Money Bends Time – In Time Review

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. ~ Jim Rohn

We each have but one life-time to experience all that this world has to offer.

If ‘time is money’, how much care do we put into how we spend it?

The movie “In Time” starring Justin Timberlake, puts the concept of “time is money” into a fresh perspective. The characters inhabit a world where the days, hours, minutes and seconds they have remaining alive are displayed on their forearms. Their clock doesn’t start until they turn 25 years old, then they get one year free before time starts ticking away toward their deaths. The rich get to live forever.

Justin’s character says,”I’d say ‘Your money or your life’, but your money is your life”, because what they earn or spend is time… their life-times. This film demonstrates in a dramatic way that we trade our lives for the things we buy. We trade our lives to earn the time/cash too.

The beauty of this film is that sometimes fiction can show us the truth more clearly than we can see it in reality. This is a movie, yet out here in the real world, trading our life-times for money/stuff is reality already, but the truth of it is obscured with currency. People are thinking dollars, instead of time. Money is a representation of value, but it’s illusory; it’s deceptive.

Valuing Life-Time

Our time is limited, so it’s up to us to make our lives awesome and spend our time wisely. Being minimalists means that we are taking care to assess what is essential to us; to refine our possessions and reduce our purchases so we’re not wasting our lifetimes to earn and spend on things that are not truly meaningful to us.

Another truth from the film and from life, is that more wealth means you don’t have to rush. Money bends time. When you enjoy the luxury of fearlessly taking your time, you can think more clearly. You can make plans and strategize, rather than accept any old offer that comes along. You can wait until the situation is most favourable and then make the best move. Being a minimalist definitely helps in that department.

We each have a choice with money; earning more of it, or needing less of it.

The beautiful thing about abundant minimalism is that the less you need, the more you have… more time, more freedom, more choice in life. By refining and reducing our needs (which mostly are actually not true needs, but merely desires) we expand our options exponentially.

Now is the time

Time is a strange thing. We can imagine the past and the future, but they are like dreams. They are as changeable as a cloud. Our memories are never perfect so we recreate the past as best as we can. The future is ethereal. It may turn out exactly as we planned, or hopefully even better… yet

We only really ever have today – now – this moment.

Savour it. Make it wonderful.

Savouring

Savouring (or savoring) means to luxuriate, relish, appreciate, and delight in something. It’s a great word because it also implies a sensual pleasure or thrill, as well as a joyous cherishing.

The “Grim Reaper”, pictured above, is a 4 lb. (1.8 kg) beef burger, 1 lb. (454 g) of bacon, 6 fried eggs, onion rings with chili cheese tater tots on a giant bun. Eating the “Grim Reaper” burger would not be about savouring or cherishing and you’d feel violently ill afterwards.

Think about those times when we’ve been outside doing a vigorous activity all day. Then when we finally eat, and are truly hungry, food tastes so much more delicious and satisfying. One bite of chocolate is heavenly, however an entire cheesecake is sickening. In our culture, we have so much abundance that we tend to eat when we’re not really hungry. It’s never as satisfying.

The same goes for children having too many toys. When they have too much, they don’t know what to do with it all. It becomes overwhelming and they don’t even use all of their toys, or know how to tidy up. They don’t learn to treat things with respect.

It’s not just kids either. When adults have too much stuff, the same results occur; overwhelm, mess, disrespect, and dissatisfaction.

Having less allows us to appreciate more.

savouring the moment

savouring delicious food

savouring a beautiful view

savouring a wonderful person

savouring an enthralling aroma

savouring …everything

Savouring everything starts with reducing our exposure to it, as in the old adage, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Minimalism is your heart growing fonder every single day.

A Minimalist Reveals 15 Life Lessons (part 3)

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go & holding on.- Henry Ellis (1777-1869)

These last 5 life lessons are all about simplicity and minimalism.

11. We pay for things with our lives

Whenever we buy something, we are paying with our life-time. So we ask ourselves before buying anything, “How much of my life time am I willing to trade for this thing?” H.D.Thoreau, in his book Walden, reduced his needs and lived a life of freedom, rather than “quiet desperation”. His book was written in the mid 1800’s, but the dude was right. It’s still true.

Few people stop to consider that when we buy an item, we are trading our life-time for mere objects. Often these are not even things we really want. Sometimes they are precisely in opposition to the goals we want to accomplish. How many people say they want to save up for retirement, but spend money frivolously rather than saving? How many people say they want to lose weight, but then spend money on junk food?

12. Owe Nothing

Do whatever it takes to avoid borrowing money. Don’t accumulate any debt. If you already screwed that up; do whatever it takes to get out of debt as your top priority. Then breathe a humungous freaking sigh of RELIEF! Ahhhhh. Owing money sucks the joy out of everything. The burden of debt is a pervasive stress that can affect all aspects of your life.

I learned about credit cards when I was about 6 years old. It was after x-mas and my mom was crying and cutting up some plastic cards. I was shocked. Mommy crying was not a normal event. That really stuck with me. Thanks for the lesson mom. If I don’t have enough money to buy something, I wait until I do before buying. Debt = zero.

