Throughout our day many of us are continually rushing from A to B. We try to get errands run, appointments made and work done, in what feels like so little time. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. We try our best to make good time, all the time. Modern life is full of all the conveniences designed to make our days move along efficiently. Now we have email, text messaging and so on. Often we expect speedy service, buses to run on time, enquiries to be answered promptly and queues to move swiftly. We cannot live without clocks continually informing us of where we should be. How could we function without time in the physical sense?
All our days, whether spent at work or home, are divided into blocks of time. Our days would be nothing without time, we measure so much by it; our birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other important events and milestones. We need time in a practical sense, in order to organise our days and plan our lives. Inherently, we know we should slow down and take one day at a time, but this is easier said than done when our lives are so full of responsibilities and the unanticipated. We make lists to help us prioritise but sometimes these are thrown out the window when the unexpected happens.
We would definitely be at a loss without time in the physical sense, but what about the time that we invent in our thoughts, the past and the future? These two familiar times exist only as thought forms, yet they seem to rule a lot of us, a lot of the time.
The past and the future exist only in our minds; they are never actually happening in the present. The past is a time long gone and the future is a time imagined. In the physical sense, days come to an end and begin again, yet we spend countless days, even years consumed with thoughts of the future and regrets about the past. However, it is important to set goals for the future, so you could debate that future time holds some significance as well. Perhaps it is a question of striking a healthy balance between the now and the future.
Often we allow thoughts about the future to take up so much of our time, that we do not notice that the present is swiftly slipping through our fingers. We even let the past hold a tight reign over us; we become tied down by a time that no longer exists and prevents us from moving forward.
When we focus only on the future, and not on present time, then we miss the most important and deciding factor. Undoubtedly, our future success depends on our actions and thoughts today. If we are always consumed with thoughts of the future, we neglect the precious time that is available to us now. In many ways, a lot of us throw away the opportunities the present gives us in place of an imaginary time called the future.
The present is exactly that; a gift in more ways than one. Many of us do not acknowledge or appreciate it and when we finally do, we realise we can achieve so much more. Focusing your energy on the here and now makes a lot more sense, yet we seem to forget this.
The only way we can get to the future is from the present. The past doesn’t exist anymore and so is of little use but for reflection and to help us learn from mistakes.
Perhaps we can try our best to remain conscious as we move through the day and when our thoughts fall to the imaginary future or the dwindling past, we can remind ourselves it is the now, the present time, where our talents, choices and actions have the greatest impact. We can remind ourselves it is our efforts today that will eventually lead us to enjoy the fruits of the future.