We are all in so much of a hurry to get through this life it seems. And no matter how much we rush and save time we will be no less dead at the end. Saving time seems to be our highest goal but the question must be asked, saving time for what? Time is not something you can bank up and use more of at some point in the future. It is here, now, that’s it and there is no more. Whether you use it wisely and enjoy each fleeting second is up to you. You don’t get to save it up.
We have also trained our minds to do the same. “Pay attention” was the message in an article by Charlotte Joko Beck that I read recently. All the talk about mindfulness, the current hot topic, comes down to just that, pay attention. Pay attention to each moment because once it is gone it is not to be replayed nor re-experienced. It is past, it is gone, and we miss so many of them.
How have we trained our minds to “save time”? Our minds sometimes have a very short span of attention and we get bored quickly. So we filter out most of the “ordinary” experiences that are happening around us; the sound of birds, the touch of the wind on your skin, the smells, the sounds, the things that make up the minutiae of each moment. Our minds are on automatic, the filtering system that saves us time by not having to consider or notice these things. And there it is again, saving time.
Does this sound familiar to you? “Don’t let the same things come into your consciousness, they are boring and something you have experienced before and will probably experience again, but no, look over here, think about what you might eat for dinner, or what you might do about the current project you are working on or replaying something from your past.” Sure there is a place for that sort of thinking of course, but make that a conscious decision, not an automatic one.
Go to manual for more of your life. Notice what is happening and if necessary by all means make a conscious decision to ignore it and put it in the background if you have to do something else. But do more on manual and you will have experienced more in life than you might think. Your drive to save time may be costing you more time out of this life than you can afford.
Switch off automatic, go manual.