As every year for the past 5 years, I sat down last weekend to do a full review of the year that is coming to an end. I started to look back and quantify my year by counting the number of places I visited, the things I did, the miles I ran and cycled, etc., when it hit me that none of these things really matter. They are just futile numbers that don’t really reflect the quality of life of my year.
Sure, I was lucky enough to visit new places (for work or pleasure), healthy enough to cycle most days to work and had enough time and money to read many books. But do these things really count? Is life, after all, about quantity or quality? I believe that it is the quality that matters. Did I enjoy all the things that I did during the year? Were there more positives than negative?
One thing that took me a while to understand was that not all time is created equal. Some time ago I read an article about “alive time vs. dead time”. It struck me and I’ve been pondering about it ever since. We throw away years waiting for the right moment, the right time to change careers, start a business, get into a relationship, without realizing that, that time might never come.
Our time is now. After all, all we have is the present moment. We need to be mindful and deliberate about it. I urge you to not focus on the superfluous, on the easily quantifiable things in your life, but rather to do your work, be persistent, be consistent and stop dicking around, stop wasting time waiting for the perfect moment. You will be gone before long. Instead, you should spend your time trying to become a better person, understanding that no matter what, your job is to live life at its fullest, or put it another way, as Epictetus said more than two thousand years ago, “How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?”