The Infinite Power of Finite Time!

Time is what we want most, but what we use worstWilliam Penn
We, as a culture, are yet to call time on the above reality.Though I have not read the book yet, I came across this Oliver Burkeman title ” Four Thousand Weeks “. That’s the number of weeks in the average lifespan. Some years ago, Dr Robert Cialdini wrote his seminal classic ‘ Principles of Persuasion ‘ in which he argued about The Scarcity Principle– Simply put, people want more of those things they can have less of.
Without meaning to read out the morbid act, let’s remind ourselves that we all have a finite amount of time- no matter whatever situation or stage of life we are in. If we are ready to wake up to this smell of the coffee, the temptation would be very high to extract the maximum, do more, zero in on efficiency hacks to up the ante and all and more of that. That said, if we aim to do that, we might be on the wrong track.
Most of us live with the stubborn idea that we’ll always have tomorrow. But sooner or later all of our tomorrows will run out. It is finite.
Let the above not become a debilitating thought. Rather, use that as an invigorating tool to design the life that you want to liveTo distill the trivial many to focus on the vital fewTo amp up courage to take the outrageous moonshots that you were afraid to take. To give you the spunk that can go down to your every bone.

Probably, the route to take would be the  ‘ disciplined pursuit of less but better‘. What author Greg McKeown calls ‘ Essentialism ‘.


We have: One life to live. One life to die. One life to learn and practice what you have learnt. One life to learn multiple skills, arts, hobbies, sports…multiple professions. One life to experience joy in what you perform. One life to share, give, pass on, teach and donate so that you die empty but Rich every which way.


“ The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”- so said Les Brown. And what a telling commentary that is on the ‘ ground reality ‘ .


Contemplating your own mortality can help you prioritize what’s truly important and live with greater purpose and meaning. Time to move the needle from living a life of endless efficiency and start living a life that really matters.


I had the good fortune to interview Todd Henry, author of the book ‘ Die Empty ‘  for BrandKnew and if you are interested you can watch the interview here .






Sooner than Sooner or Later than Later ?

Crystal ball gazing can be a good hobby. And a better one would be actually seeing the future. A present forward to a scenario that will come about in a few years time. Ohh..ptimism !


William Pen once famously quoted ” Time is what we want most but what we use worst.”


What is history but a fable agreed upon? And the future happens slowly and then all of a sudden. History is a recent concept, the future even more so.


An impressionist painting of the future may not look rosy, but at least we are having them. With a possibility of doing something to change(for the better) what is on the anvil. On the flip side, the great strides in medicine, technology, energy production etc are sure salve for our nerves.


Of course, future generations will be mature enough to think even further ahead.



Fables and storytelling started off with ” once upon a time…”. The past was as much a mystery as was history. ” When I grow up, I want to be…” was the indoctrination that most of us received as kids. The fact that very rarely do our past and future align is a different matter altogether.


But, once you have made up your mind to create, construct, collaborate, contribute, to make art or do work that impacts, then how you look at time becomes sacrosanct. Time is either your friend or your opponent. Time is either something you use as a tool or something that works against you.


It is often used as an adage – time flies – that may not be exactly true, but it does move along. And a lot depends on whether you are using it as a tail wind or a head wind.


Small drops..make an ocean. Drip by drip by drip…show up, ship out. I started blogging ten years ago with no idea that I would be doing it a decade later. But here I am. And hoping to continue, learning, unlearning and striving to get better.


I am taking the liberty of directing you to what I feel would be a relevant read from the blog at ISD Global on ” 20% time ” – the most valuable time you can spend.



Time Paws!

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”


Sounds very contrarian but rings true what Leo Tolstoy quoted in War and Peace ”  The Two Most Powerful Warriors are Patience and Time “.


Time: it’s free, it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it!


You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once lost, you can never get it back.


Either you are using time. Or it’s using you. You can watch the clock, but if you do that, it’s watching you.


Clocks have an agenda. They were never a part of the natural human condition. They are a recent invention of the Industrial Age. And the very fact that they have an alarm built is a clue. Rings a bell?


It’s definitely possible to put time to good use.  But, if we are without a compass and a goal, we can find it using us.


Whenever you are stuck searching for the optimal question to ask, remember, ‘ Getting started changes everything ‘- and the time to start is NOW.


The invention of the calendar was to keep the outside world at bay and reclaim the agency we lostto respond instead of to react.


There’s reason to be aweptimistic– and nothing better than tomorrow! To embark on the ‘ journey to better ‘.



How about changing your ‘ mailing address ‘ ?

When you look back at life, do you pat yourself on the back or turn your back on life?


We never forget the postal address of our past. Where we often mail metaphorical letters. Mostly letters of beration. Admonishment. Of the mistakes we made. Of the wrong decisions we took. Regretting the missed opportunities. Spending valuable time wallowing in self-pity.


Often taking the easy route or short cut to blaming our younger self for the mess we may be in.


Let’s do something contrarian. Begin with changing the mailing address. What would you be saying to your future self?  And how would you feel when you read that letter in a few months or few years from now?


May be you would realise that the crisis or cataclysm that you are facing right now did not turn out as badly as you feared. Maybe you would express some optimism that you could convert to action. And maybe you would develop some empathy for your past self, who was just doing the best you could.


So, let’s change where we where we post to. Begin at the destination and travel back to a better addressA future back perspective is a much better one than a present forward one.


Nothing is a mistake. There is no WIN. Or no FAIL. There’s only MAKE. Not everything that can be counted counts; and not everything that counts can be counted.


In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis. Karma has everyone’s address. Yours is in the mail now.


Yesterday has passed. We can treat it as a gift or an asset from our previous self. Having said that, there is no gun on the head. You don’t have to accept it if you don’t want to. Tomorrow is a bigger, better opportunity. But, if you are still defending that stuck project of the past( where you have sunk in big emotional labour among other things), you are not making headway as you can’t show up for the new better. Oh! that sunken feeling!