“Those already conditioned from infancy by school training and tutelage to regard megatechnics as the highest point in man’s ‘conquest of nature,’ will accept this totalitarian control of their own development not as a horrid sacrifice but as a highly desirable fulfillment, looking forward to being constantly attached to the Big Brain, as they are now attached to radio stations by portable transistor sets even while walking the streets. By accepting these means they expect that every human problem will be solved for them, and the only human sin will be that of failing to obey instructions. Their ‘real life’ will be confined within the frame of a television screen.”
– Lewis Mumford, “The Myth of the Machine”
One of the most common phrases I hear uttered from friends and acquaintances is “I wish I had the time to do as much as you do!” This always shocks me as I honestly never feel like I have enough time to do everything I want to do!
More shocking is that the majority of individuals who utter this phrase to me spend large amounts of time watching television shows, playing video games or hanging out with friends socially. None of these activities are inherently flawed or wrong per se, however these respective activities are consuming massive amounts of time in the individual’s life.
I rarely watch any TV shows and have no interest in video games, therefore I, according to modern standards, have a large amount of “free time.” Taking an inventory of one’s personal expenditure of time is a key factor in achieving any type of personal transformation and manifesting any type of goal. To successfully achieve a goal of any type requires that we create an environment which is conducive to the goal; we must organize our life for our goals to be successful.
The element of time is perhaps the most important factor to consider when setting goals or attempting any type of personal transformation. Some goals require larger commitments of time, others do not. In almost all cases of patients I work with or athletes who I guide / coach, the issue of “not having enough time” rears its head. Therefore I always have individuals take an inventory of time in the exact same manner as I have them create a food diary logging in meals for evaluation.
The creation of a “time diary” is essential for evaluating a person’s readiness for change or transformation. Ask yourself questions like:
How much time do you spend watching mindless TV shows?
Are you spending more time watching sports over actually participating in athletic endeavors?
Are you spending more time in front of a computer screen than in nature?
Would you have more time in your life if you put down your cell phone or laptop and spent that time creating or communicating face-to-face with someone?
These questions are just as important as a food diary, as these are related to our mental “nutrition”. Ayurveda teaches that just as our body is created by food, our minds are continuously created via the input of images and information we choose to “consume.”
Therefore in many ways, the Time Diary is our mental cookbook! When you set a goal or ponder the idea of personal spiritual transformation, consider the element of time.
Time is often more important and more powerful of a factor for success than money or talent. Ask yourself:
How much time are you allowing for the cultivation of your goals?
How much time are you spending on mindless mundane entertainment?
What are you feeding your mind?
This is one of the most common issues I see when people come to me suffering from insomnia and depression. If one spends more time in front of a computer screen or TV screen instead of in nature or face-to-face with other individuals, the more likely they will suffer from junk food mental nutrition!
One could argue about the amazing opportunities available via the internet for education, communication and personal development, and as a medical professional I deeply value these options, but I do not see the majority of my friends or patients spending hours with online education or inspiring lectures online to nourish or motivate the mind! More often than not, the hours online are spent reading mindless celebrity gossip, sports updates and manufactured “news.” This is ultimately symbolized by the computer screen radiating an image of nature in order to create a natural mood for the individual sitting in a windowless room.
Therefore before you complain about a lack of time or a lack of money to achieve your goals, take the time to evaluate how you spend the commodity of time and how much of it is taken up by technological short-cuts that end up costing more than you would like to admit.
Time is more precious than money and one day we all will run out of this nebulous ephemeral treasure so make the most of your time and don’t waste it on the technological mirage!