Making Meaning Means Making Time
Now that a great portion of the world has switched into "daylight savings time", a practice that continues to bewilder me as an early morning riser, I find myself pondering the resiliency principle of alignment. Alignment means that we are living in sync with what we believe is the WHY, the purpose of our life.
But finding meaning requires taking time to actually ponder our life. Let’s face it—in the busyness of our world—time has been reduced to a commodity.
Some of us may recall slow dancing in the 60s as the Rolling Stones wailed out "Time is on my side, yes it is." Not anymore. We all can sing the chorus: "There’s too much to do and too little time."
Individually and collectively, we’ve created a commodity worthy of the New York Stock Exchange: Time. We’ve given it all the form and substance of a product for manipulation. We spend it, lose it, waste it, manage it. We’re told to make time, use time, take time, and, if we’ve had a run-in with the law, we might even "do" time.
We talk about time logs, time management, time sheets, and time-outs. (Don’t you wish someone would give you one of those!)
There’s a time clock, time exposure, time lapse and a time stamp. Ideas and products are time-tested, competitions are time trials, and we divide our world into time zones.
It’s the great equalizer, given in singular 24-hour chunks by the rising of the sun and the setting of the moon. No amount of money can buy it, no power can hold it, no army can stop it. And one day we will all lift our eyes to the heavens and want the one thing we can no longer have: one minute more on this earth.
It is my contention that this relationship with time in today’s Western culture began with the invention of time-telling devices and has been further influenced and in many ways ripped asunder by the speed of technological inventions and our response and interplay with such inventions.
Technology has sped up our response time, creating a sense of urgency upon urgency and we tap our fingers in despair when the computer loads too slowly or our text message isn’t returned promptly.
Here's your permission, your time out. UNPLUG! That’s right. Turn off all electronics. Everything. OK, if you have an aging parent or a child who might need you, you can keep your phone on but ONLY answer it if it is them!
For this coming weekend—take at least one day where you do nothing connected with technology. Garden, walk, sleep, read (but not on a Kindle), hug, smile, and most important breath! Deeply. Again. Deeply. Let your mind wander as you ponder—what is it that brings you joy? Why are you on this earth? In this role? What do your TRUE friends say? Ask. Write the answers. And breathe. Making meaning means making time to just BE.
Don’t you think it’s about time!