This article was originally published on 26 March 2014. Updated 13 April 2023 for formatting and editing.
I originally began writing this post as a time management article. It evolved on its own into something much different but equally important. A few people very dear to my heart kept creeping into my mind as I wrote it, especially one in particular. I hope that it gives you a boost as much it has helped me while I’ve written it. I’ve heard it said, “The bad news is that time flies; the good news is that you’re the pilot.”
The biggest lesson we all need to constantly review is, simply that: Time. How do you spend what you have been given? Here are some of my best pointers, regardless of what age someone is or lifestyle a person lives.
Time to Take Care of Yourself
Nobody knows you better than yourself. Any time you feel agitated or tired or inexplicably upset or stressed, think about what you might be doing differently from before or think about what you wish you would be able to do differently already. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is difficult, sometimes it is impossible. I personally don’t approve of impossibilities and would encourage you to make a way if there isn’t necessarily a visible option in front of you. The bottom line: If you’re unhappy or unwell, something has got to change.
Time to Read
Even if you don’t enjoy it or you find it difficult, PLEASE do it anyway. If you struggle to create the habit, start with 10 minutes a day. It’s exercise for the brain. It’s good for everyone, including you!
Time for what gives you Joy
What other purpose of life can you think of? I’m going to be honest here. Sometimes this one is not always easy for me, but I sincerely cannot think of another purpose we are here if it is not to have, seek, find, and share joy. So if you’re like me and you sometimes have better days and worse days, do your best to share joy with others and you will be lucky enough to happen upon more joy for yourself at the same time.
Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. If there’s something on your bucket list you’ve always thought would be amazing to do, but you’ve never quite been able to get around to it, then I think it is time for you to start doing it!
Time for Service
If you find yourself feeling down and out, stop focusing on yourself so much! Life is always going to have challenges. It’s life. But I’ll tell you a secret, it’s a heck of a lot easier to bear your own burdens if you lift someone else up in theirs along the way.
Time for Pondering and Time for Moving On
How many times have we all caught ourselves dwelling in the past when we should have moved on? Sometimes people are going to knock you down. It’s a universal truth that people will sometimes be envious, selfish, judgmental, spiteful, hurtful, jealous, etc. (this list could go on for a very long time…). Sometimes they’ll hurt you. There will be times when you need to stand up and fight for what you know is right and there will also be times that you will be better off letting go and moving forward while leaving some people in your past where they belong. It’s not easy making the right decision, but one great piece of advice to help you decide is 1) Never hold onto anger. Anger is like venom; it is poisoning your own insides, not theirs. And 2) Holding a grudge is allowing someone to dwell rent-free in your mind.
One more thing. Sometimes we are the ones who hurt ourselves. It might be a mistake we made unknowingly, or a mistake we made which, at the time, didn’t seem like it was going to be such a bad idea. Or, maybe, something that we wanted to do which we never thought we would regret so badly as we do now. You know in your heart. If you know it was the wrong thing to do, you don’t have to carry that burden with you forever. Say sorry. See if you can repair some of the damages. (If you can’t, then at least they know how sorry you are.) Think of ways you can be better from now on.
LIVE BETTER from now on.
Time for Courage
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable, they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” ~Earnest Hemingway
No matter what, keep going. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is going to face a trial in their life which will break you down and hurt every ounce of who you are. It is your choice whether to allow that moment to define you or to destroy you.
Time for Meditation
Stop. Do nothing. Whan it gets hard enough that you don’t know what to do next, it is time for you to do nothing for a moment.
Time to Seize the Moment
Ever remember a moment you wish you could have done something differently? A moment in your past which you regret? I do. There’s also a few which I have zero regrets on because I know that it was better than not doing anything at all. Never let the fear of failure or missed chances overpower your opportunities for success.
Time for Learning, Study, and Teaching
Nobody is so educated that they no longer have a capacity to learn. Always keep learning. Always share your knowledge with others. They will appreciate it more than you think and they’ll always remember you for what you contributed to them in their lives.
Time for Prayer
I’m not telling you what to believe in, but I am encouraging you to believe in Something. And I guarantee, if you take time to pray about the things that matter most to you in any given moment, you’ll feel so much better when you get back up.
Time for Planning & Prioritizing
This is where I frequently falter. Don’t get caught up in doing what is convenient versus what is important. The best thing I have learned is do the most important things first, no matter what. Then anything else which needs to be done will never take precedence over what you care most about in your life. Pablo Picasso said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
Time for Love
Here’s another one I constantly worry over. Will my loved ones believe how deeply I love them, or will they believe I always loved something else, someone else, or myself more? I pray that they will know that everything I do is out of love for them. Decide what you love. Live with the motivation of love. Keep love for something or someone. Do it. But most importantly, never forget that you are loved by others as well. You may not always feel it, but it is always true.
Time for Health
Don’t let anything get in the way of your health. No matter how much you may be called to sacrifice in the love and service of others, you are no good to them if you are not well. Take a bath. Pamper yourself once in a while. Reward yourself. Exercise. Eat responsibly. This list could go on forever. Do what you know you need to, even if it isn’t easy. This goes for mental health as well. Don’t abuse your body or your mind. It’s all you have.
Time Is Now
There’s no time to waste. Do the most important thing you can think of doing, right now. What are you waiting for?
What are some things that you think it is important to make time for?