4 ways we misuse time


The French philosopher and writer Voltaire wrote that there are four ways we misuse our time: not doing anything, not doing what should be done, doing it wrongly, or doing it in the wrong moment.

We need to carefully choose the use of our time. When we say “yes” to one thing, we are saying “no” to another. It’s a contradiction, but it’s true. Dr. Paul Tournier wrote, “There is no life without repression. We can’t be generous without denying our selfishness, or be selfish without repressing our generosity.”

Each decision we make carries its consequences. Some decisions will lead us to prosper, to be healthier, to be more balanced, more productive. There are decisions that will not add to our wellbeing. When we choose one activity, we deny another. When we discipline ourselves with a physical activity, we are denying the desire for comfort. The time we choose to study, we are denying television, Internet or the cell phone. When we are choosing to eat better, we are denying the food that does no good. There are words that edify and build, there are words that wound, offend and destroy.

So, we must carefully choose our actions. Let’s wisely choose the use of our time. And like Voltaire suggests, let’s not be lazy, let’s do what we should do, let’s do it right, and at the right moment.

Not easy to do, of course, but the habits we build day by day will construct our lives. It’s our choice.

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