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Daily Leadership Thought #140 – Time Is Running Out

May 18, 2011

Free Hourglass on Brown Wooden Frame Stock Photo

Time is finite for all of us.  We can estimate how long we have but estimates often bump into harsh reality.  Tomorrow is another day until it is not. Some people get advance warning and have a chance to say goodbye and make peace with their life. Others leave us in an instant with little or no preparation.  Why is it that we resist embracing the true fragility of life and the temporal nature of our relationships?  Why does it take a loss or other personal crises to shift our perspective and grasp what’s most important?

It may sound cliché’ but if you lived each day as if it truly mattered – it would.   If you appreciated and cultivated your close relationships as the gift they truly are, there would be minimal drama and more happiness.  If you empathized with your neighbors and colleagues more, they would do the same for you and life would get easier.   If you bet on yourself and followed your passions and talents, there would be much less regret about who you are and what you do for a living.   If you honestly tried to do your best at whatever you are doing, then the results would only ever get better.  If you put less emphasis on acquiring money and things and focus more on helping others and making a real difference, then you would feel better about yourself and the world.

Time is running out.  As far as we know, there are no second chances.  This is the one ride we get and when it’s over, it’s over.   I’ll leave you to your own religious and spiritual interpretations about what comes next.  I do know that all we have is now.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is uncertain.  Let’s not wait for a cathartic moment to open our eyes and sharpen our perspective.  Today is a gift and should be treated as such.  You can opt to make the most of it or simply bide your time.

When all is said and done, it’s the little things we do every day that make up a life.  Sure, there will be moments of great triumph and periods of grief and despair, but life rarely hovers at the extremes for too long.  It’s best to try and smooth out the curves as best we can.  The goal should be to make the most of the time we have and to be fully present in the moment(s).  We also need to be honest with ourselves about our actions and how they indicate what we value.  What we choose to do either narrows or broadens the chasm between what we want and what we have.