Time is money. Regardless of who you are what your socio-economic background or gender is, whether you’re a CEO or a hobo, only one thing is constant. You get only 24 hours a day. Every minute counts. Each second spent is of immense value. At least it should be. Did that second result in you becoming a better human being? Earning more money? Solving a critical issue? Getting someone’s attention? Preparing you better to get someone’s attention? No?! Well, you should be alarmed because there are only 24 hrs. in a day. You spend 6 hrs. sleeping. You slog for 8 hrs. at work. That leaves you with just 10 hrs. to pursue other things. Cool things. Read a book, play sports, exercise, make a list of things to do…filled with interesting things….doesn’t matter if you think they’re interesting or not.
Do something ‘meaningful’. Your calendar can’t be empty. In this day and age, you can’t be good at one thing. “Wannabe polymath” is antediluvian. Being perfect at a bunch of things is here to stay. Anybody can be good at work. But can you be good at ten other things in addition to it? That’s what separates you from an average human being. Wait. What were you doing with your remaining time? Nothing?!?! What a shame! How could you fritter your time away like that?! Would you do that with your money? Just throw it away?
Well, fuck you, but yes.
In those 10 hours, while you were running around, getting sucked into this virtual reality of earning more money to earn more time or doing different shit to make you look cool to others, I was lounging on my couch doing nothing. The way my ass made the couch warm felt liberating. The way I jumped off my couch and yelled yes! when my favorite player did his thing on TV felt awesome. Then I slipped back into my couch. The same place where I had created the indentation. Back to the warm spots.
Next day, the first thing I did was to steal a couple of hours from those 10 hours and invest one into sleeping more. I also invested an extra 15 mins. yawning, opening my eyes slowly, closing them again like I didn’t care, opening them again, slowly removing the sheet, putting them back on and closing my eyes again, curling into fetal position to savor a few more minutes of that ‘I know waking up is inevitable but I might as well prolong it and have some fun before accepting defeat’ feeling. I opened my eyes and got off the bed knowing that I might not have won the battle but I might have won a war.
I pounced on my morning coffee just the way you did. I couldn’t wait for that zing of caffeine to wake me up and get me all revved up. But my first sip was in anticipation a wonderful journey I was about to embark on and not a disinterested gulp as part of some ritual to get out of the way towards the ultimate purpose of getting ready for work. I watched every bubble of the froth, acting as a prism emitting a rainbow of colors, pop. Revealing the golden ambrosia underneath that I so look forward to having every morning. On to next sip. I enjoyed watching the steam coming off my mug, emanating the aroma of the roasted beans. Next sip. I saw the condensation on the mug. I felt like i was in a serene rain-forest, nestled in my own sanctuary. The hazy condensation had obscured my vision, making me oblivious to the ruckus outside. Every sip tingled me in a different way and took me down memory lane. Next sip. I spent 15 minutes doing just that until there was no more coffee left.
I took my own sweet time to slip into a towel. Hot water was ready but I wasn’t. I blasted “Carpe Diem Baby” on full volume and chose what to wear after the shower. I’ve befriended time so it didn’t mind waiting for me. And tide, in this case.
I bit into my toast with the same ferocity as you did. The first bite was huge. There were crumbs all over the place. I might have even spilled some jam on my shirt. But I spent the next few moments licking my shirt because I loved my favorite jam more. I saw crumbs all over the table. I didn’t yell at my clumsiness but pressed my index finger against the crumbs and licked them off with a huge grin on my face because that’s how I used to mess with my mom when I was a kid. But after a point, she’d let me be and smiled.
I might go on my fancy vacation a few years later than you. Hell, I might not even go on one because I might not have the money. But you know what, I had time to take joy in little things. Things I found cool. Every second I spent relishing it was like a vacation in itself.
You’ve invested your money wisely, right? Lot of smart investments. Portfolios. You probably started off with 1000 bucks and now you’ve got millions. Excellent! I do applaud your tact. Not only did you get your thousand bucks back but also plenty on top.
And hey, you’ve invested your time wisely, right? So many 24 hour days running behind more time? Running behind things that would always remain at a tantalizing grasp, not knowing it’s a mirage waiting for you to lunge for it, only to find out it has moved slightly away. Let me know how much of that time did you get back? Also, did you earn any 25 hour days as an ‘interest’?
P.S: I got thinking about “time is money” as a concept after reading this article from Siddhartha Vaidyanathan.