We live and die by the clock

Cast Away“Time rules over us without mercy. Not caring if we’re healthy or ill. Hungry or drunk. Russian, American, beings from Mars. . . . we live or we die by the clock. We never turn our back on it and we never ever allow ourselves the sin of losing track of time.” from Cast Away

Time: It is precious and fleeting.  There are people who exhort us to waste time — to kick back and have a good time.  Then there are people who pressure us to live every moment to the fullest — to seize the moment and “go for it” at every turn. Of course, there are time management experts and many, many songs that center around the passage of time.

For me, the finite aspect of our time on earth can be a real motivator. I’m a person who likes to think things through and reflect on my decisions before I leap into action. Over the years, however, I’ve noticed that sometimes I spend so much time in my reflection mode that the opportunity disappears. This has led me to adopt a favorite mantra, “Do it now.”

This can be applied in all types of situations and is not just for life’s “big” decisions. For instance, my family and I were in our backyard admiring a spring flower that blooms for only a couple of weeks.  We knew that we wanted to take a picture of it to remember its beauty and we said aloud, “We’ll do that later.” I noticed the pattern and I remembered the many photographs that are only pictures in my mind because I hesitated or thought I’d do it at another time. So instead I said, “No, let’s do it now.  There are too many photos I’ve missed because I thought I’d do it later.”

“Do it now” is also helpful for life’s bigger decisions like where to go on vacation, which job to take, and whether or not to try your hand at Tae Kwon Do or hiking the Appalachian Trail or whatever other ambitious task might be on your bucket list. There will never be a “good” or convenient time for a month on the Trail and there probably will never be the ideal economic conditions for going to Bora Bora, but if these are things that will make your life meaningful to you, then I say, “Do it now.”

Perhaps this is bad advice and the savers among us will say, “Plan, be careful, you never know.”  Well, it’s true, you never do know.  You never know when your time on this earth will cease and you never know when the opportunity in front of you now will come again. Living here and now and staying true to your highest intentions and your higher self are good guides for this life. Knowing that this moment might not happen again helps me to live from a place of gratitude and of heightened awareness. When I’m gratefully aware of the goodness in this moment, I can soften around it and choose what needs to be done now.

How do you live from a “Do it now” perspective?  Is the finite aspect of time a motivator for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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