How we spend our days

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
Image courtesy of col_adamson

When I was young I used to take things apart. Around the house I would find radios, clocks and gadgets. I would stash them away in my bedroom, and when I had time I would tinker. Which basically meant I would tear them apart. I would, with great care, unscrew each screw, and pry apart each piece. I pulled everything apart without care and divided them in separate little piles, organized by type or shape.

I never put them back together again. Dissembling them was the interesting part.

I thought I was skilled at tearing devices apart. Little did I know at the time that the tiny parts could be divided even further into molecules and atoms. And, as we are learning now, into quarks.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

Annie Dillard

Our lives are the same as the clocks I dismantled when I was younger; large blocks of time. Decades, years, months, days, afternoons, hours, minutes, seconds, moments. Our lives are a collection of moments.

Much like a snowball is millions of snowflakes clinging together, so are our lives a collection of moments, small parts we try to organize into piles. The decisions we make in each moment snowball into the story of our lives.

Be deliberate with your life

We must be deliberate in how we spend our moments. We must be careful with the things we do in the smallest amount of time that we have. The moments chain together, they grow and fuse into months and years. The thoughts and actions that fill the seconds and minutes become our lives. If we are not deliberate in what we do we will wake up one day and not recognize where we are. The moments we ignored, the seconds we let go, will become the harsh reality of the now. An unplanned, unexpected, uncontrollable mish mash that we can never get back.

We need to think about the future we want, but daydreaming won’t bring it any closer. We need to focus on today, but a life without planning leads us down a road to nowhere. If we only think about the future we will forget to live in the present. We won’t do the work in the now that is required to take us into our dreams.

We need a balance between the planning and the doing. We have to plan for the future, but live for today.

How we spend our days by  
  time  path  productivity 
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