I think we all have a warped and inaccurate perception of time. We either think we have more than we do, or we think we have less. Here’s how both of these perceptions can be harmful…
Not Enough Time
Many people, especially young people, don’t realise how much time they have. They rush to get things done because they don’t realise that they have time to do things later on in life.
This is where the “feeling behind” comes from. The comparison that you haven’t done enough compared to other people. You see someone else with an abundant life and you feel like a loser compared.
But the truth is, most of us don’t have millions of dollars in our bank account, or the ability to travel every day, or a grand house or car or wardrobe. On Instagram (or wherever else), we see people living these lavish lives and it gets to us when we know that they are the same age as us or younger.
The truth is, most people don’t have that lifestyle, especially not at a young age. We just see the select few who do have it and instantly feel bad about our own achievements because of it. And then we panic, thinking that we must rush our lives, achieve everything possible right now, and stress ourselves out thinking that the clock is ticking away on us.
If you are this kind of person, you need to slow down. Take your time. You have more time than you realise.
You don’t need to get married, find the perfect job, travel the whole world, run your own business, have the perfect body, speak every language, play three instruments, or make a million dollars all before you’re 30!
Think about it, if you do, what’s left? What do you do then, once you’ve done it all in your youth?
Spread your life out. Achieve things and do things at all stages of your life. Enjoy the ride as it unfolds.
Too much Time
On the other hand, if you are someone who feels you have too much time, you need a kick up the backside!
Life does go by quite quickly if you’re not careful. Allowing your life to just play out without ever taking a moment to ask yourself what you want or taking a hold of the wheel, will result in a disappointing life when you look back. You’ll realise that you didn’t do anything because you kept waiting for tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.
To a point, life is to be lived now. Not postponed or delayed.
It is your job to take your life into your own hands and make it what you wish it to be. Thinking you have forever is dangerous because it makes you lazy or at least procrastinate until it’s too late.
So, do that thing that you’ve been dreaming of doing. Book that flight, see that person, take that class, before you run out of tomorrows…
Believing you don’t have enough time is stressful, tiring, and anxiety-inducing. Believing you have too much time makes you delay your life or fail to get things done. We all would do well to find a happy middle. To live now, make the most of the time we have, be present, be grateful, be mindful and choose to be happy.
Life is short, but not that short!
There’s a saying that goes, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I think that yes when you’re young, you are more likely to have a warped view of time and what the meaning of life is. The annoying thing is, it’s only when we’re older and we have life experience that we see the truth of it all. I can only hope that I can find my truth before it’s too late.
What is your perception of time? Do you rush and panic when thinking you don’t have enough time? Or do you delay and sit back because you think you have all the time in the world? Either way, you need to take a step back, gain some perspective, and adjust accordingly.