The time is always now

How do people have time to blog and write Wikipedia articles? To post book reviews at Amazon and travel tips at Tripadvisor? To upload pictures to Flickr and videos to Youtube? To tweet? To ”check in”? And we all know this one; How do people have time to Facebook?! Trivial updates in a constant narcissistic hunt for attention and shallow relationships..

I’m sure you recognize the questions. It’s easy to think they’re valid, and it’s easy to think they’re all about this trendy new time bandit called internet or social media. Let me give you another perspective. On time.
Time as in our most scarce resource has always been a subject for disagreement.

Questions of how one spend time with no connection to new technologies are everywhere; How do people have time to watch all the soaps on TV..to make their hair so good everyday..to read books..to exercise..to date..to cook..to paint..to sleep..?

I think the question of time is mostly about values.
People who think exercising is important think of a sweathy work-out as time well spend, and the ones who dont think it’s so important think they don’t have time. No fuzz so far, this is very logical.

But this is also where it tend to be very complicated. Because who decide what’s important? Do you? Always..?
Was it you who decided that eight-hours-five-days-a-week is important to manage your work? Did you decide that a fully booked calendar with lots of meetings is important? Was it really you who made us all value money above all? Rhetorical question of course, just to make my point.

Let’s agree on this one; You don’t decide what’s important for you to do with your time. Let’s agree on one more thing then. THIS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!
And you’re the only one who can change it.

I’ll try to help you get started by sharing three (feel free to add any positive adjective) motivators.

1. You are going to die.

Read this and take some minutes to reflect before you move to two:
Steve Jobs in a 2005 speech to Stanford graduates

”For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

”Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”
Wow! My take: Don’t be afraid of dying. But make sure you are scared shitless of not doing what you want. Now. While alive.

2. Count down.

Another creepy one, but also very powerful as a motivator. We’re in this to change, remember;)
Simon Sinek is one of my heroes. (Big thank’s to The Brand-Man for the finding) If you missed Simon you’re in for a treat!
Push play and invest one minute.

Tick tock….Ouch! I have 40 years left, that sure is a kick in the ass don’t you think?

3. Network

My last one for you (hey, you don’t have time for me any more;) is not so scary and philosophical. It might even pose as a conflict to the overall message of this post since this is what I (as in not necessarily you) think is very important no matter what you want to do in life. Well, you decide!

We live in a time of the greatest network in human history. Two billion people -and counting- are able to communicate, free in a network without the traditional shape of hierarchies and rules.

Now, I’m NOT saying that networking is all about internet and technology. Companies who try to apply old business models in digital surroundings instead of studying behavioural changes and learning the new culture of these surroundings are great proof on the opposite. The internet is not about computers, the internet is a network of people.

If you also think networking is important there is a networking master only one click away. Keith Ferrazzi‘s great book Never Eat Alone is all you need if looking for answers. Keith’s message is -as always when good- very simple and nothing new; Focus on how you can help others and the rest will follow.

So the next time your boss gives you that look when twittering a Wednesday at 10, don’t fall for it.
If the things executives (often tend to) think is important really was important, customers and employees would love their companies. Like in the case of Zappos, the company where executives are the ones twittering a Wednesday at 10..

Your boss might think the budget needs another go, or that Powerpoint with 103 slides about your product is important, or a full calendar, or…I’d say that most of it is just a charade. Counting Facebook friends, Twitter followers, blog comments…is part of that same charade. I admit that when you give me your attention by reading, commenting or sharing my stuff it makes me feel good. And feeling good is of course important to me. But it’s not a numbers game. I add people on Facebook because I’d like to keep in touch or get to know them. I post pictures and videos when vacating because I know it makes my family happy to watch (and because I don’t have time to do archives when 82..) And I blog sometimes because I like to share my thoughts.

One last remark. When reffering to successful people like Steve Jobs, people often tend to say ”It’s easy for Steve Jobs to say..” But remember that’s just an easy escape. Fame and glory is often proved to add pressure and difficulty to life, we all know of successful people with depressive life stories.

It’s not easy to decide what to do in life. Not even to Steve Jobs.
This post also means I have two hours less left in life, hope my decision to blog them away will do you some good. That would mean it was the right thing for me to do 🙂

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  • It was definitely the right thing to do. I loved this post. Thank you.

    • Thank’s Caroline! Love is definitely well worth our time 🙂

  • Mattias

    Great stuff! Discovered you in Växjö two hours ago. Keep in running Forrest;-)

  • Great read!

    It falls hand in hand with what Jane McGonigal (@ avantgame on Twitter) talks about in her TED talk

    The top 5 most common regrets from the dying.

    1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard

    2. I wish I stayed in touch with my friends

    3. I wish I let myself be happier

    4. I wish I had the courage to express my true self

    5. I wish I’d lived a life true to my dreams, instead of what others expected of me

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html

  • Max Bigdeli

    It has been my observation that people seems growing
    more and more fearful of risk of any kind. They seems bend on almost anything for security without taking time to think all the way through. There is only one form of security we can attain during our lives, inner security the kind comes from courage, experience and ability and willingness to learn, to grow to attempt the unknown.

  • Max Bigdeli

    So live as if you
    were living already for the second time and if you had acted the first time as
    wrongly as you are about to act now!