I recently realized that I’ve been a religious zealot for most of my life. And what I’ve been worshipping is TIME.
I put time up on a pedestal. I designed my day around it. I devoted my business to it. I cried for it. And I knew I could never do enough for it.
The sacrifices were so many…
How often did I sit with anxiety, overwhelmed that I would be a failure if I didn’t get my job done on time?
How often had I told my family and friends that I couldn’t be there because I didn’t have enough time?
How often did I justify not taking care of myself because I had no time?
I believed it was the most precious commodity. And that’s why it became the most precious commodity. It defined what I considered to be “success.” Did I use my time wisely today? Did I get the most out of each hour? How could I be more productive and efficient going forward?
Because I thought it was scarce, it became scarce. And it perpetuated this never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction – that nothing I did would ever help me catch up and be at “one” with time again.
So I eventually began to question this “God.” Why would it make me endure so much suffering? Why would it never be enough? It didn’t make any sense.
Until one day it did.
I realized that time is actually a false God. It’s an illusion. The only reason I felt like I didn’t have enough time is because I said I didn’t have enough time. I’m the one who made up the fire drills. I’m the one who convinced myself that it was a matter of life or death. I’m the one who thought the world would fall apart if I didn’t do X, Y, Z.
Fundamentally, none of my stories about time were true. They were just an effect of chronic burnout. So I made a choice to shift my perspective on time. I started telling myself that I always have enough time. And low and behold, I started having all the time in the world.
When I removed the pressure on myself to meet an insane deadline of my own making, I was able to think more clearly and get more done in less time.
When I prioritized seeing the most important people in my life, I felt happier and more rejuvenated, which made me so much more motivated and productive at work.
When I decided to devote hours of my day to self care, I became the best version of myself. Ideas flowed effortlessly, and work didn’t feel like work anymore.
Some philosophical questions I leave you with:
- Do you feel like building your life around your time is worth the sacrifice? Have you done the cost-benefit analysis?
- Is it worth shifting your perspective if you could live a happier, more fulfilling life?
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