We’ll never have enough time. Paradoxically, understanding that concept allows us the potential to enjoy the time we have. Treat time as a resource – don’t waste it feeling sorry for yourself.
As Arnold Bennett writes in How to Live on 24 Hours a Day:
“Time is the inexplicable raw material of everything. With it, all is possible; without it, nothing. The supply of time is truly a daily miracle, an affair genuinely astonishing when one examines it.
You wake up in the morning, and lo! Your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions... No one can take if from you. It is unstealable. And no one receives either more or less than you receive.
In the realms of time there is no aristocracy of wealth, and no aristocracy of intellect. Genius is never rewarded by even an extra hour a day. And there is no punishment. Waste your infinitely precious commodity as much as you will, and the supply will never be withheld from you... Moreover, you cannot draw on the future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow; it is kept for you. You cannot waste the next hour; it is kept for you...
You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your mortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency and of the most thrilling actuality. All depends on that. Your happiness – the elusive prize that you are all clutching for, my friends – depends on that...
We shall never have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.”
Each Moment Brings Infinite Possibility
Each moment of time approaches us with infinite possibility, summoning us to compassion, understanding and well-being. Can you – will you – open yourself to the potential of the moment?
I implore you not to miss the show that time is putting on for you. Don’t let problems pollute your every twenty-four hour cup of life.
Time, after all, is the only resource you have to expend against adversity. (Even if you throw money at a problem, for instance, all you’re really doing is buying yourself time saved by having others tackle whatever it is that’s troubling you.)
Spending Our Time Doing Whatever We Like
We each have some recreation we enjoy doing “to pass the time.” I like to swim. You may enjoy playing golf or tennis... bowling.... or saving the world from aliens playing a video game.
In all these activities we instinctively understand that win, lose or draw, playing the game is where the real fun is. Our time spent in doing whatever it is we like to do pleasures us in myriad ways.
"Passing" Time or Putting Time to Work
What would happen, do you think, if you approached your adversity as if it were a rather difficult shot on the 17th hole? Or a particularly adept tennis opponent?
Do you think you could “pass the time” tinkering with how you are going to solve your adversity the way you might tinker with your golf swing?
Let me put it another way: Do you think you could take the mind-set and skill-sets you’ve developed through time, and put them to work against the adversity you’re confronting? The same way you might, let’s say, apply your accumulated tennis ability to improving your game?
Is it worth trying?
Solving Problems by Trial & Error... Over Time
Remember, all problems are solved the same way. Granted, there is an immense difference in intensity in putting together a jigsaw puzzle and putting together a shattered life – but ultimately both are put together in the process of trial and error – over time.
I’ll end this section with two last bits of advice:
* No matter how tough your day has been, always go to bed believing that your cup of time will be refilled tonight...
* And whatever you want to do with your time – including wasting it – is okay, as long as you’re enjoying yourself.
Giving of Yourself -- Time and Money
Give of yourself (time and money) to others less fortunate – Put the adversity you are experiencing into perspective by familiarizing yourself with the adversity that others are experiencing.
Acts of charity should come with a warning label: Caution: giving is addictive.
Money Can't Buy Happiness
After my heart attack, I found myself pursuing the riches of the spirit. To trot out the cliché, money can’t buy happiness may seem trite, but the fact remains that there really are only three things you can do with money: spend it, give it away, or pay taxes.
I draw your attention to the epigraph of this book by Edward Courtenay:
“What wee gave, wee have;
What wee spent, wee had;
What we left, we lost.”
Those words were written a very long time ago, but they are indeed timeless.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hampton Roads Press. ©2008. www.redwheelweiser.com
The Power of Adversity: Tough Times Can Make You Stronger, Wiser, and Better
by Al Weatherhead with Fred Feldman.
Dynamic industrialist and major philanthropist Al Weatherhead says adversity is not a curse but a gift--and that when we embrace our problems we temper and empower ourselves to achieve unimagined success. With insight and compassion, Weatherhead helps us understand that the question we must ask ourselves when bowled over by life's troubles is not "Why me?" but instead, "Why not me?" In the process, this pragmatic and profound book reveals the secret to achieving a greater understanding and mastery of life by harnessing the
Power of Adversity.
About the Authors
Al Weatherhead, chairman and CEO of Weatherhead Industries, endured wrenching family estrangement, serious arthritis and heart disease, and is a recovering alcoholic. Instead of surrendering to his adversity, he came to see it as a “blessed enemy” and leveraged it to achieve extraordinary personal and professional success.
Fred Feldman has published 17 novels and co-authored three nonfiction works in the self-improvement and how-to business genres. An award-winning creative consultant, Fred Feldman also travels the country advising Fortune 500 nonprofits.