In the modern world, we are acutely conscious of the passage of time – the beauty industry is centred around delaying the signs of ageing, we want to achieve goals by a certain age, we measure all of our human relationships through the passing of time.  Why are we all so obsessed with time? 

How often have you heard sentences like…?

  • I’m too old for that now… (who says?)
  • I’m too young to do that… (just because you’re older doesn’t mean you necessarily know better. Maybe, you have a fresh voice to add?)
  • I don’t have time for that… (well, who does?)
  • There are not enough hours in the day to take care of myself (you can’t afford NOT to take care of yourself)

And if you’re a high achiever, this time pressure feels even more acute. You feel that every hour you’re not ‘doing’ is a waste of time. That taking any time to sit still and just ‘be’ is ridiculous. That not being busy means you’re being lazy. Who has time for that?

Do you know anyone that has it all sorted – seems to work 80 hours a week, takes adventure trips where they climb mountains (often literally), and runs marathons in their spare time? We all admire these people’s focus and think they’re supermen and women but is there a hidden cost?

Worst of all, as an entrepreneur, you can be working ridiculous hours and getting nowhere at all (or so it feels). Effort in does not equal the output. Often, working longer and longer hours is NOT the answer. Why? Quite simply, we are not productive when we work like that. Time spent is irrelevant if it does not generate the required result. We would be wise to realise that.

Slow down, take a breath, re-evaluate

Often, when we feel overwhelmed, it can be time to slow down and take a step back. We cannot really be creative or find what’s right for us, if we are in a constant state of busyness. For example, a great idea might come to you when you’re walking, meditating, or in the shower. The commonality here is that you are probably in a relaxed state, which allowed your mind to clear itself of all its busyness, which, in turn, allowed the new thought to come through.

If the average worldwide life expectancy is around 71 – why are we all in such a hurry to make decisions that last for a lifetime in our 20s e.g. career, marriage etc?

I have friends who feel like freaks for not hitting certain life goals by their mid-30s. I repeat everyone is different. There is no one size fits all. Society’s goals DO NOT have to be your goals (unless you really really want them to be).

Would you rather be a healthy, happy, balanced 50-year-old that took longer to find their rhythm in life but loves what they do and their life?

Or a seemingly successful 30-year-old, who followed the rules and later has a mid-life breakdown?

Some inspirational examples…

  • Samuel L. Jackson – 46 years old and a recovering addict, when he starred in Pulp Fiction
  • Harland David Sanders – started KFC at 65 years old, after he faced a poverty-stricken retirement
  • Ray Kroc – 50+ years old when he bought the first McDonalds

Take the time to find the right path for you. Don’t let imagined time pressure push you into a constant treadmill you don’t want to be on. Sometimes, it will take time. But, that’s fine, it will be worth it in the end.

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying ‘I don’t want to”  Lao Tzu

What would you do with more time?