The One Thing You’ll Never Have Again


Bruce Lee is one of my all time favorite sources of inspiration. He developed near perfect command of his body…he researched pathways to inner peace and often found them…he wasn’t afraid to challenge the status quo…but perhaps most importantly, he knew what he wanted. Bruce achieved such excellence through his effective use of time, and he guarded it as if it was his life.

Bruce often told his students: “We all have time to spend or waste, and it’s our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.”

Sounds obvious, right? I certainly thought it sounded obvious until later in life I stopped and really considered the fact that, among the many things we have the ability to reacquire (possessions, money, trust, hair, even health for the most part), TIME will never be in this list. And the older I get, the more I wish I had taken Bruce’s advice about shutting out anything or anyone who would waste this valuable, irreplaceable asset. Bruce would ask his students to create a “Do Not Disturb” sign and hang it on their doors at various times throughout the day so as to prevent others from stealing portions of their lives — and to make sure they did something positive with this sacred time. I did a lot of things Bruce recommended — but never this.

Why? Was I too afraid to hurt someone’s feelings by turning them away when they wanted to chat about “nothing at all” (or worse — gossip)? Was I avoiding the reality of life by allowing myself to slip into a comfortable routine (a virtual “sleep”) that would eventually eat away my youth, only to wake up old, obsolete, and unsatisfied? Or, did I simply not know what I wanted?

As I reflect upon my past, I realize that so much of my time was wasted on useless conversations or interactions with others who had nothing meaningful to offer. I think it’s “about time” I take Bruce’s advice about time. ;~)

-Tom

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