At first glance, the title seems a bit over simplistic, however as you read on, the title of this article will gain more depth. For most of us, the task of living is becoming fast paced, riddled with many demands, outside expectations, and multiple commitments. In many ways, our success is prefaced on our ability to become constantly immersed in seemingly important and admirable things. Like the parable of the boiling frog, we remain unaware of the implications of our busyness. Before long, a dilemma strikes, and we realize that we have been missing out on truly important things, and life is slipping by.
As I enter my 40s I find myself constantly reflecting on many important people and activities that have become filtered out as a result of the complex professional life and busy demands of family and other crucial activities of daily living. I have also marveled over how 20 years ago, the perspective of time and opportunity appeared limitless. There was less worry about things slipping by.
How many of us actually stop and think about how the really important things, are getting filtered out by what we “think” is important. In a sense, do we look back at the previous few years with regrets that we have? In all the supposed importance, are we really letting what is truly important slip away? Are we letting other things cause the richness of our lives to slip away? Regrets are sometimes irreversible.
In many ways we delude ourselves and believe that we are where we need to be, but later regret our positions because we did not pay attention to the truly important. We haven’t done the deep reflection and inquiry needed to identify what is truly important in our hearts.
At this point, I would challenge everyone reading this to develop a working list of the things that upon reflection you are missing out on, because you have let it become filtered out of your life. Then, create another list of things that appear to consume your time. Compare the findings. What does it suggest?
Perhaps another way is to do an old fashion “time study”, just to allow you to engage in pattern recognition. This would identify important trends in how your time is spent each week. Compare those findings against the things that are most important and/or those things that you are finding “are slipping away”, and you are fearful you are missing. The results however derived could be sobering, and result in a personal call to action.
I’m not sure the author of the saying: “Time waits for no wo(man).” But it is true. For many of us, we are squandering our time with seemingly important things, that are in retrospect, keeping us from the important. What are we letting slip by?