2023-01-24

A few funny things about time

Time is funny.

We can wither away a day, a month, or even a year in the present, and it will never punish us.

But it doesn’t reward us either. We can’t get “more time” by being diligent with our allotted hours. I love how Arnold Bennett put it in How to Live on 24 Hours a Day:

Genius is never rewarded by even an extra hour a day. And there is no punishment. Waste your infinitely precious commodity as much as you will, and the supply will never be withheld from you.

Another funny thing about time is that we can’t waste it in the future. With money, we punish our future selves with debt. With time, there is no such thing. Each day lies in wait, fresh and awaiting our plans for it, no matter what happened the day before. Whether the TV held our gaze all day or we solved world hunger, once the sun goes down, time forgives and forgets.

If you felt like yesterday was a waste, I have good news for you: today is a new day, and it couldn’t care less how you spent yesterday.

If you felt like yesterday was a success, I have good news for you as well: today is a new day, and it couldn’t care less how you spent yesterday. Time to do it over again.

When in doubt, remember what Michelangelo wrote to his apprentice:

Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time.

Learn five new things in five minutes or less.
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