything with our lives. There is no such thing as a “round toit” so we need to stop looking for one and get on with getting on.
I have begun to rethink my days, again maybe just cause I am getting older, and have realized that minutes count. I cannot relive them, and can never get them again. We only get to pass this way once. To quote my father-in-law and my friend “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” We don’t ever get to pass by this way again. We are born and from that moment the clock starts counting down. None of us know how much time is on our clock. We like to think that there are years and years. The obituaries are full of people whose clocks ended before they thought they would. There is no reset button and no restart. So what are we doing with our minutes? I know I have wasted most of mine. I can look back on my life and can see that for the time I have been alive, most of my time has been a waste.
But that can change. One of the greatest capabilities we have as humans is our ability to see wrong behavior and learn and change. So although we can never go back and relive past minutes we can determine to make the rest count. I know I am going to start. When my clock runs out one day and I stand before my maker I would like to hear “Well done.” And we all can make that decision no matter how much of our lives have been spent. To quote a very wise man
Though you cannot go back
And make a brand new start, my friend
Anyone can start from now
And make a brand new end.”