13. Own Nothing

Chief Seattle and Henry David Thoreau were right. We cannot own the Earth. I tried, and failed. Three times! Owning land or a home is an illusion. The Earth is not something that we can possess. It is something that keeps us alive, like our own breath. We cannot even think to hoard it. It is essential that we share it with other humans and animals. Without wildlife we would be lost. Everything on Earth is connected and interdependent.

Our possessions own us in return. So the fewer things we keep, the fewer things will be:

  • weighing us down when we want to get going
  • causing frustration when we are looking for something
  • taking up our precious LIFE-time (to pay for with work hours, to clean, to sort, to house)

The law confirms this. If we truly could own property, why would we need to get a permit (permission) to renovate? Why would we not be “allowed” to plant a tree or park in our own front yard? Why would we need to pay property taxes, or else lose all of our invested money AND the property as well? Do you really own it if those things are true? Making a space to call home is fine, but really “home” is wherever you are.

I admit that the subtitle of this section, ‘own nothing’ is too extreme, but continually weeding out the extraneous to focus on the essential is a worthwhile endeavour. Rather than attempting to ‘own’ everything, how about ‘appreciate’ everything instead?

14. Take the time to be Grateful

Remembering to feel gratitude for what we already have in our lives is crucial in being able to let go of the things we don’t need to keep. In other words, it reminds us what is truly adding value to our lives. Saying thank you to the universe for all of our blessings is a way to remember what’s important, and keep trivial stuff in perspective.

When we take good people and situations for granted, they tend to disappear. Appreciating people inspires them to do more things that make us happy.

Being thankful is a powerful practice. It’s not just “nice” to be thankful, it has a real impact on our lives. Even better than simply feeling grateful, is to show our gratitude through our actions.

15. Hold on tightly, let go lightly

It takes time to learn to hold on to what’s important and let go of what’s not. Even if you still feel you need to own some things, do not become too attached. This is as relevant for relationships with people as well as things. Do your best, but if it is not working out, you gotta let go and move on. Don’t get stuck.

Did you think you’d love to take up hang gliding ten years ago, then bought all the gear, but now it’s sitting in your garage like a huge guilt trip? These are the things that are slowly eating at us. It’s okay to let go of the things we have decided not to do. I finally threw away my dogs collar from when he was a puppy. He has been dead for 9 years now. *Sigh* That took a long time to let go, but releasing it feels freeing. He is not in the collar. It’s just stuff collecting dust.The collar didn’t make me happy. I could never forget his part in the adventures of my life. 

So there you have it. These are some of the things that I’ve learned that have changed my life. The many benefits of minimalism have a huge impact on improving every aspect of my existence. If you have some thoughts to share on your life lessons, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

A Minimalist Reveals 15 Life Lessons (part 2)

The following 5 life lessons are all dealing with fear, because it’s such a crucial factor that can make or break our success in this lifetime.

6. Fear is an illusion; it’s our imagination of a bad outcome

If we focus our attention on an idea that scares us, without doing anything about it, it only increases the fear and prolongs the problem. It’s much healthier and more helpful to live in the moment rather than worrying about the future, and get busy DOING the things that scare us, right now. Once we’ve overcome the obstacle, we invariably say, “Well, that wasn’t so bad”. It’s the build up of procrastinating and avoidance that wastes our lives. Completely ignoring our fear and doing it anyway boosts confidence. We become proud of ourselves and happier with our lives. As they say, “you don’t regret what you did half as much as you regret the things you didn’t do“. Here is one example of facing a challenge I was not sure at all that I could accomplish, but when I did, I was so much stronger for having gone for it.

7. Anger is simply one way to express fear

Sadness is also an expression of fear… as is most laughter. Humans spend a lot of time being afraid of most everything. Perhaps that explains why we are one of the few creatures with the whites of the eyes showing. Other mammals only show the whites when they are experiencing terror.

Knowing that anger is fear is extremely empowering. When people are freaking out, you can step back and take a few deep breaths and allow them to vent their fear without taking it personally. Being aware of the true cause of the problem allows you to alleviate their fear and get back on track. When it is ourselves that are angry or sad, it helps to know that we are in fact afraid, so we can address the true root issue.

8. Trust your instincts

Sometimes we can talk ourselves out of things, even when our deepest instincts are clearly telling us it’s the right thing to do. Indecision only makes a situation worse. We must trust ourselves and forge ahead. If we need to adjust our aim along the way, don’t worry, that’s to be expected. It’s much better to risk making a mistake than to never take a chance at succeeding. Don’t let fear stop you from growing.

9. Stand your ground

Even if (or especially if) you were raised to be a people-pleaser, it is vital to learn how to make your own needs a priority. Practice unflinchingly telling people, “No.”, without making excuses. Don’t feel guilty for ‘being selfish’, because no one else will accomplish your life goals for you. Be firm and make a stand for the things that are most important to you.

10. Planning will only get you so far

We must take ACTION! Delaying can lead to self doubt and loss of motivation. We must DO what we know we need to do, NOW! I’m a huge fan of lists, and in many ways planning has helped me improve my life. However, the flip side is the danger of over-planning and under-doing. Less talk. More action. Remember that fear is an illusion. Be brave and go for it!

Click here to continue reading the last 5 life lessons in this series, which are all about minimalism.