Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Human Time Is Finite

 by Fadzai Nova

People often spend their lives surviving in past or future tenses, so the present is comparable to taking the body out of auto pilot. The constant waiting - to graduate, for payday, a relationship, for the weekend, for the page to load, for a coffee break - creates the idea that there is a perfect moment to start living, as if living only starts at a specific point. Progression from one state to the next without paying too much attention to the details is the norm, so unless the date of the calendar marks a specific event, people tend to cycle through the cues of life, completely heedless of how valuable their time really is.

The reason why time seems to move faster is because as we age, we lose our ability to look at the world with novelty. As a child everything is new, hence the days seem to move more slowly. The early years of human life are full of firsts: birthdays, relationships, holidays and so forth, which are repeated, year after year, and become less unique and are less likely to leave a lasting impression. It is the same with vacations as an adult: the first few days of holiday seem to move slowly in comparison with the last few days.

The perceived fast passage of time is compounded by the countless forms of procrastination tools we have in modern society: television, the internet, mobile phones and tablets. All these gadgets and similar ones are distractions which take away from the physical human experience and productivity.

Time is said to be eternal. In one life, however, there is birth, growth and death, but what creates your life is how you utilise the ticks between the first and last events. There is an equal 24 hour day for each of us and no one can drive your body for you. Adding a new activity always requires shifting or eliminating another. The cost of the time expended on any given activity is the value to us of what we otherwise would have been doing with that period. Time is a commodity and possibly the major restrictive factor in our personal and societal economies, therefore it is imperative, if you want to operate your life effectively and succeed in this world, that you do not discard your current 24 hours because of the promise of tomorrow.

There is an innate desire in human beings to achieve greatness; the reality is that few people achieve it. How a person uses the time they have been given is the defining factor. The majority of people want to succeed in their lives but never do because they are waiting for the right conditions or they do not realise the importance of time management and become unmotivated because of the duration of time it will take to achieve a goal. Waiting for a tomorrow that will transpire as a utopian, miraculous event will never happen; time is in constant motion, therefore the best thing to do is to value the now, set goals and start living mindfully.

We live on a planet where we are not required to think. A person can live their whole life without exerting any more brain activity than necessary; why challenge your mind when you could wait around for someone else to do the heavy lifting and simply live off the products of that mind? A person can get into a comfortable routine for decades, and there is nothing wrong with that, but is that honestly how you want to live your life? Tick-tock.