I was complaining about chasing rabbits (which is a euphemism for doing a little of everything and getting nothing done) to a friend when she suggested thinking in terms of income-producing activities. I wrote about it earlier this month, but the idea is to categorize daily activities into two-columns, one for income-producing activities, and the other for non-income producing activities.
That idea spurred in me a heaping plateful of vitriol, with a side of resentment polished off with a tall glass of nope. What good did come out of it, though, was it made me stop and think.
What if our perception is entirely wrong? What if our life’s success is measured by what we spend instead of what we get in return?
Which led to this profound, weird, epiphany–something I’ve always known yet never applied in regards to success. We’re given only so many seconds in this life, and we gift them to the people and things as we see fit.
This conjured images of seconds turning into stacked silver and gold, sitting in piles deep within the magical recesses of some mystical bank. Every second, a coin disappears and is spent for a thought or a friendship or on a social media site. We have no idea whether our pile is vast or small, and we’re not allowed to count it. The only information given is when we spend our last coin we vanish from existence.
Powerful thought, isn’t it? Every time we invest in something cost us a moment. Every relationship. Every thought. Every creative endeavor.
Money means nothing. Accolades go in a box shored in a loved one’s attic. Houses, cars, boats, are sold or given away.
So much of our lives will scatter like dandelion floss once our time is spent. And yet, here we sit, day after day, focusing on conflict, resentment, frustration, bias, and judgment. Our minds rehash the past, wasting our moments reliving the darkest betrayals. We spend time worrying about bills, politics, people who’ve offended us on social media (of all things) or what others think of us.
All of it costs us the only currency we have in life–precious, limited, finite time.
The good news is there are things we can invest in that will continue to pay out long after we’re gone, like relationships, especially with our children and the younger generations. Encouraging those we interact with every day through kindness, service, positivity, and love. Lifting others as we continue to climb, both in our personal and professional lives. Helping those in need and making a concerted effort to leave the world a better place than we found it.
For me, one of the most significant ways to spend my coins is to create stories that have my personal truths embedded within. Long after my vault is empty and I am nothing more than ash and dust, I hope someone will read what I’ve written and learn to appreciate the things people can give and forgive them for the things they can’t. Maybe they’ll stop and think about their intentions before they act. Maybe they’ll look inward and try and define what equality truly is and demand it for them and those around them. Maybe they’ll come to respect knowledge and truth, even if it’s not what they want to hear. Maybe they’ll embrace passion, vulnerability, or their inner strength to rise against adversity.
Most importantly, I hope they understand they are valued in this world, that they matter.
And that makes investing my life currency in writing worth every second.