Time Is Our Greatest Wealth. Don't Waste It

Grasp Life's Perspective To Make The Most Out Of Your Time

Hey everyone,

This article came two days later than I wanted to - I was spending some days off in Valencia.

However, those days in that great Spanish city gave me a lot of thoughts on being more mindful, enjoying the present and exploring how Mediterranean people practice their version of slow living.

They seem to make a good use of their time by being slow. (Not advantegous if it comes to bureaucracy but let's take that out from the equation now).

Those days were a great boost of thoughts for this article. Hope you enjoy it. It only takes 6 minutes to read it.

But wait, before you go, please make sure to subscribe, so you get all my new posts directly in your inbox. Click the button below. 👇🏻

Do you know the average life expectancy in your country? If not, you can check it here - and you might be shocked.

On a rough average, we all get 80 years of living on this planet. That translates into roughly 4,000 weeks. And every year, we spend 52 weeks out of those 4,000. 

So if you are in you are 25, you have already spent 1,300 weeks of your life. 2,700 are left.

If you just turned 40, you spent 2,080 of your living weeks. 1,920 are left.

If you are 60 and heading to retirement, you have 3,120 weeks behind and possibly 880 weeks left. 

Shocking, frightening, but enlightening. 

The bad news is - as we all know - that we have a finite time alive and time is the only wealth that we cannot expand. It's a very scarce resource of ours. You get what you get and must make the most out of it.

Or, to put it more bluntly: we all share one common path; that one day, we will all be dead. Yes, even I, right now in my late-20s, will be buried in the ground.

But this should not be sad at all! 

Let's read what Steve Jobs said about death.

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Steve Jobs - 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

He was absolutely right. Death should not be fearful but something that gives you the inspiration and energy to spend your time wisely. 

It's never too late to make this realization. Unless you are already on your deathbed, moments away from taking your last breath and departing from this life.

But if you are reading this article, you most probably - and hopefully - are not on your deathbed. And regardless of your circumstances, I have some good news for you.

You are very much alive and have the opportunity to take advantage of your living weeks and make the most out of it!

Isn't that freaking awesome?!

It is!

In an earlier piece on overthinking, I wrote about my view on death as a part of positive overthinking. Here's a snippet from that article:

The advantage of being conscious of death is in line with the benefits of positive overthinking: you prepare for all possible outcomes; thus, pain and shock could be less than without any awareness.

Meditation on death also brings additional philosophical and mental benefits. You realize that life is truly short, and you shall not wait to make decisions that you need to feel happier and more fulfilled.

Read the last sentence of that quote again. 

You realize that life is truly short, and you shall not wait to make decisions that you need to feel happier and more fulfilled.

In other words, since we will all die one day, we have to use our time wisely for our own good. 

This realization puts time into perspective.

Time As The Greatest Wealth Of Our Live

We have to treasure our time as one of our greatest wealth. As mentioned above, that's the only wealth we cannot expand. We get a very limited amount of it, and it's mainly on us how we use that.

Let's also visualize this scarce resource.

A few years ago, Tim Urban wrote a piece on how to visualize our lives in weeks and put that into perspective. He came up with the life calendar, where you can see how many weeks you have already spent alive and, based on the average life expectancy, how many weeks you have left.

This is my life calendar at the age of 28. All those red rectangles are the weeks behind me.

You should also check yours. Go to this website, and enter your date of birth to get your life calendar.

How many red rectangles do you see? 

Think about those for a minute. How many of those red rectangles, or weeks, did you let be controlled by others? How many of those weeks did you waste on worthless things (social media, fake people, or harmful addictions)? How many weeks did you spend living someone else's life instead of living one that's deeply in line with your desires?

I bet there are dozens, if not hundreds, of those weeks. 

And that is sad. But also inspiring.

The earlier we realize how much of our valuable and scarce time we squander on useless things, experiences and moments, the faster we can act on it and take control of our time and life.

This awareness of time scarcity also helps you to gain more self-esteem as you start respecting yourself even more upon the realization that your time is more valuable than how you might have used to spend it. 

Our limited time on Earth shall not only be a rat race. We should not please wasteful people or give too much of our attention to greedy tech companies. But we should also not waste much time at meaningless jobs. Those might enable us to buy shitty and expensive gadgets but only allow us to spend limited time on moments that truly matter with love, joy, and fulfillment. 

