Friday, March 25, 2011

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

Recently I finished an amazing book by Arnold Bennett (1867 - 1931) called How to Live on 24 a Day. While some may lower its status by referring to it as a mere 'self-help' book, I found it to be an astute satire on the most common of human complaints, there's never enough time.
Of course you should read it yourself, I mean it's free on Kindle for crying out loud. But I love reading bullet points or numbered lists (7 Fat Burning Foods, Do's and Don'ts of Job Hunting) so here's some clever wisdom from the 101 year old text.
  • Every person in the world is equal - seriously. No one gets more time in their day than anyone else. Michelle Obama, Lindsey Lohan and I all get 24 hours. That's it! There's no bonus or penalty. 24 hours. How you spend it is your own business, but they are yours to spend. Which brings me to...
  • Take your time back - all of that time spent waiting can be better spent on yourself. This doesn't mean giving yourself a manicure a stop light, although I have been known to sneak in a touch-up if time allows. It means rather than giving away your time to bad music or trite talk-show hosts, focus on accomplishing something. Even if that accomplishment is to relax yourself. Those precious moments when you are literally tied to a chair and forced to be still can be put to good use.
  • Claim your time at home - find that time that seems to disappear between work and bed and do something with it. Improve yourself one way or another which takes us to...
  • Classic Literature is no the only way to improve yourself - improvement comes in all forms. Sure you could take your time to learn a language or study quantum physics but if that's not what makes you a better person you've just given yourself to another obligation to dread
  • Take it in stride - if this week you forget to relax or reclaim your time. Cool it! You can try again next week. Or tomorrow. Or in a few minutes. The absolute goal is one you will never achieve.
Now, these are not new theories by any means but they are said in such a way that makes you feel quite silly for ever forgetting them. Many of the concepts are the basis of Cognitive Psychology or many other forms of self-exploration.

The take away: It's your life! You're not living it for anyone else, so why are you following their rules? Live like no other.
Happy trails from Bat Country

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