There are two things certain in life: death and taxes. Interestingly, nobody has ever mentioned the passing of time. Probably because we don’t think about it since it is invisible. Unlike taxes, it is something that cannot be cheated on. Unlike death, there is no way to get around time by prolonging the day with new technology similar to the way medical science has prolonged human lives. Time does not wait for us; the time wasted today cannot be replaced tomorrow. Before long, we are all going to be in our twilight years. This is why so many of us live in regret each day. How many of us would like to go back in time to correct mistakes, make different life choices and say things differently to the the ones we love or once loved? No matter how we try to turn back the clock, there is no way to go back in time.
Growing up, I was constantly told not to waste my time dwelling on the frivolous things in life. This was one of the early lessons passed on to me from my parents and other adults. I always knew they were right but somehow, I was never able to entirely adhere to their advice. I wasted my time on the wrong type of friends. I wasted my time reading about people who had no bearing on my life. I wasted my time thinking about people I would never meet and fantasizing about things I would never obtain. In other words, I was always focusing on another world rather than living in the present life where I could readily see myself accomplishing things within my control or within the boundaries of my intelligence. This is exactly how you can let many years go by – much of which was wasted on things that don’t matter – without reaching the goals you set for yourself earlier, and moreover, none of those people you thought about have ever come to your assistance when you needed them. What was the purpose for investing the time thinking about them in the first place?
If my parents were more literate with computers, they would be shocked at the proliferation of social media websites and apps today – the greatest time wasters ever invented by the human race. The rationale for the invention of social media is that we need to be connected, but being constantly linked to each other is also a burden on one’s time. There is a need to keep up with the Joneses, to see how others are doing compared to your life and get distracted by how green the Joneses’ grass is relative to yours.
What if I tell you to turn off your Facebook or Instagram for a few days? Time is a precious resource. When they say time is money, they are lying to you. Time is much more precious because it is something that you will never get back once it is gone. You can only look forward to the next day but never backward to the previous day. If I could revamp a school curriculum, a course that could hand in hand with financial planning would be on learning how to manage one’s time. Every minute of each day should be spent with a purpose whether it is loving and caring for somebody who matters to you, doing more for your community or working towards a long-term goal. If we are willing to teach our children how to make sound financial decisions, why can’t we teach them how to manage their time, an even more precious resource than money?