A few years ago, a close relative of mine was killed in a plane crash. At her funeral, my Uncle said to me, “Time goes by so fast.” There was a long, thoughtful pause after he said these words. He was 69 years old and was no doubt reflecting on his own life, as well.
This conversation had a profound impact on me. It gave me insight into why many of my clients decide to make huge changes in their lives when they reach their 40’s and early 50’s. They are entering the last third of their lives. They realize that time is moving quickly and if they don’t act now, their time will be gone.
When we are young, we aren’t concerned with time, just enjoying life and all its many blessings. As teenagers, we feel invincible and consider time irrelevant. In the 20’s and 30’s our focus is on building our careers and families. However, at some point in the late 30’s and early 40’s we start to get the inkling that time is moving quicker than we want it to. Birthdays seem compressed and we keep inching up the age chart.
Don’t Let Time Pass You By! Review the five tips below that will help you get the most from your life.
- Appreciate all that you have accomplished in life… thus far. Take inventory of your entire life. Look at the different roles you have played (father, husband, friend, brother, son, manager, teacher, athlete, student, etc.). Consider your achievements and the influence you’ve had on others. Now, focus on the future. Consider the roles yet to be played and others who can still benefit from your knowledge, expertise and wisdom.
- Be 100% present for each moment. As you become conscious of each moment and its preciousness, you will worry less about what you didn’t do with your time. Time can’t go by too fast when you are fully present in each moment. This is the only way to experience time. One precious moment after another.
- Celebrate the “little” things. Don’t wait for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays to find reasons to celebrate. Every day presents us with opportunities that are worth acknowledging and taking joy in — your daughter passes a math test, a medical test comes back negative, your son scores his first soccer goal. Make that moment even more special by sharing it with someone important in your life.
- Do more with your life. People who worry that time is going too fast often don’t take that has a battle cry to do more with their lives now. Ask yourself, “What do I want to do so that when you look at how fast time has gone, you will feel a sense of completeness in doing all that you needed to do up to this point in your life.” This might involve things you want to accomplish, say or do. By doing all that you want in your life, you’ll feel that how you use your time is perfect as is.
- Be inspired by those who weren’t “too old” to take on new challenges. At age 71, Casey Stengel became manager of the New York Mets. Ferdinand de Lesseps started building the Suez Canal when he was 74. Grandma Moses began painting when she was 77. Jessica Tandy was 80 when she won an Oscar for her role in “Driving Miss Daisy.” They all personified C.S. Lewis’ view that “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.”
Fearing that “my time is running out” influences how we view our lives. We often reassess our goals and aspirations, trying to understand more of who we are and what we want to achieve. This self-examination is both positive and productive. To live in such a way that no matter how fast time goes, you will be fulfilling your moments with meaning, impact, value and living.
Copyright ©2005-2017 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.
Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world's leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Visit Joel online at Garfinkle Executive Coaching. Subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!
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