Time is what we make of it
So much stress is generated by this one single concept: time. At work our whole life revolves around time. The nine-to-five. The time it takes to prepare for a meeting. Will I make it in time? Time that runs out before a meeting can reach any consensus. Time that is impossible to find in someone’s calendar. Time that shrinks incredibly fast when confronted with a looming deadline.
And yet in the middle of all this stress, what is time really made of? Well, it’s made of nothing per se: it’s just a concept, a socially accepted convention. Someone tells us a report needs to go out tomorrow. We buy into this and we stress like mad to make it happen. I am not saying here that you have to skip deadlines, miss milestones and fail to meet launch dates simply because time does not exist. What I am saying is that sometimes it’s helpful to recognise time for what it is: a socially accepted convention.
Ask yourself what happens if a deadline is missed: will someone die because of it? In some emergency situations someone actually might, and this deadline will have a completely different weight. But for most cases in our day-to-day jobs, nothing really happens when a deadline is missed. Another one is set and maybe that one will be a little bit more realistic.
When you feel time takes over your life, just remember that your life is real and time is fabricated. Time has no actual power over it. Some people will point out that our own life is made of time, the time we are given between birth and death. I say this is just an illusion. The number of years, months and days we live is just a social convention. Our life is not made up of time, it is made up of living. What have we done with this time? How much have we lived? How deeply have we felt? What energy have we released into the world?
Because in the end, all that matters is what we have contributed to the world. Our actions, our thoughts, our wishes, all that we have been and are, are constantly releasing energy into the world. And the effect of that energy will still be here, long after we are gone. The examples we set, the legacy we left, the way we educated our children, the houses we built, the companies we constructed, the art we created. All these things stay here long after we are gone and touch the lives of many more people than we can possibly imagine.
So live your life well, fill it with authentic and real living. Forget about the stress of time, of deadlines.
Because in the end, time is only what we make of it.