It's the only thing we know for sure

Reflecting on time

Time is money.

Every second of your day should be accounted for, consumed by meaningful work, creative flow, and learning.

They say you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Fill your calendar with high-impact meetings with people who level you up. Zoom after Zoom after Zoom.

There are only 24 hours in a day. Spend them wisely.

Time is of the essence.

Don’t you dare waste it, frittering it away on meaningless activities. Leverage time. Bend it to your will to achieve your greatest hopes and dreams. No Netflix. Delete Twitter. Don’t even think about watching TV. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on 2x speed while you’re working out and washing the dishes and taking the dog for a walk.

Time marches on.

I imagine time as an older man—Father Time, perhaps. 

He’s a modern man with an Apple Watch. 

Tracking time—and his steps for the day. And the day after that. And the day after that. Always moving forward, relentlessly.

Oh, but despite his modern tools, he’s not good at helping me keep track of time. He makes me blissfully unaware of the passing hours when my writing is flowing. Then the next day, he shoves a loudly ticking clock in my face and I feel the heaviness of each second passing as the cursor taunts me on the blank page.

Time is slipping away.

I look in the mirror and I can see the passage of time.

I see it in my beard, flecked with gray hairs like patches of snow on a winter field, and my hairline, thinned like an over-logged forest. I always thought the arrival of the physical evidence of aging would bring wisdom in tow. No such luck. My perspective has changed, yes. Priorities have shifted, for sure. Yet I still have much to master.

On the outside, it might appear that I have everything figured out: I have a loving family, stable work, money in the bank, and I’m even pursuing my creative passion. But looks can be deceiving. I look at the year on the calendar and realize that twenty years ago I was on tour with my band—pursuing a different creative passion—with seemingly endless time and opportunity in front of me. Two decades ago, the events of 9/11 changed the course of my band and my life. No one cared about an upstart band when terror came pounding on the country’s doorstep. It knocked me down and I picked myself up and tried again. And again. And again. Fits and starts. Trials and errors. So many errors. I worry that it’s too late.

My time is up.

But then, you understand that you must keep trying, keep pressing on, keep living.

They say today is a gift and that’s why they call it the present. They say life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans. They say age is just a number. These are clichés for a reason.

It’s impossible to always be present. But look back on your past with compassion and forgiveness instead of dwelling on it with judgment. And look forward to your future with hope and possibility instead of rushing it with worry.

You only have so much time on this earth. You should spend it with the people you love and on the work that matters to you.

The time is now. It’s the only thing we know for sure.

Big thanks to Harris Brown, Shivani Shah, and Mark Koslow from Wayfinder, as well as Heather Eddy and Ryan Williams from the Foster community for their edits and ideas on this piece.

A thing you should watch:

I stumbled on this TED Talk while exploring ideas for this piece and I just think it’s really good and criminally under-viewed.

I want to take a quick moment in time to express my deep gratitude for all of you who make it all the way down here every week. It might be a small thing for you, but it’s a big thing for me.

And when you tap that heart button, I see who you are and I feel your love beaming through all the tubes and wires and, uh, all the other things that make the internet work. Thank you.

If you liked this one, please let me know and click the heart.