‘Moments’ determine the quality of your life

How can you live without time? Or more accurately, how can you live without a time “piece”?
That’s the question I had to ask myself many times last week high in the Colorado Rockies.
To begin with, my wristwatch kept perfect time, faithfully signalling one activity after another. But then the hands began to drag. Sometimes registering 15 minutes late, and the next time two hours. Then stopping altogether for a spell before starting up briefly again.
Oh, it was a fine resort all right, with elegant restaurants, well-groomed ski slopes, cappuccino shops, a world-class skating rink, and wonderful bookstores. A resort that offers almost anything your heart could desire–anything, that is, except a replacement battery for an ailing watch.
And it turns out that even on vacation, the world counts time in carefully measured units. Buses run on schedule. Dinner reservations are definite. And the evening news is precisely timed.
So in a world of seconds, minutes, and hours, how could I be anything but a misfit with a watch that counted time only in broad unmeasured sweeps.
Now I believe firmly in counting time because “time is life.” And as time-management guru Alan Lakein says, “To waste your time is to waste your life; to manage your time is to manage your life.”
Over the decades, Lakein’s best-selling “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life” has been one of my favourite books.
I learned from Lakein to make a daily “to do” list. And then priorize it. A-B-C and 1-2-3. And then to work first on the A-1’s, and if at all possible drop the C-3’s. I learned to ask the questions, “What’s the best use of my time right now?” and “What can I not do?”
I learned from Lakein to be aware of my seconds, and my minutes and my hours. And I couldn’t help counting it a moment of synchronicity that my watch failed at almost the exact time when I began reading Lakein’s newest book–“Give Me a Moment and I’ll Change Your Life–Tools for Moment Management.”
Certainly, Lakein isn’t going back on his time management principles; but, on the other hand, he wants to remind us that the really important things in life are seldom measured by the clock.
Unlike a second or a minute, a moment is an unspecified amount of time. A brief amount of time that is happening right now. “This moment.” It didn’t happen yesterday, and it isn’t going to happen tomorrow.
Some moments are rare, like when you learn you’ve just won the lottery. Others are everyday, like brushing your teeth. Many moments will be remembered forever.
And the goal of life is to add quality to your moments. Shed negative moments, and find positive ones. Immerse yourself in the now. Experience this moment.
A red bird perches on a tree covered with new-fallen snow. That’s a moment and it doesn’t end until the bird flies away or you look away. You slowly peel and eat your favourite apple. That’s a moment. Treasure it.
Cappuccino with a book. Or a long hot bath. A gorgeous sunrise on your morning walk. A birthday celebration with a 98-year-old friend. These are the moments that make up our lives.
Seconds, minutes, and hours have little to do with the quality of our total lives. It’s not the clock, but the moments, that create happiness and successful living.
And always remember, says Lakein, “Every moment is an opportunity; and one moment can change your life.”

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