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Forget Stephen Hawkins and theories of space and time... Theoretical physicists are missing the obvious. Time = life.
Wasting time means wasting life. Literally. And once it is gone, you cannot get it back.
"I don't have time"
People make time to watch TV and then complain that they have no time. This is a matter of choice. Everyone has the same number of hours in their day. You choose how to spend those hours.
No one is short-changed. Playing the victim is pointless. You have a choice. It is your life.
2000 year old excuse?
Marcus Aurelius (2000+ years ago) said that "not having time" was one of the most pathetic excuses a person can give. It was considered lame back when the Roman Empire was at its peak.
We all have the same amount of time. What we do with it... this is the issue.
No time for tai chi?
A common excuse that tai chi students make is that they don't have time to train at home between classes. This notion is based on a false understanding of yin/yang.
In order to get something, you have to give something. Our entire society is based on this, isn't it?
If you want a loaf of bread, you give up money. You want to watch a movie, you set aside the time. If you want to get good at tai chi, you will need time to practice at home.
Therefore, if you want to practice tai chi at home, you will need to give something up. Make space. This may mean less TV. Less internet. It's your choice...
We get good at what we do
If you want to get good at form, practice form. If you want to become proficient with weapons, then practice with weapons. The more often your body undertakes the practice, the more familiar it will be.
I wasted time and now doth time
Time is passing
To live a deliberate life, we must commit ourselves. Every day we waste in idleness is gone forever. Time will not wait.
Manage your time
Time management is a skill, and like all skills it will take practice to get good at it. We could list a wide range of suggestions on how to manage your time, but everyone is different.
You need to figure this out for yourself: what works for you? It is your time, your life, your responsibility. Learn how to balance activity, relaxation and rest.
Switch off the TV
Once you switch off the TV, the computer, the mobile phone(s) there is suddenly lots of time. Not time to kill or time to fill but time to live...
Make work work
Be organised, productive, methodical and punctual at work. Simplify. Be efficient. Avoid time-wasting distractions.
News is a waste of time. An
human being squanders half a day each week on reading about current
Get your chores and responsibilities out of the way as quickly as you can. Cut-back on commitments. Avoid unnecessary obligations. Learn to switch the TV off.
Say "No" to most things
Saying "Yes" may sound inclusive and wonderful... but it is tantamount to letting other people manage your time. If you do not take control of your time, somebody else will.
Only say Yes if you absolutely want to do it.
Make choices that suit you
By being smart about it you can make the most of every day:
- your working day can pass quickly
- your evenings can be relaxing and fruitful
- weekends can feel extra long
You can spend more time doing what you really want to do with your life.
Calculate how much time each week you spend on activities:
How many hours commuting?
Using the PC for leisure?
Playing on your phone/texting/talking?
Calculate your own use of time
Study your own use of time for just one week. If your TV time exceeds 7 hours, ask yourself why. Watching an excessive amount of TV prevents you from doing everything else.
You cannot do it all...
Do not fill your week with needless activities. Be selective. Set time aside for you and your loved ones. For the things you really want to do... Apply the 90% rule...
Dr Michael Greger (author of How Not To Die) recommends 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day.
The three doctors who wrote The Okinawa Program maintain that tai chi - with its ancient origins and incredible health benefits - is the ideal form of exercise for modern people.
If this sounds like a lot of exercise, why not chop it up into smaller increments spaced throughout the day? How many people watch 90 minutes of TV every day?
An inch of time is an inch of gold: treasure it.
Appreciate its fleeting nature.
Misplaced gold is easily found,
misspent time is lost forever.
(Loy Ching Yuen)
18 March 1997
Last updated 24 March 2022