Time Puts Things Into Perspective

Time is not only our most significant wealth but also helps us grasp life's perspective. If we use this properly, it can help us to:

  • Face our anxiety and help to defeat it

  • Drive more patience for us and stay consistent

  • Understand what things truly matter and what is redundant

We usually experience ups and downs in our everyday life. Some days might not be as energetic, joyful, or "well-spent" as we desire. And that's human nature. 

If we look at that from the micro, it most certainly gives us a lot of anxiety. 

"Why do I have these depressive, anxious, or low-energy days?"

"Why didn't I make myself useful today?" 

"Why am I not as productive as I should be?"

Looking at a particular day within that 24-hour timeframe can undoubtedly cause a lot of anxiety if you feel that you didn't make the most out of it.

However, that is an illusion. As we are human beings with emotions and feelings that may vary day by day, we must understand that perfection is not something we must seek every day. 

Because, in a larger perspective, it doesn't matter if one particular day was worse than others. 

We have to understand how human nature works, make peace with it, and accept that it's okay to not to feel okay. A day may be a low point for you, but from a bigger perspective, you are still progressing.

We are often impatient with our growth and life path, which generates additional anxiety. The lack of perspective also causes this. You might be at a stage where you feel stuck in a position that blocks you from experiencing a more fulfilled life. 

And this is where consistency plays a significant role. If you manage to stay consistent with tiny gains every day (as discussed in this article), with time compounding, you grow on a grander scale. 

Tiny daily gains help you to be in a better position in a matter of weeks. Because what might not feel like a massive improvement today can become a significant leap over time - if acted upon that every day. 

So the person you want to become is closer than you think - if you ditch the mindset of focusing solely on one particular day and viewing your progress on a larger scale.

The healthy eating habits you follow every day might not bring results within a few days or a week. But you will certainly feel the positive outcome within weeks or months. 

The daily actions you do for your physical health progress might not be visible after the first weeks. But you will feel stronger, more energetic, and healthy three months from now.

The key is to be patient and stay consistent. 

Because even though our time is limited, if we have our actions right, time will be on our side. 

And no matter how much time you waste on things that don't matter or are not in line with your true self, you still have time to turn that around. 

Say no to the hundreds of things that won't matter over time to say yes to the few that will indeed matter. The things that are in line with the person you are.

Remember: there is always a choice in how to live a more fulfilled life and use our scarce time. 

Some decisions for the sake of self-fulfillment may undoubtedly be challenging. But it's better to face the tough decisions now than to regret not doing meaningful things once you have no more time to do so.

No matter what age you are - in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 60s. There's a choice. You still have the time; you can make good use of it.

So how are you gonna go after it? 

Máté - The Mindful Guerilla

💡 My Weekly Recommendations 💡

Stuff I Recommend You This Week

  • If you want some more perspectives on time, go through Tim Urban's article on the perspective of time throughout human history. It shows us how little we actually matter considering the timeline of humankind as a whole.

  • Check out this site to get some more visualization on how time flies and what time means in a human's lifespan. It's truly eye-opening.

  • Another fascinating interactive site on 12 questions for life. Again, this helps putting things into perspective.

  • A fascinating and historic moment happened on Wednesday when Artemis 1 launched into space on the top of the powerful SLS rocket. This is the first milestone towards bringing humankind back to the moon. This video will certainly give you goosebumps!

Newsletters I Read Every Week

  • Young Money - Jack writes inspirational & insightful posts on finance, career, and life. I learned a lot from his work, and was also a great motivation for me to start my own newsletter. 10/10 recommended!

  • International Intrigue - A valuable newsletter on diplomacy & geopolitics delivered every weekday. Rather read this than all those shitty clickbait articles on mainstream media.

  • Exec Sum - A daily newsletter on the major stories from the financial world. It's fun, entertaining, and informative. Better than those finance outlets with shitloads of ads.

  • Snail Mail by Slow Growth - a weekly newsletter delivered every Monday by Matt D'Avella's team with great motivational content on productivity. It's not the usual productivity bullshit that you find everywhere else.

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