We say that we have no time. We are too busy. There isn’t time to do the things we need to do.
I have been in that same time-deficient state of mind as well. But I noticed something lately, which caused me to consider time in a different way.
I would always be doing things at the last moment, just in time, but I would get them done.Recently an offer came for a new job away from my usual surroundings. Without thinking,I started to organise things at my home base, getting things in order as though preparing myself for my time away.
I put the things I had been keeping out in case I need them into bags grouped with similar things. Then I packed them away.
And I began to think again of all the plans I had been planning, for months and months, of things I needed to do: paint the lounge room door, build the other garden bed, de-clutter,
visit my ailing relative. And I decided what I could and couldn’t do, letting go of things that I really didn’t want to do anyway.
Now, I thought, if I could do this on a regular basis instead of when I actually had to leave, I would have more things done and have more time on my hands.
So I just thought about this. Why don’t I do this on a regular basis? What stops me from getting my life in order and doing the necessary things I have to do?
I investigated a little further. I looked at what I was doing the rest of the time I had. Was I using available time in a productive and worthwhile way? … maybe not.
What was I doing with any free time I had? It was a bit shocking for me to discover, and I am a little ashamed to say, that for much of my “free time” I was on the internet, “surfing the net”, shopping online, looking at things of interest there. I would call all of these entertainments. I was entertaining myself.
I could even call this avoidance. I was avoiding doing all the necessary things that had to be done, by telling myself there is no time, that I don’t have time until the last moment.
In fact, I found I have quite a lot of time. How did I discover that I have a lot of time? Well, I did the very hardest thing to do, and stopped buying online, stopped browsing online, stopped looking up things of interest. In other words, I stopped wasting my time. This was exceptionally hard to do, let me tell you! When I decided to stay off the net, I found myself finding reasons, good reasons, why I should “just check something” there:the weather, the news, the exchange rate and so on. I found many things that I could check! But finding myself online again, I quickly returned to the old behaviour of spending many pleasant minutes and even hours there, all of which was wasted time.
Your addiction may be something else.
However, I’m sure many have this same addiction. Or perhaps you like Facebook on your iPhone. Or you like to talk to people for hours on the phone. Or you like to window-shop. Or you must read the paper from cover to cover or how else will you keep up with the news? Or you must visit many friends. And then there are your favourite TV shows.
We do whatever we must do to avoid doing what we know we need to do. Firstly, what we find to do instead is more pleasant than what we have to do. Secondly, doing other things puts off the unpleasant task of doing necessary things.
But the downside is that, after having wasted much of my time, I then don’t have the luxury of time to do what I have to do. So, I put myself under the stress of having to rush at the last moment to do these necessary things.
Now, if I could just like to do these necessary things that I usually don’t like to do, and get myself in order time-wise, life would be easier and less stressful.
But how do I do that? There are a couple of ways or, rather, we can do this from two aspects of time: the past and the present. Begin with the past. Do a recapitulation of your life. I will describe how to do this.
With pen and paper first write your birth date, place of birth and your birth name. Then write: “This was the day I was born.”
Write underneath, in this order, the day you started primary school (“I started school on this day.”), high school (“I started high school on this day.”) and other significant events in your life such as moving house, town or country, meeting your life partner, marriage,children’s births, career changes and so on. Continue up to the present.
Then on another piece of paper write: What if I were to leave this life today? What have I not done that I need to do before leaving? Write these things down – all your hopes and dreams and plans. On the first sheet of paper you can see clearly what you have achieved. But what is there
still to do? The answer to this may not be material at all. Perhaps you have regrets concerning an old friendship. Perhaps relationships aren’t as good as you would like. Perhaps you have not really felt that you have found your life
purpose yet or you feel that you have so much more to do. I think the best outcome of this exercise on these two pieces of paper is that it reminds you of what is important to you, what is important for you to do. It reminds you that achieving this will give you true fulfilment. Wasting time is too easy and there are too many time-wasting things available for us to
use to do just that: waste our time. But time is precious.
Do you realise that you only have a fixed amount of time in your life? We cannot live forever in these bodies. Each body has only a certain life span. The time will definitely come for each of us to let go of this body and leave this life.
So, spending a little time, considering what you really want to do with this time-limited life is a very worthwhile thing to do. If you do this early on or mid-way through your life, you will give yourself the time to achieve what you want to achieve. Then, at the end of this life, you will not have too many regrets about what you wanted to do but could never find the time to do.
The present is the only time you have to fulfil your desires for a full and happy life.Whatever is happening, choose to do what you really want to do – and while you can, do it.Your time is limited.
As for me, I am reminding you and, in doing so, I am reminding myself. I have realised that these habits we form are so strong that it can be a real struggle to free ourselves from them. When we very firmly realise how these habits stop us doing what we need and want to do, then we will choose to use our available time very differently.
So, remind yourself now of all the dreams you had as a teenager or young adult, or even as a child. Remember what you wanted from your life. Now work to reach your goals in the time you have, as this is the only time you have to do this. Let’s make the most of the time we have.
Article by Brahma Kumaris in Australia
The Brahma Kumaris have had a presence in Australia since 1975.
There are centres and class locations in the major cities, as well as three
Centres for Spiritual Learning, where courses, classes and retreats are held.
Brahma Kumaris Australia is a registered charity in the area of education (spiritual).
All programs are offered free of charge as a service to the community.
The ongoing operations are funded through donations from students and the public
in the spirit of maintaining its educational services for the benefit of all in the community.