We live in a world where politicians are more concerned with being elected than creating and enforcing law.
We live in a world where corporations spend just as much time and resources acquiring patents as they do developing the technology to which the patents apply.
We live in a world where brands have become more important than the products and people that they represent.
We live in a world where being skilled at navigating company politics is more important than being good at your job.
We live in a world where what you call yourself (Democrat, Christian, feminist, pacifist, minimalist, lifestyle designer) is more important than what you actually are, based on your actions.
We are suffering from a gross mismanagement of energy, and it’s boggling how much of a person’s time, one’s most valuable resource, is spent on truly meaningless endeavors.
Take a look at your life and be honest: how much of what you’re doing is pointless and not bringing value to anyone?
How much of your time is being flushed down the toilet?
I’m not a big fan of setting New Year’s resolutions, as I tend to think the right time to make a change is when you realize a change should be made. But maybe January 1, 2011 is when you’ll reclaim that lost time. When you’ll stop flushing your time away.
I know that we’re not going to change the structure of things just by cutting the deadwood from our day. Business people will continue to pointlessly politic and politicians will maintain their ceaseless avoidance of productivity. Pointless-but-sexy arguments will continue to saturate the 24-hour news networks and your neighbors will continue to feel morally superior about their self-proclaimed titles while their supposed causes succeed or fail without them.
There’s not a lot you or I can do about that right now.
But we can remove ourselves from the equation as much as possible.
We can opt-out from the pointless, wasteful, time-sucking mindset that has become status quo.
We choose whether to live by the rules of ‘that’s how it is,’ or not.
We choose whether to live in appreciation of a concept or to embody it.
Pause for a moment, clear your mind and then think of the possibilities.
Update: February 2, 2017
I was reading this and thinking, “Man, this guy’s riled up about something,” and then remembered that it was me. And that I can’t remember what I was responding to. Which speaks volumes about the healing powers of time, I suppose.
But still, it’s true that we have a lot more power over the meaningfulness or meaninglessness of our work than we might assume. Some people have the privilege to consider this more casually than others, but all of us have the ability in big ways or small.