“We lived our lives as if life was forever. To live one’s life without a sense of time is to squander it.” – Diana Trilling, The Beginning of the Journey, American literary critic and author (1905-1996)
We’re often encouraged to get the most out of everything we do and this is wise advice. It’s actually more than just words to get us going. Beneath the words is pure truth. One thing we tend to forget is that we only live now. We cannot live in the past, for that is over and done with – although we may be paying for the consequences of our actions in one way or another for some time to come. Similarly, we cannot inhabit the future, for that time is not yet here. Therefore, all we have is now.
Therein lays the beauty.
We have all the opportunity in the world to do that which we set our minds to do. Although we may not be immediately successful in our endeavors or projects or tasks, we can at least begin and make some headway. Even though the path or approach we’ve chosen turns out to be not what we truly want, this opens up the possibility to take another avenue, try a different solution, expand and adapt multiple potential choices.
Yet we take this action now. We make the decision now. We act now.
Making the most of our time now means constantly weighing and balancing what actions we’re about to take. It requires careful thought to analyze on the fly, so to speak, and yet these decisions are often the most rewarding. For example, we may not have attempted a certain task or project or tackled a difficult issue in the past due to fear of failure – or fear of success. Bolstered by other successful goals, however, we’re more inclined to venture into somewhat unknown territory, become more willing to take a calculated risk – never a foolhardy one – and go where we’ve not been before.
This is how we make the most of our time now. It’s certainly not boring, although it can be a bit scary. The outcome is never inevitable, nor is it predetermined. We always have the choice and only we can make the choice.
Consider again that choices made in the past may or may not have turned out to be the best use of our time. Learn from those experiences in order to tailor new approaches to meet current situations and endeavors we wish to undertake or need to address.
If, at the end of our lives, we look back with regret, that’s an awful waste of precious time. Always act with conviction and put ourselves wholeheartedly into the course of action we’ve chosen. There’s no time like the present to begin. So begin.