Who’s Your Daddy?
He’s old. He’s grizzled. He pees like a stutterer talks. He thinks all the girls you hang out with dress like whores.
He’s Father Time, and lately, he’s pissed off.
“Multitasking?” he asks incredulously. “Time management? Time-saving devices? Are you fucking insane?”
Turns out there are no such things as any of those. We all have the same 24 hours each day. Father Time cannot be managed. He can’t be sped up or slowed down. He can’t be saved. Father Time passes at the same speed no matter what. We all have the same daily allotment of time as Da Vinci, Einstein, Tesla, Jones (pick one), or Ron Swanson.
Have you ever heard anyone imply that they somehow “didn’t have” time or that they “ran out of” time? Or that there’s “no time” for this or that?
“When someone is impatient and says, ‘I haven’t got all day,’ I always wonder, how can that be? How can you not have all day?”
There are corollaries here. For instance, if anyone has time for some activity, like playing with their kids, exercising, or cooking meals at home, then everyone else also has time for these activities. There are no good reasons for missing out on these things.
Also, if anyone has the capability of arriving on time to something, then everyone else has the capability of being on time as well. There is no good reason to be late for things.
If anyone has the time to keep in touch and maintain valuable relationships with old friends, then everyone else also has time to do this. There is no good reason to lose touch with those whose friendship you value.
I can hear all you sad, miserable bastards right now—your dull, grating, impotent whines echoing in the distance:
“I’m too busy.”
“There’s just so much going on.”
“Maybe when things slow down a little.”
“I’m a procrastinator.”
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
You have the same number of hours as everyone else, jackass. Now tuck your ball bag in between your legs and go run me a bath.
I promise that Father Time is not screwing you over. He’s a curmudgeonly old coot, but he’s 100% fair with everyone all the time. Everyone gets the same.
Do not try to manage your time. The truth is that time cannot be managed. Instead, manage your actions.
Again: instead of trying to manage your time, manage your actions.
Your day should consist of a series of actions, all done for a purpose. Any action that you perform that is without purpose is a waste. And Father Time is not a party guy; he hates getting wasted.
Facebook. TV. News websites. Bullshitting on the phone. All of these piss Father Time right off.
Writing. Improving. Practicing. Learning. Genuinely enjoying. Tinkering. Reading. Exercising. Outings with family. Cooking. Getting laid. Father Time likes all those things.
When we start out as kids, our hourglass is full up to the top with sand. In theory, you still have a finite amount of time, but in practice, it seems inexhaustible. And when something is inexhaustible, you don’t get into the habit of making good use of it. After all, there’s way more where it came from.
As you get older, though, something happens. You start to see a little bit of empty space at the top. And then a little more. As the sand recedes and more glass is exposed, you gain clarity. You realize more and more that your time here is finite. This realization is your first legitimate introduction to Father Time. You’ve known about him, been aware of him; but now, realizing that your time is limited, you introduce yourself. You get to know him a little by reflecting each day on the short term (here’s what I did today, here’s what I want to do tomorrow) and the long term (I have X years left, and then I’m going to die, and that’s okay).
As you become familiar with Father Time in this way, you eventually start to recognize his incredible value. After all, if time is our most valuable asset, and this guy gives it to you for free every day, he can’t be all bad, right?
Come to think of it, this guy is a fucking prince.
Before long you’re fast friends with Father Time. He’s not a grizzled old coot after all. He’s a loyal, steadfast, and reliable friend.
And how can you remain on good terms with your best friend? How can you do right by Father Time?
By DOING. By managing your ACTIONS. By using, to the best of your ability, every bit of time that this great friend has given you. Time is best used by DOING things.
Right now you don’t do shit. I bet if you sat down and wrote all the things you DID over the last week—not things you thought about, considered, or planned, but DID—they would look very similar to all the things you did the week before that and the week before that.
That’s why you’re not going anywhere. That’s why you’re not improving. That’s why you feel stagnant.
Figure out somewhere you want to be and start going there. What’s that? You might fail? You might fuck it all up? You might end up worse off than you are now, so you want to just play it safe? Well, a ship is perfectly safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are made for.
You came into this world with nothing and you’re going to leave with nothing. In between, would you rather play it safe or go somewhere? That’s what I thought. Well, DOING is the way to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Try This for Shits and Giggles
Before you go to bed at night, write down five actions that you can take the next day—excluding things like “shower,” “brush teeth,” “drop kids off,” etc.—that will move you closer to the destination that you’ve decided on. Want to start a business? Want to get a boyfriend/girlfriend? Want to lose thirty pounds? Want to have more fun in your marriage? Want to get a degree? What is it that you really want? Once that’s figured out, sit down with a pen and a pad and write down a handful of things that you can do right now, where you are, with what you have available, that will bring you closer to that destination.
The following day, consult your list and DO ALL OF THAT SHIT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Then, once you’ve DONE those things, you’ll be in a new place. NOW what is it that you can do right now, where you now are, with what you now have available, that will bring you closer to your destination? Write those down right before you go to bed the next night.
In the morning, review the list you wrote the night before. Throughout your day, begin to DO those things on your list. You will DO, on purpose, until those things are accomplished. Only when they are completed will you be free to watch tv, check Facebook, or whatever you do for recreation.
Huh? This sounds simple? Fuck you. It physically hurts me to even have to write some of this stuff—often referred to as the “Elusive Obvious”—but every day I see a need for this sort of reminder. Of COURSE it’s simple; that’s no reason to take it lightly. Spending less than you earn, wiping from front to back, and not pressing the gas and the brake at the same time are also simple. Pretty important though.
For thirty days, write down (I use a notecard) just five things that you can DO the following day that will take you closer to your destination. Stop treading water. Stop waiting until the time is right. Stop fucking around. This is not a rehearsal; this is your life.
If you do each of the five things you wrote down on your card for thirty days straight, you’ll have done…something. Could be good. Could be bad. Could be in between. Doesn’t matter. Keep doing shit. Good stuff will happen.Try again. Poke around. Start some shit.
Your actions will have produced some re-action from your life.
Try another action…experience another re-action from life…repeat.
Do…see what happens…do over.
If you want a better re-action from life…perform a different action or the same action a better way.
This is important. You need to start experimenting with this shit, because this is what your life is made of.
Your thoughts are only powerful to the extent that they inspire you to action. Thoughts that don’t inspire action are worth-less. Positive thinking without action is fuel with no engine; a set of balls with no Crank; a stick of dynamite with no match. Without DOING, nothing actually gets done and no progress is made.
Instead, become a man/woman of action.
This is how you make good with Father Time. You cannot manage Father Time. You can only work with him by taking what he gives you each day and recognizing it as the most precious resource you will ever have.
So rev your engine, swing your Crank around, and light your fire. Start doing shit today.
And always remember who your Daddy is.